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Doomspiration - Analogy By Robert Genn


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#1 Chantay

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:47 PM

I hope this is OK to post.

 

At the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia a room is hung salon-style with 19th Century British and European paintings. The display is immense, covering two facing walls hung floor-to-ceiling with the works of Delacroix, Ingres, Daumier, Henner, Meissonier, Millet and their contemporaries. The paintings are depictions of bucolic charm, the everyday realities of 19th Century pastoral life: farmers and their animals, their meadows and icons, and families - holy and otherwise - are seen in portraiture, picnic and tragedy. Sentimental human and natural condition stacked to the rafters.

 

In the middle of this room are back-to-back settees. These are what you bump into while picking up your jaw. Once seated, there's a laminated placard illustrated with a legend and list. "What am I looking at?" I mumbled the rainy afternoon of my discovery. I scanned the faces in front of me - of the birds and beasts, widows, farmers, virgins and workers - reviewing the breadth of what was revealed there. In all the drama and pathos and elegance, I felt a wistful longing to hold onto them - a panicked admiration for the subjects and for the artists' hands that delivered them to me.

 

A few months later, my big brother Dave took me to the performance of a personal hero of his - the master of industrial rock Trent Reznor and his project Nine Inch Nails. Amidst an otherworldly light display and a five-course meal of song, electro and guitar-craft, I once again let a peak aesthetic experience overtake me, and after the last encore I let it spit me out like a rack of well-gnawed bones.

 

Dave sighed, pocketing my earplugs. "I don't know whether to be completely inspired and get back to work, or to give up music altogether," he said. I told him I was familiar with this sensation. It's called doomspiration.

 

"Got it!" said Dave.

 

Here are the signs:

 

Pounding heart, shortness of breath, sweaty.
A feeling of unexplained longing.
Simultaneous melancholy for making things, and joy at the meaning of life.
Willingness to work, plus temporary unpleasant realism.
Emptiness and fullness.
Panting.
Ecstasy, laughter, fantasy and fanaticism.
Urgency, lethargy, confusion, clarity.
Worshipful gratitude.

 

How to move forward:

 

Try to make something you deem equally great, if only for a few moments, and remember you were moved and that's what art is for.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sara

 

PS: "When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too." (Paulo Coelho)

 

"I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched." (Edgar Allan Poe)

 

Esoterica: The style of display known as a "Salon Hang" is named after the biannual student exhibitions held from the 18th Century onward at the Louvre's Salon Carré and the British Royal Academy. These exhibitions gained notoriety for the visual impact of tightly packed works of similar academic conventions. Salon Hang made things so competitive that Turner retouched his paintings after they'd been installed. Artists complained that their pictures had been "skied" - hung at the top and out of view - and Gainsborough was so offended he dropped out of Academy exhibitions in 1784.

 

 

You can find the original post at RobertGenn.com

 

 


- chantay

#2 C. Banks

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 01:40 PM

this almost needs it's own 'inspirations' *sub* forum

nicely posted on a grey winter day

thank you

Edited by C. Banks, 10 March 2014 - 08:40 PM.

"All this of Pot and Potter — Tell me then, Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?" (Omar Khayyam)

#3 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 01:58 PM

Great post, the start confused me but I caught up in the end.


                                                                                                                 1384226_215924051918490_1181728069_n.jpg


#4 Isculpt

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 07:56 AM

Good grief, you perfectly expressed the feelings that I have when I look at the work of other figurative sculptors --  Doomspiration, indeed!

 

"...Pounding heart, 

A feeling of unexplained longing.
Simultaneous melancholy for making things, and joy at the meaning of life.
Emptiness and fullness.

Urgency, lethargy, confusion, clarity..."

 

And here I thought I was the only one......

   

Moving beyond the melancholy, lethargy and confusion is the tough part, especially in the winter months.  I think I'll print out your "instructions" and post them in my studio. Thanks for sharing these beautifully written insights.



#5 AnnaM

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 09:33 AM

I think this quote from Ira Glass speaks to that sense of longing/urgency/helplessness. (I simultaneously love and hate that feeling):

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through".

-Ira Glass

Of course some people are lucky enough to not have a very long stage of making stuff that disappoints them ;)

#6 TJR

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 10:23 AM

This is why I agree with John Baymore about not using the term; "playing with clay". I never refer to clay as mud. Clay is a mineral. Yes, I feel that I have a monkey on my back. Yes, I feel that when the winters are long and cold and dark, it's tough to get into the studio. I put on my parka and boots to walk 15 feet out my back door to my heated studio. Sometimes the door is frozen shut and I have to get a hair dryer to thaw the lock. But the thought of not being able to spend time in my studio makes me walk back to the house to get the dryer.

Even if I just stand in my space. Even if I just move stuff around. Even if I sand 40 mugs-I'm in there thinking. Even if I look at glaze test tiles.I am now mixing up that Reitz green from the John Britt high fire book.

For me it's not the selling, it's the making. The selling is a hassle, but I do it.

I also teach high school art. I had a conversation with a first year teacher who is teaching one art class in the afternoon to Grade 9's. I had to explain to him that you have to teach the basics. You have to teach the colour wheel and complementary colours before you can expect to get a good painting out of these students. He went to art school for performance art. I don't know how you get through drawing without using a pencil, but there you go! I am now old and set in my ways.

Still loving making art and teaching art.

TJR.

Great conversation.



#7 JBaymore

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 10:59 AM

I've posted this before:

 

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.”

 

Chuck Close - painter

 

 

 

best,

 

.......................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#8 Chantay

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 12:45 PM

John, I wish I had seen that quote long, long ago.  I painted for  30 years.  I didn't get it.  Why wasn't I getting better faster. I wasn't till the last 5 years of painting that I had made huge strides in my art.  So much wasted time.  When I decided to work with clay I didn't wait around.  I went in full steam.  My skills have improved monumental over the past two years.  But it is from throwing a pot, put it in the bucket, throwing a pot, put it in the bucket, etc.. by the way.  Your throwing exercises have helped a great deal also.  Thanks.

 

P.S.

John, your mail box is full.


- chantay

#9 AnnaM

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 07:30 PM

John,
Are your throwing exercises downloadable from anywhere?

#10 Sherman

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 03:28 PM

John, I wish I had seen that quote long, long ago.  I painted for  30 years.  I didn't get it.  Why wasn't I getting better faster. I wasn't till the last 5 years of painting that I had made huge strides in my art.  So much wasted time.  When I decided to work with clay I didn't wait around.  I went in full steam.  My skills have improved monumental over the past two years.  But it is from throwing a pot, put it in the bucket, throwing a pot, put it in the bucket, etc.. by the way.  Your throwing exercises have helped a great deal also.  Thanks.

 

P.S.

John, your mail box is full.

Chantay, Go ahead and message John now---Ive increased his mailbox size (moderators needed more).

Thanks,

Sherman


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#11 Mark C.

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 03:58 PM

I've posted this before:

 

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.”

 

Chuck Close - painter

 

 

 

best,

 

.......................john

Never heard of Chuck Close but he pegged it-really great stuff

Love it ( Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. )

Back to trimming bowls and drying pots in the sun.

Mark


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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#12 JBaymore

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 04:10 PM

Chantay and Anna,

 

Not posted online anywhere at the moment. I've had so much of my written stuff re-used and not credited I tend to not do that so casually anymore. There is one book out that I probably have reasonable cause for a "copyright" case....unless it is "parallel development" to an amazing degree.

 

If you both PM me your email addresses, I'll send them to you. No problem. Microsoft Word .docx file.

 

Also see my important comment about that document in this posting ........ http://community.cer...ate-on/?p=51849

 

best,

 

.................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#13 JBaymore

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 04:13 PM

Never heard of Chuck Close but he he pegged it-really great stuff

Love it ( Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. )

 

Yeah... I always loved that quote. 

 

It pairs well with my other favorite "Clay and wheel, they teach us."  HAMADA Shoji

 

best,

 

................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#14 AnnaM

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 08:27 AM

John,

 

I'm floored and super impressed by those exercises! Have you considered making a DVD series? You'd make a fortune!



#15 Joy pots

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 10:37 AM

I love to throw a ball of clay on the wheel & think "what will you become?"

#16 JBaymore

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 10:44 AM

John,

 

I'm floored and super impressed by those exercises! Have you considered making a DVD series? You'd make a fortune!

 

Awwww garsh........ thanks. :)  I'm glad you found them useful. 

 

Remember... those exercises are not a "one time and forget them" kind of approach.  They are meant to be revisited frequently.  Your throwing skills will just continue to get better and better if you do that.  I've developed that run of sequential ideas out of about 40 years of teaching throwing...and I continue to revise and add to it or 'tweak' it as I learn more.

 

As to the DVD thing............ yes, but not really seriously.  I'm a potter and a college professor..... not a video producer.  ("Damnit Jim, I'm a potter not a videographer.")  I really wish I could somehow find the time to do such things. I very often wonder how the heck some ceramics people find the time to post all the Youtube videos thet they seem to be able to. I'm awful busy making and firing pots, sometimes designing and building kilns, teaching students to the best of my ability, taking care of the usual "academic business" that goes with that job, (and contributing here to the CAD forums).

 

Years ago I spent some 'time in front of a TV camera' on some pro video shoots (different field of endeavor) and know what good video production looks like and the time -and money- it takes to do that. Such an undertaking would be a major endeavor. So I'd want a professional videographer to do anything like that....... for professional quality reasons......... and I'm not at a point where I'd personally risk the upfront costs such a project would entail.... without knowing there'd be serious payback on the investment of time and money. There is a lot of "free content" out there these days to compete with. 

 

So... enjoy the information.  I hope it serves you well.

 

best,

 

......................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#17 Pres

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 02:36 PM

Inspiration for me has come from making, and doing a lot of thinking about pots. A potter that works with the media every day eventually comes to a style, naturally. Is he inspired, or just evolved? Does it matter? Some people think their pieces have to speak, I think all created work speaks, some eloquently, some quietly, some loudly, and some incoherently. We could come up with a lot of metaphors/similes for it, but mine works for me.


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#18 Stellaria

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:22 AM

Heh. Cool to hear another craftsperson describe a NIN show experience like that :D Doomspiration indeed.




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