Bad Work




 Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping,…Stop it and just DO!…
Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety…
You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!…
Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be…
I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before your work you have to empty you [sic] mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that. You also must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to yourself.
excerpted from a letter from Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse

I found this over at Keri Smith's blog, an artist I much admire. And it's exactly what I need to hear today. I have the simplest task that is becoming a behemoth undertaking (because I made it that way not because it in any resemblance IS). I have to give a workshop for women my age (or so) for a ladies night at our local arts center. We are calling it Postcard to Myself. I've been making these for years but I just realized that I have NO IDEA how to teach someone else how to do what I do. (That's why I teach kids-they are not, in fact, making postcards to themselves). And I usually have some element of drawing in my work. It's in fact, what is most dear to me about my art, the pen gliding on the paper, shaky lines, crisp lines, complete infusion of me into the drawing as if I were well, using my own blood (eeeewwwh). Okay, a bit dramatic. But how do I explain? I can talk composition, layers, textures but how to simplify....and how to make one in an hour after a couple of glasses of wine. (hmmmm...that could really help me). I made so much stuff today but only a few things that made me get that, yep that's it feeling. Maybe I should take good ole" Sol's suggestions and just really try to make some bad work and then I'll probably end up my best.

I found this written on a scrap piece of paper in one of my boxes of collage material:

After my telling my oldest that scribbling was for little, little kids (my apologies to Sol)....

"Yeah, but if you draw with scribbles you COULD make the universe with asteroids or something."

(yep)

Comments

Kumiko Mae said…
i completely agree with you. sometimes it is our own fears that hold us back. though it's not always that easy to JUST DO, we should, JUST BE!

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