Art and Fear

By my bed I have a book that I read and reread all the time. It is Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. It is a book that is purposely by my bed because I like to pick it up and randomly open it and see what type of philosophical mind candy I will be digesting throughout the day. I picked it up this morning and read this nugget of a paragraph.

“Artists, naturally, would be the last to admit that, if only because heroic accounts of grueling hours spent building the mold or casting the hot metal remain de riguer of artistic conversation. But while mastering technique is difficult and time-consuming, it’s still inherently easier to reach an already defined goal - a right answer - than to give form to a new idea. It’s easier to paint in the angel’s feet to another’s master-work than to discover where the angels live within yourself. Art that deals with ideas is more interesting than art that deals with technique."

There are times I find myself striving for perfection in the darkroom, being hard on myself for having composed an image a certain way and frustrated an image didn’t come out the way I wanted. In my most recent photography landscape class that I taught at the Image Flow in Mill Valley, I talked about letting go of this idea/concept of perfection. Perfection often times holds ones artwork and vision down. Like the above quote says, let go and relax into new forms and ideas. Let go of comparisons. Find the angel that lives within oneself. A goal of perfection will only hold oneself back.

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