Ask ten artists, trained or untrained, for input on a particular medium or technique, and you’ll get ten different suggestions about the right way. The ways may differ slightly or drastically. The artists may be hardcore insistent, defensively indignant, or “whatevs” ambivalent about their way. Get those ten artists together, and they’ll discuss and debate for an hour (which is great).
At the EC, this happened most recently while five of my staff asked me for input as they discussed the right way to apply an acrylic wash. My response was derived from a video I found after a similar conversation about the right way a few years ago.
I was surprised to discover that we each had a different way. Discussion among the six of us revealed that some use water to thin the acrylic. Others use a medium. Some apply the wash very thin. Others apply it rather opaquely. Some use a tone which matches the overall color temperature of the palette being used. Others use a contrasting tone. One prefers a gray. Some cannot abide brush strokes, and others tolerate or even like them. … and… Some don’t use a wash at all.
The truth is that there is no right way. None of these artists is so oblivious that they set themselves up for failure every time they paint. Each of these artists is using a way that works for them. Yes, yes, yes. It is possible that there may be more efficient, productive ways—ways they may not care for or know about. But right now, their way is the right way for them.
The Internet Knows
As the director, I will eventually be expected to make a decision about the right way for the program. How will the artists on staff mentor the EC artists? Which way will be the right way?
Too lazy to consult the shelves of art books behind me, I turned to the internet. (Send me answers, internet. I need to know the right way to apply an acrylic wash.) But the internet knows that everyone has a different way, and there is no one right way. (Hence, a million results instead of, like, five.) Fortunately, among the million, the internet sent me a video which, in addition to the video above, sort of sums up a few different ways, lending options to the EC artists (and staff) and a sense of legitimacy to my decision.
As usual, the EC’s approach is that art is not about right ways and wrong ways. There is always a way. Be creative. Find the way that works for you, and get to work.
Thank you, internet.
We all have them, whether boldly stated, quietly muttered, or secretly pondered– resolutions for what we will (or will not) do or accomplish in the New Year. Resolutions are easy to make, but not so easy to keep. Still, recognizing that a change is desired or necessary, and being open to that change, is a great start.
Thoughts from the EC artists
The two big resolutions are “I’m going to lose weight,” and “I’m going to quit smoking”. Both of these are really hard to keep, because they rely on you changing habits and combating addictions. Being really hard to keep doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the resolution, but you should keep in mind what you’re dealing with.
One artist suggested that somebody might decide to stop burping. But EC artist Sofia pointed out, “It’s gas. Just gas. Everyone gets gas.” Hilda agreed, “Yeah. That would be like saying you’re never going to fart.” So, rather than trying to fight your natural body functions, it may be more reasonable to say that you will be more polite when you burp—remembering to cover your mouth and say “excuse me”.
Instead of making a resolution really broad, like “I’m going to get healthy,” try to be more specific. Maybe you want to eat healthier. Maybe you want to get stronger, physically. Maybe you want to feel better about yourself, emotionally.
Don’t give up
Sometimes, we quit when we have setbacks. Everyone will slide a little bit when they’re climbing up a hill. The steeper it is, the harder it will be, and the more you may slide back. It’s okay. Give yourself permission to forget about your setbacks. Just keep climbing.
A resolution is a promise you make to yourself; not others.
Setbacks might be even more difficult to deal with if your resolution wasn’t really your goal. Continue reading
Introducing: EC performances serialized as video webisodes.
Brooding Hamlet (played by James Brizendine) is informed by his father’s ghost, the late King (played by Luiz Gomez), that his own brother (played by Hilda Cotta) killed him, married the dead king’s wife Gertrude (played by Marlen Hernandez), and made himself the new king… If you think about it, you’d probably be brooding, too. Oh, poor Hamlet! His emotionally delicate girlfriend Ophelia (played by Calixta Perez) Continue reading
Some photos of a few of the artists installing the Snail Invasion street art project.
From left to right, Oscar Onsurez, Ivan Hernandez, Yadira Prado, and Richard Chavez were in my group. Since I had the camera, they’re the ones getting famous today. Oh well… more installations to come.
This is a series, showing how you might miss the art around you, if you’re not paying attention.
Here are some photos of the snails in place.
After they escaped from the kiln, the snails made their way across the classroom, out onto the 3rd floor landing, onto the elevator, down to the 1st floor, through the galleries, and out of the Arts Center…
Special Thanks go out to EC Artists Anne Marsh, Melissa Fuentes, Hilda Cotta, Michael Cordova, and our awesome intern Lulu Gamez, for this fantastic stop motion video.
Our street art project is underway. 500 snails were fired in the kiln. Here, the snails from the first shelf are escaping the kiln.
This is a bit of fun from our Clay/Ceramic Arts instructor Kristine Hansen.