Sunday, September 27, 2020

“What shall I do now? What shall I do?"
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
"With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
"What shall we ever do?" —T.S. Eliot 

So this is the question for me… not just making art, but in living my life. Art S.’s house burnt down. His teacher, the great Harry C., asked him repeatedly as they were drinking into the wee hours of the night, “What are you going to do now?” I heard a recording of this about 40 years ago. Even then I took it as a koan. 

What are you going to do as an artist? Teachers love to tell students, “You should do this.” I’ve been guilty of that too. I’m forever indebted to my teachers who didn’t tell me what to do… though when I confronted one of the best of these teachers years later, he said, “you don’t know how much I was telling you what to do.” So there! 

I’m really curious about the creative process. We start somewhere… maybe with a nose, or a triangle, or a photo and a pair of scissors. And we make a mark… drawing, cutting, or whatever. Then something takes over, the clock speeds ahead and something is born. That’s all I know of this process.

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Who's in the world?

Xiushan said, "What can you do about the world?" Dizang said, "What do you call the world?"