Saturday, May 8, 2010
I am going to take a break from design tonight and do a potpourri of subjects. The first is my daughter Emily. I called her tonight out in California, and she answered the phone from a playground run by Teen Challenge, the heroin fighters, in Compton, LA. Other kids may be out partying, my daughter is doing missionary work in one of the toughest ghettos in America. She's there every week with her roommate from Biola university, teaching kids with her crayons and her courage. She visits the projects to teach the Bible and has had street gangs open a path before her in welcome, and guarantee her safety. Emily and her friends can go places that most of us will never see. She has been to the projects in Watts, helping counsel young mothers, and eaten homemade tacos in fortified homes in neighborhoods that the police fear. You may be cynical about Christianity or think its a crutch, but you wouldn't dare go where she does. I am so proud of her.
I got a catalogue from Judson's today. I have been critical of some of their products in the past. But there on page 58 was a new product that looks like it might be a real winner. They call it the "French Resistance." This thing looks like a breakthrough to me. It is a pochade box that I think makes a lot of sense. It has a mast to hold the canvas, which I think is essential. So it takes canvasses of different sizes, up to 16 by 20, and that mast is made of metal. Which is what it should be made of. The Guerrilla easel, their standard product, has one great feature, and that is the best hinge mechanism in the business. It is an L shaped piece of aluminum that holds the lid open better than any other design. They have brought this hinge to a new design that looks to be as good as any I know of. I don't see this easel on their website. It must be real new. If you are looking for a pochade box, check this one out. I think they have got it about right this time. If you do buy one, get back to me after you field test it, and let me know what you think. Here is a link to their site.
I was talking to a famous artist, a good one, on the phone last night. I get to talk to all of these interesting folks because of the blog. We were talking about jealousy among artists and how we sometimes envied other artists, particularly the young ones, who are currently getting a lot of play in the art world. I told him how I deal with that.
I DON'T COMPETE, I CONTRIBUTE.
That takes all the pressure off of me and all of the weird psychological stuff goes away. I try to bring something of value to the forum or market place. Someone else may bring more, but what I bring has value. It will usually be recognized. I try to be useful. That means that dealers and curators find me useful. I may not be the star, but I have my uses. By trying to be contributing rather than competing, all of the one upsmanshp goes away. I then can concentrate on making the best, most honest art I can. That makes me a fellow to my brother artists and not a foe, and keeps me from being a threat to them. Your attitude will shape your art. Your intent, if it is positive, will shine, if it is aggressive or competitive, your paintings may only say. "hey look at me, I am important" rather than "look at this cool thing I have brought for you".
Tonight's uplifting bog is a one off. Tomorrow I will return to my usual snarling, irreverent self.