Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fear and Oscar

I really like to read books like a grazer - paragraph here and there, munching away and letting things digest.

I did manage to finish a story from the Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde called "The Birthday of the Infanta." The story super lush, full of descriptions of the personal communiation and social structures of garden flowers and sundials set amidst the princess' birthday celebrations - but here is this really beautiful passage:

"The arena was then cleared amidst much applause and the dead hobby-horses dragged solemnly away... a French posture-master performed upon the tight rope, some Italian puppets appeared in the semi-classical tragedy of Sophonisba on the stage of a small theatre... They acted so well, and their gestures were so extremely natural, that at the close of the paly the eyes of the Infanta were quite dim with tears. [T]he Grand Inquisitor himself was so affected that he could not help saying to Don Pedro that it seemed to him intolerable that things made simply out of wood and coloured wax, and worked mechanically by wires should be so unhappy and meet with such terrible misfortunes."

I also started Art and Fear - which we are reading for the graduate theory seminar class. I feel like I read this a long time ago, but I can't remember details.

Just flipping through here some words I want to stew:

'We have met the enemy and he is us.' - Pogo.

"The Pooh Perplex: A Freshman Casebook In Which it is Discovered that the True Meaning of the Pooh Stories is Not as Simple as is Usually Believed, But for Proper Elucideation Requires the Combined Efforts of Several Academicians of Varying Critical Persuasions."
-> I don't even care what this means or why it is in a book about the art making process. I shall strive for this artistry in all of my titles from now on.

Some quotes regarding art v. craft:

"Yet curiously, the progression of most artists' work over time is a progression from art toward craft."
"Craft is the visible edge of art."
"With craft, perfection is possible"
"Your job as an artist is to push craft to its limits- without begin trapped by it."

Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright told young architects to make sure that ivy was planted around their first buildings. Hopefully, given time the ivy would overtake these buildings so that they would not be haunted by the naivete of their first works.


  1. I like the mental image of being "trapped by craft"

  2. I love what frank lloyd wright told his young architects....

    as for art n fear....from where I am at right now in the book we might as all quit being artist....we are all doomed to fail anyhow!

    My response..."SUCK IT!"

  3. I kinda felt the same way... NEVERMIND then, I'll just go about my own way. I have a hard time reading books about being an artist or the process of making art - I have to suspend disbelief.

    I have heard the Pogo quote before, but it really struck me last night b/c I have felt like my biggest enemy as of late - my body betraying me at key moments and my mind and hands hopelessly lagging behind my intent.

    I feel that our purpose in life is to temper ourselves - breaking our selves down bit by bit to emerge as stronger, faster, truer beings. But I'm from New England and we do have a habit of making things harder than they have to be.

  4. Good stuff. I actually have been enjoying the art and fear book so far. I have to agree on the issue of being your own worst enemy though. Actions are what define us, no matter our intentions. I wish I would get out of my way once in a while.

  5. HA I wish I could plant ivy in my parent’s kitchen, that’s the problem with making stuff that could last thousands of years.

  6. parents' kitchen are definiteyl the graveyard of failed endeavors...