Postcard from Art School

Making art is hard. I hit the creativity wall on about my fourth print, feeling like I was out of ideas and had already exhausted the potential of the medium. The good news is that this is the moment when creativity really starts to happen. I had run through all the obvious scenarios, the first 10 ideas, and now it was time to start pushing myself to find the 11th idea.

I am an impatient artist. I like to work quickly and push hard to find the image. When it’s done, it’s done. I don’t like to go back and fuss with things. Thus, printmaking is not an obvious choice of a comfortable medium for me. It requires something I have little of: patience. Slowly building up layers, reworking the image until it is just right, working with the ghost prints on the second or third go-around, honing my craftsmanship-all challenges for me.

This class is forcing me to slow down, to contemplate the image, to immerse myself in the process of printmaking. It’s a good thing for me. Too often I rush around trying to just get things done and  over with. I need to dial it down and pay attention to the small miracles right in front of me. More than learning the art and craft of printmaking, the most important thing I will take from this class is continuing the practice of carefully attending to all that is around me. This is good practice for art making, for life, for therapy. If I learn nothing else this week, it will be a vacation well-spent.

The weather is fine, wish you were here!


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