Stepping Back

Andy Goldsworthy is an artist who truly inspires me.  I saw this video clip a few months back and was really taken by the way he speaks, moves, and thinks about art.

Of course his passion for nature, stone, clay and the land resonate deeply with me, but so does his philosophy of stepping back as an artist.  So often we are taught or learn to think that artists have a vision in their mind, and perfect their skills and techniques so that they may bring forth that image through their chosen medium.  I have always been insecure calling myself an artist, and I certainly have felt insecure about the way in which I create.  I keep waiting for the day when I have become “good enough” or “skilled enough” to see that perfectly balanced pitcher with an elegant and effortless form and utility in my minds eye, then with keen skill and raw talent bring it to life in three dimensions. 

But that isn’t how it works for me.  I sit down to the wheel with no real idea what I’m going to make and then play with the clay…enter into a dialogue with it, see where it wants to go and what it wants to be….then help it on it’s way.  I’m but a small player in the dance that is going on, and I humbly understand and am learning to accept that reality; in fact, I’m learning to celebrate it.  Hearing artists like Andy speak brings a remembrance to my ears and eases me back into my own process. 

In the video he speaks of the integrity of something…how not making something produces a stronger result.  The painting hanging in the Tate drew itself…down.   It was made in the same way the hills are made.  Instead of drawing an image of this hills outside, he allowed the natural materials to act as they would in nature and become the hills. 

I don’t know but it touched me really deeply and inspired me.

Nature really is the most pure expression and the connection with the stone, the clay, the mineral pigments of the paint or glaze; the act of observation and creation……it’s all just a way we bring ourselves home.

Welcome home my fellow creators 🙂