September, 24 2016
All artists know that it is the limitations that create art. By narrowing our focus, the world, somehow, seems to expand. This is why our students use viewfinders to frame a more digestible piece of the abundance that surrounds them, and why using only black and white can open their eyes and provide access to the visual complexity that gives structure to everything. Limits create challenges, challenges beget creativity, creativity bestows gifts both unpredictable and limitless. These gifts are not always objects or ideas or connections to keep, but they move us forward, propel us towards the next – possibly wondrous – thing. Paradoxically, it is structure that can offer us tremendous freedom.
I am reminded of this vital bit of counterintuition on a regular basis, as I stare at a blank surface in my studio and conjure working parameters for myself, or as I encourage my students to recognize the boundaries of the page and stretch towards those edges. They learn to frame their world, and unique shapes emerge, creating compositions as individual as each artist who has placed them. As these small windows open within the edges of the page, the immensity of the world begins to take shape one view at a time. Read More