Artipathy discussion

Art and Fear > Perfection

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message 1: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
I'm going back to to this section because of Emilie's statements about perfection. I think it fits nicely with this book! First, it restates, more or less what I said, that nature, being human is not a state of perfection. Second, I think it makes such a valid point here about how perfection can only put limits on us. It keeps us from doing art that takes risks and keeps us within the box of what we know how to do well. This is why I let myself make mistakes. I tell my students (when I teach, which has been a while) that mistakes are only opportunities to see things differently. I'll tell you a story...When I was in college I decided to make this sort of yurt, really a place of ritual and peace. It was to have these windows cut out of the hand-made felt and covered in silk panels. I made the first silk panels and it took some time to get it right. I put them under my kitchen table and they got wet. Totally changed my "perfect" design. I was totally frustrated at first. But then I thought, this is art, as soon as you try to control it something will happen to make it imperfect, so accept those imperfections. Or as a mentor of mine once said, "Let it go." It's become my mantra. So, when I start finding myself getting all uptight about how it's "supposed" to look, I tell myself that, "Let it go" and watch what happens. Trying to control or analyze thoroughly what I am doing at the time blocks the Flow (such a popular term now). Imperfection is the road to discovery. So, I'll say it one more time, "Let it go."

message 2: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 30 comments Re perfection. I just read a YA book called Uglies, where a society decides that certain attributes and physical characteristics make some people more successful etc. than others. So they devise a way of perfecting these people - making them Pretties. With surgery. No flaws, no assymetry, all beautiful people. This is done when they are sixteen. Of course anyone not Pretty is Ugly. Normal becomes ugly. Yet is is the irregularities that give us character and beauty. Not perfection. The Pretties are very boring with no individuality. I think it is flaws that define us. And All those flaws that are part of the artist that give their works their power and resonance

message 3: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
I've read some good reviews of "The Uglies" Terri. Nice that you made the connection here. Interesting what you say about the flaws of the artist. Yes, it is not only the exterior flaws/or rather imperfections that define beauty, but inner ones too. I was just having a conversation with my model about flaws. She hasn't posed nude in years and is willing to do it for me, but made excuses that her body is no longer young and perfect. My take on that was that that imperfection is what makes her all the more beautiful. I've drawn "perfect" bodies and they just bore me.

message 4: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Addendum: I absolutely love drawing dancers or athletes though! Muscle definition!

message 5: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 30 comments There is that! LOL

message 6: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 30 comments Makes me think of Joyce Tennyson's book Wise Women, with such beautiful portraits of older women, and some of her other work with nudes of all varieties. Some young and flawless, others flawed in many ways, all gorgeous.

message 7: by Kim (last edited Feb 02, 2009 10:30PM) (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Oooh, that's a beautiful one, Andrea. I put it on my "to-read" list. I can think of so many women friends who should have this book, including my model. Poor thing, my teacher was explaining her muscle structure to me yesterday and how her muscles are for a middle aged woman...didn't go over too well. Now she's afraid of modeling nude because of what he might say about her breasts! I was explaining that that is just what would make her interesting and more beautiful for a nude or portrait. She didn't seem convinced, but she took it with a sense of humor!

message 8: by S. Kay (new)

S. Kay (cobwebs) | 90 comments I gave Wise Women to my mother for her birthday a few years ago because she tends to persevere on how she appears as she gets older... I don't know if it helped her see that aging can be beautiful, but I sure love those pictures.

I also bought Uglies a few months ago, so it's nice to see some good reviews. I haven't read it yet, but intend to eventually.

message 9: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
I love the idea, showing women as beautiful as they age. Seeing Helga in those photos with A. Wyeth years later I was wondering if he painted her later as well. It would be lovely to see her through time too, don't you think? Gonna have to put Uglies on my list if it's not. Geez, it'll take me years to read everything there!

message 10: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 30 comments Did you see the movie Calendar Girls? I think that was what it was called. Older women designing and posing for a calendar and their stories of how it affects them and their lives?

message 11: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Never saw it. Maybe I can find it at the video store. Sounds interesting.

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