Tuesday, March 6, 2012

art and such

When teaching my students about the issues paper I tell them that they need to pick a topic that they are absolutely passionate about if they don't want this to be their lives for the next few weeks:

Unfortunately, for some reason 18 year olds and recently returned missionaries, both of whom are still trying to figure out their place in the world, never seem to have anything that they are deeply passionate about. That's not true; I'm sure they are passionate about things, but when they step into my classroom all that passion seems to melt away, and they have no idea what their passions are. As such I ask them a lot of questions to try and pull out their passions. One question that I often as them is, "What do you think about when you don't have to think about anything?" (Whenever I ask that question I can't help but to think of the John Wooden quote, "The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching," but that's beside the point.)

Because people tend to be a bit reticent to share their innermost passions, I always share with my students some of the things that I think about when there's nothing pressing. This list includes but is not exclusive to:

-the stars
-figuring out how to be a better teacher/changing the world via composition instruction
-books/reading in the tub
-BYU sports/the Jazz/sports in general
-music (which lately seems to center around this song and this one)

Of late it's especially been that last one. Ever since I left working at the MOA, I've been thinking a lot about how I need more art in my life. That sentences begs the question, "what, then, do you mean by art?" For now we'll not venture into that jungle. Anyway, a good friend of mine and I have been planning to hold our own art show in the next couple of weeks, and so I've been thinking about various art projects that I might undertake. Having always rather discounted my own artistic abilities makes this a bit hard for me. As such, I've been looking for inspiration in many different places.

This search led me here.

If you're reading this and haven't clicked on that last link go back and click on it now. But really.

I'm just fascinated to see the many and varied "workspaces" of so many different "artists". Whenever I've had a spare moment the past couple of days I invariable make it back to that tumblr and spend a few minutes (more than is probably good for me) perusing the various workspaces. I find this one of Matisse particularly lovely:

I can't really put into words what I love about it, but I do. Another little gem that I've run across that has sparked some thoughts in this realm is this video:

I've watched this several times a day for the past week or so. It makes me want to hold/attend a concert in the attic where the stage is framed by a bunch of backlit, taped-together book pages and which involves plenty of audience participation.

Finally, I came across this short discussion of photography and found it very intriguing and thought-provoking. I may have to put that book on my reading list.

I very  much plan to continue thinking about art and how I might engage in artistic endeavors myself, but for now this is a sampling of what is currently stirring the stew-pot of my thoughts on the subject.


  1. An art show? Oh this ought to be good, please invite us!
    Those work spaces are really cool.

  2. I think it's fantastic that you linked to The Sartorialist on your blog, and I think you should include this or something akin to it in your art show: http://thisiscentralstation.com/featured/mysterious-paper-sculptures/. It is the very definition of art.

    1. those paper sculptures are totally rad. Sometimes I wish I had time to sit around for a couple of days and experiment with doing that kind of stuff. Then I imagine I'd probably get too frustrated because the ultra-fine motor skills and dexterity required for such intricate work has never been my strong suit.