January 5, 2017

Radical playfulness

That's a term I heard while viewing a video from Will Sonheim. Artists take risks putting their work up front and one has to be ready to be the clown whose nose is poked and treat the promise of errors and mishaps playfully. Have a sense of "radical playfulness, " a phrase I have fallen in love with. Teachers in classrooms emphasize this all the time: not to be afraid of mistakes, that learning happens best with errors and blunders, not successes. The perhaps-momentary feeling of foolishness, disequilibrium, can propel our steps forward or our sense of wonder, fun, or discovery if we let ourselves open to it. And don't take ourselves so seriously.

The clown images are parts and pieces made to mix and mingle. I like to carve stamps. I have been carving out of rubber erasers since the early 80's and have seen the art of carving go through attention periods of highs and lows. This is also true for my own engagement in the process. I remember when I owned a gift store and got so weary of the phone and bills and always having the latest and greatest that I took a personal retreat away from it all. I rented a B&B in Santa Barbara with all my carving tools and supplies and spent the entire weekend in the room carving my brains out. It felt so relaxing and emptied my mind of stress. It was like therapy, only cheaper. (I think. The room must have cost a penny or two, being Santa Barbara.) Skill wise, I am only a middling carver. There are wonderful carvers out there - Julie Fei-Fan Balzer is a prolific carver and shares her awesome skills on her blog. Julie Hagen Bloch. Genuine Zlatkis. Teesha and Tracy Moore. Andie Mayr.   Google will send you to forums and books and videos and tutorials if you get interested.


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