Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Artist Statement, Linda Starr

Hi, I'm Linda Starr, and I'm addicted to clay, therefore I have a very long list of things on my to do list. My long list has been making me crazy lately so I am trying to whittle it down little by little, so I can breath a little. If you've been on my blog, Blue Starr Gallery, recently you will see another item on my list is almost ready to be crossed off. This weekend I'll have my first Open Studio, and I've been sprucing up and painting lots of signs in preparation.

Sometimes I feel like I live in a vacuum since I am so isolated in the country and my only nearby resource (clay) is a tiny community college which is way too laid back about ceramics for me. I am grateful to all of you bloggers and ceramic artist's out there. You are all an inspiration and a great help to me. In that vein I have been working on an artist statement and below is my rough draft for your perusal, critique, advice or what have you.

Ceramics is at once my refuge, my solace, my voice, and my offering to the world. Several years ago a desire to make a few vases for flowers, led me to clay and I am, and will always be, eternally grateful. From the beginning I was delighted as I manipulated the clay into something other than a lump of wet soil.

I find the natural properties of clay guide me in the direction I take in creating my ceramic pieces. Nature is a heavy influence in my work, but in contrast shape, form, and texture play heavily as well. While this may seem a contradiction in artistic styles, both directions are a reflection of how I view and echo the world which surrounds me, one a view of its natural state and the other a view of the human manipulations in the world.

My curiosity and deep affinity to nature and the earth never wavers and I constantly marvel at the beauty which surrounds me, the minute detail in the texture of a leaf, the shape of a city skyline, the twist of wire in a fence. My previous career as a landscape contractor prepared me for and led me to my current artistic passion in clay. I designed landscapes around the natural flow of the terrain and yet chose plants with the thought to contrast a large leaf to a small one, and to draw the visitor in to discover hidden places along the way. I use this same techniques in my ceramic work gently forming the clay where it is willingly to go, sometimes coaxing the clay, sometimes the clay prodding me into forming the piece at hand. I utilize both natural and man made textures to emphasize a form or to encourage a closer look.

My current work is a two-fold approach. One approach is of exploration and experimentation into the properties of clay and glazes. The other approach is as if I am afloat in an ocean, left to ebb and flow according to where my inspirations send me. Each piece I create contains both approaches, one where the inspiration has sent me and the other how I can manipulate the clay and learn about the glazes incorporated into the piece. For the present I am content with both approaches and the feeling of being afloat in an ocean of clay knowledge. With each piece I learn something I bring to the next one. I constantly feel lucky my inspirations outnumber the days in more than one lifetime. Often, I am pleasantly surprised at what I create in clay.

I kept hitting the spell check instead of publish. Any and all comments are welcome. Thanks.


Jerry said...

That's a great start at your statement, Linda. I really like the opening line a lot. One small thing that needs to be fixed is para.3, sent. 1 "wavers" should be "waver".

Overall, I think that it needs to be pared down. Having done mine recently, I know that there is a lot that you want to say, but I think you can get across everything in fewer words. I think that paragraphs 3 and 4 are in need of editing the most. Think about the bare bones of what you are trying to say and work from there.

When reading about your two-fold approach to your work, I viewed both "folds" as being similar...kind of two sides of the same coin. It was a bit confusing for me in the way that it was presented.

The statement definitely tells us how and why you are in clay and what influences you, just streamline it and I think it will be even better!

Linda Starr said...

Hi Jerry, thanks, I confused myself writing this, I wanted to say something about how I work, but it just wouldn't come out in words. Wonder if I should say something about hand building which I love (thinking out loud here).

I'll be thinking about this today and will print it up triple spaced to edit it and try and make it more clear and concise this evening. thanks again.

Barbara Edwards said...

A statement that encompasses who we are and what we do artistically is so difficult, but I think your message is very well stated in your first 2 paragraphs. They are well-crafted and succinct. Also, the sentence about formerly being a landscape contractor says a lot about your style and focus.

Linda Starr said...

Thanks Barbara, I won't be able to revise this till next week because I'm so busy this weekend, but I appreciate your input. I real a few other artist statements and I would like to condense this somehow. I see now if it is too long people won't read it anyway. Back to the drawing board.

Kitty Shepherd said...

I like your blog and I like your critique idea.
From an isolated potter in Spain!

Linda Starr said...

Hi Kitty, thanks, I have been remiss in redoing my artist statement, it has been weighing on my mind, but have been so busy with the garden and clay stuff haven't have time. I shall get to it though.

Kraxpelax said...

Personal Advertisement. /My I Ching studies. I can assure you, a thriller for Peers. Commons will not get a shit of it. /My Poetry.

- Peter Ingestad, Sweden

Beth said...

Hi Linda,
Thank you for the nice comments on my blog. People ask about those floating people often, why are they floating? Really?
Your work is beautiful. The leaf impressions and the shapes of the pieces are so soft and natural. They are great. Your experience as a landscape contractor really shows in your understanding of the subject. I look forward to seeing more.

Virginia said...

Thanks for the nice comment and visit to my blog to day! I hope you will visit Birmingham in the future.

I'm interested in your artist statement since I was forced to write one for a photography class and struggled mightily. I am obviously not one to give advice but I admire your gift for writing. I've always wanted to work in clay. That's on my to do list!! Now off to your other blog to admire your work.

Meadowlark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andreia Sampaleanu said...

Hi Linda!

I wanted to wish you a very merry Christmas!
Congratulations on your work!
I wish you a lot of creativity for the next year!

Thanks for being one of my followers!

All the best!

Marguerite said...

Hi Linda! It's so nice to meet you! Your work is beautiful and your Artist Statement is fab! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for the follow! Cheers!

Nicole MacDonald said...

Hiya! I popped over from Karen's BBQ, nice to meet you :)

Nick said...

You Pot Heads are all the same :)

FP said...

Very interesting, well-organized blog to which I want to go back there and back.

Best wishes

Painting workshop said...

This is a great site! I like the pictures and works in it as well!...Daniel

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