Tuesday, May 26, 2009

True Confessions

Another one?

In early '02 I returned from an all too brief stint as a visiting
artist in Thailand. Confession time. I realized I was stuck in a
rut. I didn't have half of the passion of the Thai artists I met.
Somewhere between getting my MFA back in '78, moving
to NYC for ten years, having a child and building a paying career
independent of art, my rut was a comfortable groove.
I wasn't uncomfortable.

Perhaps that isn't the best description for a art-working mode
but I'm more productive and the work is a bit edgier when I'm
operating out of my comfort zone. Whether it's wrestling with
a new topic/subject or needing to use a new and different media
to express; my artistic growth seemed strongest at that uncertain
confluence of "I don't know" and "I'm uncomfortable".
I mention all this because I started over in a sense. I had images
and ideas that I wanted to explore with new media; altered
photographs, animation, video. I found a source of inspiration
and knowledge almost in my own backyard. I began taking a few
graduate courses at Wesleyan University. Lo and behold over
the last seven years I accumulated enough credits to earn a
second masters.
The process made me refocus on my art in a
way I hadn't felt in years; and I relearned the joy of confronting
uncertainty. So while a second masters is extremely redundant
I just may have used those new building blocks to make a
staircase to the top of the rut. At least I'm not making piles of
dirt and calling it art anymore ;)


Art said...

That's great! And a very good use of a Masters, even if it is redundant

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Congratulations on your climb! I understand comfort/discomfort and its relationship to one's art, and life in general, actually. Good stuff happens when we step outside the comfortable, scary as it is to do so.

Owen said...

Congrats then on being a double master ! You must be well on your way then to being a PhD soon ? Teaching art in a university setting could be fun ? Anyway, can't wait to see what surprises you will be unveiling from under the piles of dirt...

Mineke Reinders said...

Congrats, Bill. I think it's wonderful and not redundant. You took those classes for a reason. I think it's great that you had the opportunity to do this, and you took it. Now, go and celebrate...

Bill Evertson said...

Thanks Art.
You're so right Elizabeth-although sometimes my work ends up as a total train wreck.
Thanks for the visit Owen-I'm not sure about the teaching but now I can bore people at cocktail parties on multiple topics.
Mineke - Thank you. Most of what we do as artists can't be taught; but the opportunity to place oneself among a group struggling along the same path is a great motivator.
So to paraphrase Bob Dylan; I need to get back to work: to cease all the pain of my useless and pointless knowledge cause Mama's in the factory and ain't got no shoes. ;)

Teri Prestash said...

I love this post.
and, now I get it

Bill Evertson said...

Hiya Teri- Thanks!

Josh Jones said...

congrats!! I just got my masters myself, I graduated from Roberts Weselyan