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Monday, April 18, 2011

Secret Life of the Artist, part 4


Here is an image of my wood turning work. Part of my official/unofficial "Secret Life of the Artist" series, I know there are plenty of artists out there who do all kinds of things besides oil, watercolor and pastel and are quite good at them. Out of my training in the Navy and in art school, I felt that there just isn't anything out there that I can't do well or learn to do well. In the Navy I worked with tools setting up aircraft parts racks, shot a pistol quite well and did a lot of out of the ordinary non-art things. If you're an oil painter and you do that better than anything why should that ever be a limitation on doing anything else well? Anyhow, I was in Brasstown, North Carolina -- possum country -- last week with my wife, a quilter. I took a week long class on wood turning. The picture you see has two bowls turned from cherry wood and a tool with a handle turned from red oak. They were some of the projects I did over that week. I was never really trained much in the industrial arts --- apologies to Mr. Joe Polka who tried to teach us 7th and 8th graders at Garvy Elementary School how to do a few things with tools. Man, that poor guy -- never did I see a more nervous teacher than he was. Imagine trusting 12 and 13 year old boys with tools and grinding machines and saws. He was a chain smoker and a guy who never smiled. I can see why. Instead of doing art this year at the John C. Campbell Folk School, I thought I'd try something different. It was hard to do, but I gave wood turning a try and I did some nice work. That's the point of my little series: artists have the ability to handle quite a large range of skills, even in unexpected areas. We all have all kinds of things we do to make money or hobby type things we do and do well that are outside the focus of our main theme of art. Have faith in yourself and give it your best shot.

2 comments:

Yvonne, Sweden said...

There are beautiful wooden bowls you have done!
I agree in this you say: We all have all kinds of things we do to make money or hobby type things we do and do well that are outside the focus of our main theme of art. Have faith in yourself and give it your best shot.

Slim Johnson said...

Thanks, Yvonne.