Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sneak Peek and the Last 2 Questions

Here we go: last thoughts on this matter of Lessons from Things.

5.) Can you provide a little information or "sneak peek" on the pieces you've included in the show? (I.e., how long it took to make, what materials you used, etc.)
The Power of Desire, ©2010, collage
I've been working on the pieces in the show for about a month. If I had to break it down, each piece probably took about a week in time, although some came quickly over a number of hours and others over a period of days. Over the years, I've created a studio practice, spending several hours in the studio each morning before I shift identities and change from an artist into an artist therapist.

When Sara asked us to provide an image for the show, I put together a still life of objects from around my home that I love: a white raku vase, a jade-colored porcelain beaker and a palm-sized, brass Aladdin's lamp. Although I began with what I thought was a traditional still life approach, it quickly morphed into an exploration of the shapes through juxtaposition of fabric and paper, trying to create animated but believable forms. It was a lot of fun.

6.) What would you say to all of the other aspiring artists out there?

I had difficulty with this questions because it seems to presume that  I've arrived somewhere when, in fact, I feel like I'm constantly striving myself. The answer below is what I deeply believe.

Persistence, persistence, persistence. Very little happens overnight and real progress occurs over years. Never give up. Always believe that you have a unique voice, unlike any other artist. Have the courage to believe in this voice. Malcolm Gladwell makes this point about persistence in his book The Outliers. In it he talks about the 10,000-Hour Rule, saying that the way to success in many fields is, to a great extent, based on practicing a specific task for a sum total of about 10,000 hours. I haven't been counting--but I may be getting close.

L'Eau de Vie, ©2010, collage
 For the complete article as it appeared in the Monday edition, check out the California Aggie.


  1. Oh my! I loved seeing the original objects! Quite a colorful tropical transformation they had. As though they hopped a plane and went on a wonderful vacation in a faraway land and wrapped themselves in bright, bold colors and danced with native fruit. So beautiful to behold. Thank you, too, posting the interview for it is a lovely look into how you've grown as an artist and how you approach your work.

  2. Amelia--thank you for your perceptive comment. I love the image that you've created--it's a poem in itself!

  3. Hannah I saw the show today and your work shouted to me from across the room. The colors are so rich and your collages beautiful and interesting in their multitude of layers, textures, and materials.

  4. Wow--thank you. Its that mixture of texture, color and form that drives me--keeps me going--feeds me.

  5. I'm a bit jealous that I can't have the experience that Lynn describes but I can celebrate Amelia's 'poem' as I too take delight in seeing the 'trio' that prompted your wonderful Lesson of Things.
    Great series.

  6. Your work proves you have arrived. All of those hours of thinking about and designing the pieces mentally should count too. Great series of posts!

  7. The last 3 posts have been so interesting, reading your interview and seeing your beautiful work.
    The 10,000 hour rule peeked my curiosity :-)

  8. This sneak peak is gorgeous Hannah!! You've made still life alive, vibrant and animated life, for sure. The colors are so rich and vibrant, the shapes dance and vibrate. I, too, wish I could see the show in person!!

  9. Robyn,
    I first heard of the 10,000 hour rule in a radio interview with Squeak Carnwath ( and I tracked it down to Malcolm Gladwell.

    I wish you could too Karin! I'm thinking of you, sending your hands healing energy in vibrant, dancing hues.

  10. all such good advice here-- especially persistence and how important it is to creating unique art.

  11. It's true, even if sometimes persisting seems like the hardest thing to do.