Thoughts from an artist’s wife
March 19, 2015
“When art critics get together, they talk about form and structure and meaning. When artists get together, they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine” Pablo Picasso
The first time we went to Jackson, Wyoming for the Fall Arts Festival, we were introduced to several artists. Mingling and rubbing shoulders with them for a few days was fun and exciting. Watching them paint and sculpt in the Quick Draw was truly amazing. But one of the things that sticks out most in my mind was how “normal” they all were. I have no idea what i was expecting them to be but I guess I thought they might be more…. standoffish…..more introverted…..more….ok, a little wierd I guess. But all of them were like one of your friends and neighbors. They were just there doing their job like anybody else. They were friendly. They were funny. They were sooo talented!
Over the last few years as Dan has become more involved in doing his own art, we have become good friends with several other artists, particularly other contemporary metal artists. We admire them, we learn from them, and we enjoy visiting with them.
Like most situations in life, when you think you are the only one struggling, you can always find others who have even more challenges and yet they just keep on going. We celebrate the successes of our artist friends because we know they have paid the price to get to where they are, and we feel their support and encouragement for us.
And seriously, who else could better sympathize with you than another metal artist when a well-meaning patron tells you that she just loves the sound it makes when she runs her keys over your shiny stainless steel sculpture! That happened to us during an install of a new Art Around the Corner exhibit in St. George. This sweet lady told how she walked by Dan’s sculpture every day, and everyday she would run her keys over the stainless steel pipes. There was dead silence in the whole group of artists! What she was meaning to be a compliment, was more than a little disconcerting!! What do ya do……attempt to smile and say…..t h a n k s??
In another week we’ll be in St. George again for another install and we’ll have a chance to mingle with friends and associates. We look forward to getting up to date on all their accomplishments and maybe learning a few new tricks of the trade.
Spring is beautiful in St. George!
THOUGHTS FROM AN ARTIST’S WIFE
March 11, 2015
“I think artistry is in having an insight into what one sees around them. Generally putting things together in a way no one else has before.”
Some of my favorite evenings in the shop are when Dan is busy working on a sculpture and he’ll ask me to put together some ideas for him. I look through the shelves of found objects, fall off pieces, and piles of steel, feeling like I’m back in school and the teacher just gave an intriguing creative art assignment. “Take these objects and create a masterpiece!” he says enthusiastically. I pick out three items and start playing with ways to put them together. Sometimes it just doesn’t work and I have to start over (as Dan reminds me–again–that you can’t weld steel to aluminum….but if you could– I’d have some beautiful creations!)
But, sometimes things do go together and I actually come up with a “rough draft” of a good idea! Dan will look it over, tweak it a little here and there, weld it, polish it, and low and behold– it’s a sculpture!
Even though I’ve only had a small part in creating it, I still get to feel that great feeling of excitement and satisfaction at seeing a piece of art that had it’s beginning in my mind and heart.
Someone once asked Dan which of his sculptures was his favorite and he responded, “They are like my kids…..they are all my favorite.”
The idea of adding a blog to the website seemed like a good way to personalize things. Give a little insight into the what, why, and how the sculptures came to be, and a way of getting to know Dan a little better. It seemed like a good idea.
The only problem is Dan would much rather have a welding torch in his hand than a pen or pencil. Unless, of course, the pencil is for sketching and not writing. Hence–he came up with the idea of “Thoughts from an artist’s wife“. It was a slick way out of it, I’ll give him that. But then I admit, I am his biggest fan!
So we hope you’ll check in with us once a week, or so–to find out what is new on the welding bench. The words on the page may be mine but the thoughts and feelings come from both of us. That is part of the fun in this whole journey, working together to see what we can create.
“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso
I love that our twoyearold grandson knows what Grandpa’s “culpechuhs” are and can point them out all around the house and yard. To our three year old, they are “sciptures”. They know what they are even before they can really pronounce it . I love that all of our grandkids not only recognize art but take it very seriously and enjoy making their own creations, whether it’s sculpture, painting, pottery, or whatever. We consider them all “emerging artists” and we try to encourage them and give them opportunities to show their work. One grandson designed and completed his first sculpture (with his dad doing the welding) at the age of about six. Another, at the age of seven, created his own design (with Grandpa doing the welding) and did a presentation on sculpture building for his school class. And still another is impatiently waiting for his turn in the shop.
Dan has often said that creating metal sculpture is like a second childhood for him. I guess it’s no wonder the boys enjoy being with him so much. I hope they always stay young enough to be artists!