Size: 4.875"W x 7"H x 1"D
Year Created: 2017
Ready to Hang
Mixed media collage. Acrylic and paper on wood panel.
In the book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, the author Shunryu Suzuki says, "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few." Meaning, in a vessel that's already full, there is no room to add to it. I try to remind myself of that concept again and again. Both when I fear I'm a fraud who doesn't know what the hell he's doing, and when I'm sure that I'm a genius. There was a wonderful artist I once knew, and he would always say "I try". He was handsome (Italian), charming (Italian) and successful and could have been a complete asshole, but he remained humble and gracious. So I copy him, and say I am trying. In art, as in life, I am a beginner. In my youth I had the choice between a scholarship for art or for ballet. I chose the School of American Ballet in NYC and went on to become a professional dancer. After many joyful years performing, through initiative and good luck, I entered a second life in graphic design. I bought myself an "iMac" (before there was an Apple Store), taught myself the graphics apps, got an assistant's job in a design studio, and worked my way up to a thankfully successful career. I'd taken drawing classes over the years, but other than a sabbatical to study 3D animation and graphics, I am largely self-taught. Several years ago, due to health, it became increasingly difficult to work. I stopped making things for a while. It became harder and harder to use my hands, which informs my choices today. I struggle to reinvent myself every day and find a new "voice" and I'm slowly experimenting with different ways I can create. I have proficiency with the computer and am very interested in still using it as another tool in the box. Yet I want to extricate myself from my years with a mouse and cold screen, and return to physical, palpable media. Slow and warm. So, I go on "trying", and hope to always be. In New York City with the help of my husband and cat. - Jeff