System Status: Mail server SSL certificate updated; some older mail clients (e.g., Eudora) are having problems. See welltech.374 for more info.


inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #0 of 145: Hal Royaltey (hal) Sun 16 Jul 06 00:10
    
Ted Orland lives in Santa Cruz, California, where he  pursues parallel
careers in teaching, writing & photography. 
 
Having learned classical photography in the era of 4x5’s, he now teaches 
digital photography in the age of megapixels. Ted’s own photographic style 
is quirky, eclectic and somewhat difficult to categorize -- but if you’d 
like to try, examples are readily found at  www.tedorland.com.
 
Ted’s writings are (mercifully) more accessible. He is the co-author
(with David Bayles) of the best-selling book "Art & Fear", and author
of its newly-released companion volume, "The View From The Studio Door"
-- both self-published under the Image Continuum Press imprint.


Leading our discussion with Ted is Christina Florkowski (<chrys> here on 
the Well).  Chris has been making photographic images for more than 25 years.  
Like Ted, she began working in what we now fondly call ‘traditional methods’ 
using silver-based film and papers.  She spent a long time honing the skill 
of painting on photographs, a skill that has become nearly obsolete in the 
absence of suitable photographic papers. Needing to choose between abandoning 
image-making or taking up digital tools, she – with great angst – chose 
digital.  Her handpainted and digital work can be seen at her website:
www.chrisflorkowski.com.
 
Co-host of the Well’s Photography Conference,  she is also a founding 
member of the Salonista’s, the regular artist gathering Ted mentions 
in his book ‘The View From The Studio Door.’

Welcome to the Inkwell Ted and Chris!
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #1 of 145: Kindness does not require an infrastructure (chrys) Sun 16 Jul 06 08:46
    
Thanks Hal, and thank you for this opportunity to host Ted's
interview.


Knowing Ted as I have for a long time, I continue to be surprised to
learn new things about him.  Usually, this happens when I am present
at
a lecture, workshop or gallery opening where Ted is asked to introduce
himself.  So, I am looking forward to learning something new as I ask
Ted to tell us a little about his background – specifically about
those
things in his past that he feels contributed to landing him where he
is now as a photographer, educator and author.
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #2 of 145: Ted Orland (tedorland) Sun 16 Jul 06 11:52
    
I once read a book on famous naval battles that opened with the clear
disclaimer that the role of the historian was to lay a veneer of
seeming purpose and direction over what was, in truth, simply a case of
coping with all hell breaking loose all around you. For the longest
time I was sure that any description of my own life would necessarily
display that same caveat.

But now that the threads of my life -- the writing, the artmaking, the
teaching -- have each had about a half-century to play out, I realize
that I actually can trace each strand back to a few pivotal moments
and, more importantly, to meetings with a few remarkable people.

I spent my senior year in college apprenticing with master printer
Saul Marks of the Plantin Press, and following graduation worked for
several years for designer Charles Eames. Then in 1966 I enrolled
(somewhat on a whim) in a photography workshop that offered two weeks
in Yosemite with someone named Ansel Adams. Seemed innocent enough.
Changed my life. It took a few years, but slowly I disengaged the L.A.
design world and in 1971 moved north to Carmel to work as Ansel’s
assistant (and eventually to teach at his annual workshop for, as best
I recall, fifteen summers).


The neat thing about great people is that they have great friends.
(Birds of a feather, etc.) Ansel brought me into contact with other
legendary figures in the field like Beaumont Newhall and Imogen
Cunningham, while his workshops introduced me to fellow travelers from
my own generation like Sally Mann and David Bayles. It was in fact my
correspondence with these kindred spirits that led to my first effort
at self-publishing: a round-robin “Journal” for sharing our ideas (all
at a time long before the internet had been conceived).

So, looking back, I realize now that my life took a set early. All
that followed has been, in simplest terms, a matter of keeping my eye
on the far horizon, trying to hold to a steady compass bearing, and
hopefully having the chance to make a few mid-course corrections along
the way. My only other qualification -- no doubt the result of being a
Taurus -- is a certain stubborn perseverence. That helps too.
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #3 of 145: Kindness does not require an infrastructure (chrys) Sun 16 Jul 06 15:23
    
<It was in fact my correspondence with these kindred spirits that led
to my first effort at self-publishing: a round-robin “Journal” for
sharing our ideas (all at a time long before the internet had been
conceived).>

(Be careful Ted, someone may accuse you of claiming to have invented
the Internet.)

I guess you are speaking about Image Continuum there, yes?  Who was
involved with that and how where you able to pull that self-publishing
venture off before the days of computers and scanners?
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #4 of 145: Ted Orland (tedorland) Mon 17 Jul 06 14:53
    
Thirty-odd years ago the photographic community was so tiny that it
was entirely possible to know just about everyone who was seriously
involved in the medium. But with only one photography gallery (Witkin
in NYC) and only one serious magazine (Aperture) devoted to the art,
the problem was finding a way to make actual contact with your fellow
travelers.

In that regard, Ansel Adams’ annual Yosemite Workshops proved a
perfect place for aspiring photographers to meet. Each year his
workshop drew in about 60 students for two weeks of intensive
fieldwork, critiques and heavy-duty discussions. Each year (beginning
in 1967) I attended that workshop, and each year I’d come away with
another new circle of friends. 

But in the Era of Snail Mail there was one big problem to that
arrangement: at the end of each workshop we’d all return to our
far-flung homes, and there existed no mechanism for continuing a
round-robin conversation. 

It was against that backdrop, at one of those workshops in the early
1970’s, that a small group of us – myself, Sally Mann, Chris Johnson,
Robert Langham, Boone Morrison and David Bayles -- conjured up the idea
to form an artists’ group. We christened it The Image Continuum, and
laid plans for self-publishing a small Journal for sharing our
in-progress work and ideas and correspondence. At the time we were all
fledgling artists-to-be, lacking a single exhibit or published work
among the whole bunch of us — but all eager to make the future happen.

So in the weeks that followed the workshop, I’d borrow Ansel’s big IBM
Selectric typewriter, bring it home with me for the evening, and
re-type pages and pages of letters and writings I’d received from
others in the Group (and anyone else who expressed an interest). I’d
then take the typewritten pages down to Kinko’s to xerox. Since we
couldn’t afford halftone illustrations, we agreed that we’d each
contribute an edition of original silver prints to serve as the
Journal’s illustrations.

In the end we settled on an edition of one hundred copies of each
issue — the size of the edition set by our stamina at producing the
original prints we tipped-in to each copy. There was a lot of hand-work
involved – I remember David Bayles & I spending a full eight hours one
day dry-mounting everyone’s silver prints onto the letter-size sheets,
and then a couple more hours collating all the pages. 

The Journal brought us together as friends & artists, allowing us to
share our ideas and images years before we ever could have discovered
each other from appearances in galleries or magazines. No copies were
ever sold. It was for us alone. We simply divided all the copies among
those who had contributed words and images to the issue, and they in
turn gave away their copies to their artist friends. It was an artists’
community, and even if our efforts did not change the world, they did
change *us*.
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #5 of 145: Kindness does not require an infrastructure (chrys) Tue 18 Jul 06 16:45
    


There are a lot of interesting rabbit holes we could go down in that
response, Ted.  I’ll probably track back at some point,  but for now,
let’s move forward…

Was it the contribution to, and publication of, ‘The Image Continuum’
that sparked the project that resulted in your first book, ‘Man and
Yosemite’ and the whole notion of writing for publication? 
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #6 of 145: Ted Orland (tedorland) Tue 18 Jul 06 21:16
    

Curiously, “Man & Yosemite” both precedes *and* follows the Image
Continuum “Journal”. 

I developed a fascination with the history of Yosemite from the moment
I first visited the Valley in 1967. My curiosity was graciously
indulged by Ansel’s wife Virginia, who had a marvelous collection of
Western Americana in her library, including some excessively rare
memorabilia from Yosemite itself. And the Yosemite Museum – at the time
a tiny backwater in a sea of bureaucracy -- was flattered that anyone
was interested in their holdings. The curator there would happily lock
me into the museum's “Vault” in the morning, and I’d equally happily
peruse cartons and file drawers of old photographs all day long. For
days on end!

I was especially intrigued by that fact that (amazingly enough)
Yosemite was never visited by the white man until *after* the invention
of photography. As such, we have an almost continuous photographic
record of our relationship with this gentle wilderness. 

I didn’t really DO anything with all the knowledge I was collecting,
however, until about 1970, when I decided I needed a graduate degree in
order to apply for teaching jobs. So I enrolled at San Francisco State
University, which was just starting a new program called
Interdisciplinary Creative Arts -- and they pretty much left me to
define that title any way I liked.

Given that freedom, I chose to write about the early history of
Yosemite as it could be interpreted through photographs of the period.
And truly, it is fascinating to study successive images, each recording
the same space from a different point in time – it’s almost like
watching a time-lapse movie. You watch as forests progressively overrun
meadows; roads widen or move or disappear; and people come, bearing
rifles or frisbees, wagons or motorcycles. (After all, God may have
created Yosemite, but *man* created Yosemite National Park.)

Well, I could go on for pages – but hey, that’s why I wrote a book!
Suffice it to say that I had completed  my research and a fairly
complete draft of “Man & Yosemite” by 1972, but it was 1985 before I
was actually did the layout and design, and self-published it. 

And yes, the IC “Journals” -- coming inbetween those two dates -- no
doubt went a long way toward bolstering my confidence (and actually
preparing me) to undertake a “real” book.
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #7 of 145: Kindness does not require an infrastructure (chrys) Wed 26 Jul 06 08:44
    
I’ll bet there is a continuing connection between the IC Journals and
your next and - until ‘Art and Fear’ came along - my favorite, of your
books: ‘Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity’. In fact – in many ways it
seems like a continuation of sorts. 

For those who may not be familiar with ‘Scenes of Wonder and
Curiosity’ it is a record of Ted’s letters to Sally Mann liberally
sprinkled with images of the time represented by the correspondence. It
is funny, and sharp and provides insights into Ted’s development as an
artist, instructor and author.   It is one of those unusual books that
defy categorization as it isn’t simply a coffee table book of great
images, nor is it simply a collection of correspondence – it is very
nearly a history of its time.  The vignettes with Imogen Cunningham and
Ansel Adams walking across the page are rich and are by themselves
worth the price of admission. (One of my favorite stories is of Paul
Caponigro stealthily seeking an alternative darkroom to Ansel’s…) And
it is great to have a collection of Orland classic images (ie. ‘Gate
and Guard Dog’  ‘The Death of West Coast Photography: An Allegorical
Portrait’ etc.)

For me, ‘Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity’ is just a step away from ‘Art
and Fear’ (written with David Bayles) and your new book ‘The View from
the Studio Door.’  One can read the ‘Scenes of Wonder’ the stories of
the frustrations and delights of teaching art, the struggles of doing
your own work, relating different approaches to art-making and the
thrill of those moments when the planets align and the image is made.
Perhaps you can say something about the path traveled from ‘Scenes of
Wonder and Curiosity’ to the recent books.

(Everybody, pull up the lawn chairs, this could take a while and it
will be fun!)
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #8 of 145: Ted Orland (tedorland) Wed 26 Jul 06 13:49
    
Ah, Chris, you’ve found me out: I really am a one-trick pony!
Everything I’ve written has been pretty much drawn from life, as it
were. And of course that’s doubly true for my photography. 

The wonderful thing about photography (at least in its pre-digital
form) is that it’s intensely experiential. Simply put, to make a
photograph, you actually have to BE THERE. Getting there, of course, is
the tricky part. My theory – admittedly putting the cart before the
horse -- is that if you lead an interesting life, you’ll make
interesting art. (How could it be otherwise?) And so I try (albeit with
mixed success) to pick interesting paths to follow, and then let my
art follow along in its wake.

Over the years, however, I’ve slowly gravitated toward the written
word. Perhaps I’m just slowing down and find it easier to sit at a word
processor than climb a mountain on any given day, but there are
artistic reasons as well. For one thing, my photographic career sure
doesn’t seem to be building to a grand Wagnerian climax with a
one-person show at MOMA, and so there’s good reason for me to find
other ways to share my ideas. After all, maybe two thousand of my
prints have found good homes over the past few decades, but two hundred
thousand copies of Art & Fear have found readers in just the past few
years. That opportunity, all by itself, is a major incentive to throw
more energy into the writing. 
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #9 of 145: Kindness does not require an infrastructure (chrys) Wed 26 Jul 06 14:10
    

It seems though - that you are going a step further with "View from
the Studio Door' in that you wish to engage in a *dialogue* with the
readers, yes? Why is that?  

Did you and David get much reader feedback from 'Art & Fear'?
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #10 of 145: therese (therese) Wed 26 Jul 06 14:32
    
I brought a hammock and a cooler! 

Thanks, Chris, for hosting this interview, and welcome, Ted.  I really
like the questions you posed in 'The View from the Studio Door.'
There's a richness to be had in attempting to answer them. I also
really appreciate the generosity of your spirit in sharing your
experiences and perspective with us, providing a rough map for artists,
with your book.  
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #11 of 145: Ted Orland (tedorland) Wed 26 Jul 06 15:33
    
In answer to Chris' comment about establishing a dialog with readers
-- Yes,“The View” was designed from the word Go with reader feedback in
mind. I just love the idea that books don’t have to be monologues –
that they could instead be slowly-evolving conversations (sort of like
playing chess by mail). In the back of the book, in fact, I even listed
the email address for reaching me with their observations.

Besides, The View clearly provides more questions than answers -- in
fact thru many early drafts its working title was “Questions Worth
Asking”. That’s one reason for the large side margins on the pages of
that book -- to provide space for readers to jot down their own
stories, ideas, counter-arguments to the ideas they’re reading about.
I’m really attracted to the idea of incorporating such insights from
readers into future printings. (Ha! -- such optimism to think there
even WILL be “future printings!)

Those margins are also in some sense a delayed response to feedback
from readers of Art & Fear, many of whom have commented on the need for
more page space for adding their own annotations to that text. I think
that the lack of a space to "save" your ideas as you read may be one
reason why most of the comments we've received from readers of Art &
Fear have been fairly broad-based. With The View, I’ve already received
as much *specific* feedback about *specific* text passages in the past
three months as we’ve received about Art & Fear over the past decade.
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #12 of 145: Hal Royaltey (hal) Wed 26 Jul 06 16:23
    

 NOTE: Offsite readers with questions or comments can email them to:
 
 <inkwell@well.com> 

 to have them added to this conversation.
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #13 of 145: Diane Brown (debunix) Wed 26 Jul 06 18:01
    
I've been looking at your website, Ted, and reading what you said
about "Man and Yosemite", I see how consistent the images on the site
are in capturing the relationship between people and their environment.
 In a beautiful natural setting where I might be cursing the man-made
object that is interfering with my now-spoiled vista, you find a way to
celebrate both, with grace and good humor. 

That seems like a smart strategy to remove some stress from the
photographic life.  
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #14 of 145: Kindness does not require an infrastructure (chrys) Wed 26 Jul 06 22:00
    
Welcome Therese and Diane!  It is good to see familar friends from the
Photography Conference.

Therese, if you don't mind me aiming a question at you, have you found
a  particular question (or line of questioning) particularly useful?
If so, which question might that be?  
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #15 of 145: Kindness does not require an infrastructure (chrys) Wed 26 Jul 06 22:07
    
Diane, have you ever seen Ted's poster "Photographic Truths"?  

Your comment reminds me - in a round about way -  of one of the
'truths' featured on it: 


"The best scenic views are clearly designated by highway signs reading
"No Stopping Anytime"."
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #16 of 145: therese (therese) Thu 27 Jul 06 06:34
    
The question that resonates deeply with me is, 'What makes art worth
doing?'  I'm fifty years old; when I was forty-five I sold a small
business I had and I started writing.  I wrote a screenplay, then a
novel from the screenplay, and then I began a second novel, one that I
am in the middle of writing right now.  During that time I picked up a
camera for the first time in my life and when I'd take long walks, I
started taking photos.  I fell in love with photography. Now I spend my
days writing and taking photos. 

Ted's book brings up some of the questions I have faced as I've made
the decision to spend my days doing this.  There is a bit of terror
involved in gambling on yourself this way, and in the beginning you
have nothing to show for it but an idea of what you think you might be
able to do.  So the question, 'What makes art worth doing?' is one I
ask myself every day.
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #17 of 145: putting your geek boots on (marvy) Thu 27 Jul 06 07:36
    
Hi, Ted. Another damn photographer named Chris here. I just received my copy
of "The View..." so I'll endeavor to participate in this conversation a bit.

Oh, also should mention that I took a  class with you at Penland School of
Craft. Probably in the late seventies (sheesh, we're old, sorry to remind
everyone). Oh, and I have a print of yours on the wall of my cabin. So,
hello again, look forward to the book and what you have to say about it.
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #18 of 145: Ted Orland (tedorland) Thu 27 Jul 06 08:33
    
Hi Therese!  It appears our lives follow parallel tracks. I worked
straight 9-to-5 jobs until finally stepping off that particular
treadmill at about age 40. Later I taught at Stanford & Univ of Oregon
for a few years before concluding that fulltime teaching was so
psychically draining that I had no energy left for my own artmaking.
Now I teach part-time at a community college, photograph whatever
crosses my path, and write about things that interest me. There’s no
shortage of downsides to leading a life of economic levitation, but
*nothing* outweighs the satisfaction that comes with following a path
of your own choosing. 

All that’s just to lay the groundwork for saying that it’s my sense
that the question you raise -- “What makes art worth doing?” --  must
surely be closely intertwined with another question: “What makes life
worth living?”  If you can resolve one, it will carry the other along
for the ride. Some people (like me) find their calling in art, and it
changes their lives; others lead a rich life, and it either informs
their art or – probably more often – that life *is* their art. 
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #19 of 145: Kindness does not require an infrastructure (chrys) Thu 27 Jul 06 08:50
    

Welcome <marvy>!

 
Ted, for *years* I have been saying that 'Art and Fear' needn't be
limited to artists - that most people face the same issues in their
lives regardless of how they make their livelihood.  

In fact, I'd seen it as a very nearly perfect book. 

And yet, Ted, you obviously felt there was more that needed
addressing. What was it that made you jump back in to produce "The View
From The Studio Door"?     
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #20 of 145: Ted Orland (tedorland) Thu 27 Jul 06 10:05
    

Hi Chris-from-Penland. 

First, a brief overview for the uninitiated amongst you: Penland
School of Crafts is a truly wonderful arts center nestled up in the
Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It offers a broad array of
two-week live-in summer workshops in disciplines ranging from
glassblowing to ceramics to weaving to photography (and more).

I’m a big fan of workshops, and include an extended passage about them
in The View. The particular workshop you mention brings back fond
memories of volleyball games and llamas and wild electrical storms and
communal meals and lotsa comraderie. And oh, right, artmaking was all
rolled into that ball as well.

I also recall one particular facet of Penland that revealed -- well,
that a bit of the Old South was still alive and well. It turned out
that back in 1980 (and maybe still) North Carolina allowed alcohol
sales to be regulated on a county by county basis – and as luck would
have it, Penland was in a “dry” county. 

So once a week we’d send a runner off to to buy gin & related
beverages from the nearest “wet” county that had a state-run liquor
store, which for us turned out to be in Asheville, about 60 miles away.

Well, the second or third time our courier went into the Asheville ABC
store, the clerk took our wish-list, returned with the requested
items, placed them on the counter, looked both ways, and then added in
a low voice, “Here’s your order, but if you’d like to get some of the
really good stuff...” --- at which point he proceeded to reach under
the counter and pull out a jug of 200-proof bootleg WHITE LIGHTNING
moonshine! At the State Liquor Store!

Well, suffice it to say that the spiked lemonade at our parties that
summer became a permanent addition of the legend & lore of Penland. It
may also be the reason my memories of the workshop are so pleasantly
fuzzy….
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #21 of 145: Ted Orland (tedorland) Thu 27 Jul 06 14:45
    
(This is in response to Chris’ comment about the path from “Art &
Fear” to “The View”.)

Yes, “Art & Fear” *is* a nearly perfect book (the co-author modestly
allows). Actually I feel comfortable saying that because more than half
the credit for its success assuredly belongs with David Bayles – at
the core of things, “Art & Fear” was David’s brainchild, and he worked
for a year or more developing much of its structure before approaching
me with the idea of collaborating to push it ahead. Even at that, it
took another eight years or so to bring it to closure.

And yes, the two books do explore different territory. “Art & Fear”
focused directly on the day-to-day obstacles that artists face when
they sit down at their easel or keyboard and try to get at the work
they need to do. David & I shared the conviction that the essential
first step to building a life in the arts is simply getting past the
obstacles that keep that initial brushstroke from ever reaching the
canvas in the first place. “Art & Fear” attempted to provide advice &
strategies for reaching precisely that end.

In “The View From The Studio Door”, conversely, I tried to take aim on
larger issues that stand to either side of that artistic moment of
truth. I wanted to explore questions up to and including the dreaded,
“What is Art?” -- in other words, the kind of questions that would
probably leave you completely paralyzed if you asked them while
standing there paintbrush in hand. But on the flip side, if you *never*
engage the large questions, you might lose (or never develop) the
desire to pick up the paintbrush in the first place.

I think one significant common denominator between A&F and View (and
one reason they’ve found an audience in the art community) is that both
books look at artmaking from the artists perspective -- not via
external probings from academic researchers or pop psychologists or art
historians. 

And from a strictly literary standpoint, both books fill a vacuum in
the way art is approached and discussed. It may not be evident now, but
at the time Art & Fear was published, there was *nothing* on the
bookstore shelves dealing with -- as the book’s subtitle reads -- “the
Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking”. For analogously the same reason,
there’s no obvious shelf space today in bookstores for The View, which
examines the nature of artmaking – its relationship to history and
society and the marketplace and the art establishment and education --
from that same artist’s perspective. It remains to be seen whether "The
View From The Studio Door" will avoid the Remainder Table long enough
to establish its own niche, but I was determined to at least *try* to
lay the groundwork for a practical philosophy of artmaking for all of
us who attempt to make art on a continuing basis.
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #22 of 145: Gail Williams (gail) Thu 27 Jul 06 17:58
    

One wonderful this is that it is small.  I thought of Elements of Style 
and other small books that concentrate wisdom, though this is not 
technical.  I think that picking this up in a bookstore one can tell it 
is of value and there's no question that the reader can either choose to
savor or devour it.  I hope that makes it irresistable.  
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #23 of 145: Kindness does not require an infrastructure (chrys) Thu 27 Jul 06 23:58
    
Ted, way back in an earlier post, you wrote

<With The View, I’ve already received as much *specific* feedback
about *specific* text passages in the past three months as we’ve
received about Art & Fear over the past decade.>

Are there any themes to the feedback you are receiving? Do readers
resonate with particular questions?  Has anyone offered useful answers?


And a reminder to those not on the Well who may be reading this: Your
questions, comments or observations are welcome and can be contributed
by emailing <inkwell@well.com>.  
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #24 of 145: (bratwood) Fri 28 Jul 06 07:47
    
Hi Ted,
Thanks for being here. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts. I
went back to school in 2001 to study printmaking and took one drawing
course in the process. Our instructor didn't seem to think any of us
needed specific drawing instruction. So he read to us, every class,
from "Art & Fear." A wonderful way to spend the afternoon drawing, if
the book isn't already on tape, it's a perfect candidate.
    I'm currently doing research on creative innovation process as
part of a master's program. Specifically, I'm looking at the cross
pollination between artists' books movement and graphic design. Of
course the overlap between the fine and applied arts has been debated
forever. Academics are all over the board there. I am especially
interested to hear your ideas on art education and fostering
creativity. It seems some instructors focus on technique, some on
concept, and none on methodology. I wonder what is on the horizon.
    I think "Practice Led Research" in the fine arts is going to be a
tremendous influence in coming decades.  I recently participated in an
online discussion of this trend. Led by Professor Ken Friedman (seminal
figure in Fluxus), it was a substantial insight into the growth of new
knowledge in the arts -- knowledge coming from practicing artists as
opposed to researchers and historians without arts experience. It ought
to be fascinating to watch this trend develop. 
  
inkwell.vue.278 : Ted Orland - "The View From The Studio Door"
permalink #25 of 145: Ted Orland (tedorland) Fri 28 Jul 06 11:09
    
Well, I can see I’m in grave danger of falling behind the curve here
in keeping up with the new postings. As Chris -- our moderator here,
and a long-time friend -- could tell you, my usual writing style
performs at a one-sentence-per-hour pace.

At any rate, Gail’s entry (#38) struck a very responsive chord with
me. When David & I were working on “Art & Fear”, Strunk & White’s “The
Elements of Style” was quite literally our role model for good writing
– not their advice per se, but the writing itself. The text in
“Elements” is clear, interesting, pithy and mercifully brief. And it’s
completely free from fluff -- you learn something from every sentence
in that book. We figured that if we could capture those qualities in
our book – well, that in itself would be a worthwhile accomplishment. 

BTW, in perusing books at the bookstore I often run a simple control
test for those very qualities. My approach, upon picking up any book,
is to randomly open it (in the manner of cutting a deck of cards) and
read one paragraph from whatever page I’ve landed on. Perhaps
surprisingly, it’s amazingly easy to tell from just that snippet
whether the rest of the book will prove interesting (or readable).
  

More...



Members: Enter the conference to participate

Subscribe to an RSS 2.0 feed of new responses in this topic RSS feed of new responses

 
   Join Us
 
Home | Learn About | Conferences | Member Pages | Mail | Store | Services & Help | Password | Join Us

Twitter G+ Facebook