The clay says regularly to the potter that its preference is not to become a pot, and fights back. The artist/potter must invoke habits of mastery over the tools and materials required. It is interesting to note however that the potter gets intimately involved with the clay...right up to his elbows caked deeply in the mud, willingly involved in the mess. He expects the pot to fight back, reflecting relationship and not the numbness of the automaton. The wrestle includes him using his providential will as he intentionally places the pot into a fierce crucible of intensity to be hardened for endurance. This may happen on more than one occasion as he beautifies the piece, layer by layer, ultimately making something that even centuries later can be still of great value and beauty.
The act of picking up a marking device and making a mark sets me off on the marathon. A series of marks made regularly with consistent repetitiveness brings the beginnings of something subconsciously habitual. Years of mark making bring me a little closer to the idea of the pain threshold the runner often experiences...that of breaking through to that second wind where I can fly and compete. This is the ongoing discipline of back breaking repetitive and yet fulfilling lonely endeavor. No one else can make the marks for me. No one else can live our life for us. One must have the courage to make ones own marks. Habits in the arts whether writing, sculpting, haute cuisine or music making all have the same foundation. To consummate excellence is to have achieved the disciplined habits that are chosen and developed through the deep waters of secluded adversity, instead of being easily discarded.
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,“You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”?” Isaiah 29:16 NIV
Lakeland Mist 40" X 60" Acrylic on Canvas
Copyright: J. Douglas Thompson 2011