Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Coffee, Black

I’ve decided that I’d rather do without the taste of sugar than use any of the alternatives. They all suck.
Well, that’s it then.
We’re going to black and not looking back.
Splenda is for pussies.

I’ve been having sort of an ongoing discussion with Gene Wolfe about doing things with ‘joyful abandon.’ I think, if I don’t pay attention, I might forget how.

Fearless, happy abandon came so naturally back when I had a rubber skeleton, jumping from the roof of my parent’s house. Jumping with a bucket on my head took things to a whole new level.
It was worth the punishment.
Dessert is for pussies.

I sometimes paint with the same reckless joy I apply to dancing with Orion. Or, in really good moments, I think that way, getting completely lost in the color blue, or ‘seeing’ tonal music as shapes.

Mostly, making art seems to be about discipline. The work requires reason and deeper emotion, experience and skill, tools and knowledge. It requires being aware of cause and effect, and of actions and consequences.

Sometimes the discipline is a matter of keeping at that one thing until I get it right.
Sometimes getting that one thing right is more important than just about anything else. Sometimes that one thing---that light, that paragraph, that step, that angle, that inflection--- will define everything that comes after.
Once in a while, getting it right takes just about everything I’ve got.
Sleep is for pussies.

The real trick is knowing whether the matter calls for keeping at it, or for letting it go. Sometimes the right thing is to just paint a snowflake over it and move on.

There are consequences for choosing keep at it, when I should let it go, and vice versa.

I was told once that it usually takes about ten years to figure this out.
They were right, it does.

Currently, I’m keeping at it, and drinking coffee, black.



ravyn said...

well at least you didn't say CHOCOLATE is for pussies!


lisa said...

Fat free, sugar free chocolate is for pussies. chirp chirp

Jason Erik Lundberg said...

Well said.

Janet and I have gone off of sugar substitutes as well (after reading some pretty nasty things about Splenda and NutraSweet), but you could use unrefined brown sugar instead. It's a much more natural form of sugar and a lot better than the subs are. For someone like me with a big-time sweet tooth, it's a necessity.

K said...

Meow, meow.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I'm glad you talk about things like this. Often artists talk in vague, airy statements in regards to creating art and, its not that I don't appreciate that, but it seems more real and natural to have an artist admit that there is real work involved, that discipline is required, and that there can be a struggle between being creative and spontaneous and the mechanics of working at creating art. Thank you!

lisa said...

Hi Carl. Thanks for seeing it. Lots of times when I point at something I suspect people are mostly staring at my finger.

Sometimes the studio can be an otherworldly, visionary space. Most times it's filled with dust and sweat, the drone of power tools, cussing and people loudly ordering lunch in Spanish.

vandaluna said...

Well dang gurrrl! You say "pussy" like it is a bad thing! ;-) I always felt being called a pussy is a high honor... unlike being called a dick! ::ducks::


ravyn said...

better dick than PRICK!!!!

lisa said...

Alright, people. Settle down. And, while you're at it, stop looking at my finger. The post is about creating art.
sheesh. Can't take you two anywhere! You know who you are.

vandaluna said...

I just have this deep yearning to know where that finger's been. ::snicker:: So you must excuse my obsessive nature with fingers.

Ever looked at an old man's hands? They are brilliant and beautiful and just imagining where they've been...

Dang! I'll shut up now...or maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I saw your entry on sugar and thought you might like to read about this:

There is a non-Australian website also, but this one seemed to have a clearer explanation of the product and how cool it is!

I have tasted it, it tastes exactly like sugar.


MD - Perth, Australia

Anonymous said...

PS: I love your work!