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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Art & Fear, Epilogue

Honestly, I really wasn’t planning to do a third post about Art & Fear. However, the book so nicely addressed some of the excellent comments that have been made, that I felt the need to take the opportunity to add a few more quotes.

Mark raised the superb question (check out his blog called Notes From The Woods) that:

“………I can understand the perfection aspirations of our own work - but what about when we look at another photographer's image, perhaps one of our "heros" - and label that as perfect? We establish a previsualization of "perfection" and then attempt to get there ourselves. Then we will probably subject ourselves to disappointing image after image trying to achieve, perhaps not a replication of the same image, but one that achieves that status in our own eyes…….”

Bayles and Orland make a wonderful observation about comparisons to other, perhaps more accomplished and/or famous, artists:

“But the important point here is not that you have – or don’t have – what other artist’s have, but rather that it doesn’t matter. Whatever they have is something needed to do their work – it wouldn’t help you in your work even if you had it. Their magic is theirs. You don’t lack it. You don’t need it. It has nothing to do with you. Period.” (page 34).

I realize this is not exactly a specific response to the comment, as Mark really questions the use of another’s work as a standard of perfection as opposed to comparing one’s inner talent to someone elses, but, still, it partially addresses the issue in what I feel is a rather remarkable way.

Dave wisely commented that:

“I have taken to sitting in my local state park and concentrating on the things that I feel the park offers to me personally. Birds, sounds, feelings etc. and working on getting the shots that best portray that emotion to me. I know folks that visit want to see the main attractions and mostly they blow through the area without giving thought to what is going on around them. That is the part that makes up "my personal portfolio". From that point on if someone chooses to like my work, then they are getting a piece of me.”

Somewhere in Art & Fear there is a comment that uses your phrase almost exactly, about people getting a piece of the artist when they like or buy an artist’s work. I wish I could find the exact phrase they used…..I wonder why I didn’t highlight that one. However, I did highlight this quote that also applies:

"And so you make your place in the world by making part of it – by contributing some new part to the set. And surely one of the more astonishing rewards of artmaking comes when people make time to visit the world you have created. Some, indeed, may even purchase a piece of your world to carry back and adopt as their own. Each new piece of your art enlarges our reality. The world is not yet done.” (page 69).

Adiemus (check out her blog) notes:

“I paint, and although I start a painting with a concept in mind, by the time it's 'finished' (is it ever finished?) although it may still convey a sense of the original concept…….”

Is it ever finished? What a great question….one that has apparently plagued many artists, including Bayles and Orland who say:

“The really critical decisions facing every artist – like, say, knowing when to stop – cannot be learned from viewing end results.”

Again, I just felt like I had to throw a few more quotes out there. Get the book. ‘Nuff said. I promise that is the end. Tomorrow, no more Art & Fear!