Try On a New Medium October 04 2013, 0 Comments


Working in photography for the past two decades has taught me the physics of light and the human visual spectrum of color. No matter how advanced the technology becomes, if you can’t measure light and have no understanding of how color and human vision record what we see, you will never be a master of photography. Technical aspects do change and take years to learn. But photography has taught me something else necessary to capture the landscape, patience. Over the years I have gotten quite fluid with respect to capturing light. I can estimate light and camera settings quickly and as a consequence, work quickly when necessary.

But I found a renewed appreciation for some of my artist friends when I tried on a new medium. My friend Kris is an amazing potter. He throws pottery the way I take images. As I watched him work I thought, cool. I can do that! So I signed up for some individual lessons. I spent nearly a year just working on the basic fundamentals of throwing. While Kris could throw a pot in ten minutes, I struggled to throw one worthy of saving in a couple of hours. I struggled with hand placement, and how much pressure to apply on the clay. I struggled with when to lift a piece from the wheel.  I often added too much water when the wheel was in motion or just the opposite, not enough.

This is way good art costs. We are not paying for the ten minutes it took someone like Kris to make the pottery, we are paying him for the years he spent learning how to craft his pottery in ten minutes.

While I have always maintained this mind set with regard to my own work, it had been some time since I was reminded of the years my fellow artists’ have spent developing their own art. And their skill being no less than mine warrants the same appreciation.

I thought it wonderfully interesting to try on another artists medium for a while. Look out…next, I am going to paint!