I am posting a day late today because of a surprise CBC radio interview which not only preempted my plans for the day but derailed the post I had planned to write. The interview was in connection with a show I am participating in that opens this Saturday, July 13, at the MAG. The show’s title is Ten Thousand Hours, which refers to the idea that it takes roughly that amount of time, about ten years, to become expert or proficient in your field. The group I am exhibiting with is the Stinking Fish Artists. It is an eclectic group, working in a variety of mediums, most of whom I am sure have spent that amount of time and more on developing their art and craft. And it shows. I have only had a little peak at the show but what I saw blew me away! What a privilege it is to be showing with this talented group once again.
What I realized yesterday was that it has been exactly ten years since I not only took my first printmaking course but also since I first joined this group, about a month later. And here we are 10 years later putting on a show called Ten Thousand Hours (and it wasn’t my idea!). What serendipity!
Of course time and practise alone do not make you an expert in your field. But it certainly makes you better at what you do! People often think an artist is born with a talent for art. I think the talent lies in a certain ability to process experiences and insights and the willingness to share those insights with the world. The skill to do this well is what takes time and practise. And it is passion and heart that makes an artist spend the time on his craft. I invite you all to come out to see the works of these passionate artists. Show runs July 11 – August 4, Thursday -Sunday, 12-5pm.
Sake, the photo etching above is one I did a few weeks ago as a demo for the class I was teaching. It is an evocative still life of objects dear to me for their connection with times and places in my life, in particular with Japan, where I was introduced to the art of printmaking.
For comparison, the print below, untitled, is an alumigraph print I did in my first printmaking class ten years ago.
This print is long gone but Sake, a 3.5″x5″ photopolymer gravure etching, is offered this week at $70, unframed or $90, framed.
What are your thoughts on the idea of ten thousand hours? Or about what makes a great artist?