Monthly Archives: January 2022


Self taught artists can really bring a new approach to their creative expression. If you didn’t study someone else’s method, you create your own method. We’re all influenced by things we have seen, and inspired by what someone else has done. For some of us, this can be the source of anxiety on some level. We doubt ourselves, and tend to judge our own work on what others have made. Even if we don’t critique our work harshly, someone else will. It’s what people do. I can learn a lot from other people, even if I don’t want my art to look like theirs. I can glean some technique that will solve a problem or enhance my practice, incorporating that skill into my visual vocabulary.

Art school was a brief time in my life, and I remember very little of what was said to me there. Besides, my walls were up. I felt intimidated in those days. I documented a few exchanges that entertain, if not guide me to this day. They were not about technique, but about expression… about those walls. My approach to life was rigid. I judged everything and everybody. Someone must have marched around me with shofars because now I only find pieces in the rubble.

Paljain jaloin lumessa

Barefoot in the snow

A couple of weeks ago, a friend suggested I go out into the snow barefooted. “It will be invigorating” she said. So I gave it a try. I thought it would be miserable, and that I would go running back into the house after a couple of seconds. It actually felt wonderful. I stayed out there longer than I thought I would, and it’s definitely something I’d like to do again.

Self care

Someone asked me this evening what self care looks like to me.  I said it was taking time to do my art.  This is a strange season.  I have lots of time, and it’s really too cold to enjoy the outdoors much, so I make pottery, and paint.  This winter, my art process is even more insulated than usual.  New strains of COVID-19 are out there.  I’m more self contained than I was last year, because I have my own kiln.  It’s the perfect time to practice throwing pots, and try new glaze techniques.  Still, I feel isolated, and I crave conversations about art.  I became a full member of the local artists league, hoping it would give me the chance to connect with other artists, over video chats.  That hasn’t quite happened yet.  So I watch videos of painters and potters, and try to learn as much as I can.  People seem nervous about 2022.  I see it as an opportunity to develop new skills and find new ways to present my artistic voice.

The hands of fate

Tonight I started glazing a new bunch of jars and bottles. I can’t say that any one part of the pottery process is more fun than another. It just takes a long time to get to the glazing, and then that final firing when the truth is revealed. The big payoff or heartbreak comes when the kiln cools and I see who they turned out to be. I learn something new with each round. I’m doing something similar to last time, but maybe more simplified. And this time I don’t have all those expectations about exactly what they will look like. I try to predict what the glaze will do, of course. I have to have a reason for applying it the way I do. But then I must leave it in the hands of fate.  

I wish I could forget what I did and why, so the results will just be what they are.  I also want to remember exactly what I did, so I can replicate those wonderful surprises that appear around or in spite of what I have contrived.