“Any artist who is evolving, who aims at getting better at what they are doing, is less likely to look charitably at their past work. You grow as an artist and you move on. And what you’ve left behind is never as satisfying as it was once upon a time. Nor is it as welcome as what interests us now. It has lost its luster. In a sense these pots have died for us, and at this stage they aren’t much more than the clay they were made from and a distant memory of the dreams we once had….” – Carter Gillies
[Carter Gillies is a potter and blogger who has a PhD in Philosophy as well as a Masters in Fine Art. Suffice it to say, his posts always make you think!]
I read this passage in one of Carter’s recent posts and it struck a chord. We certainly look at the work that comes out of our kiln today and feel that it is superior to what we made a year ago. With time, practice and experience, we have grown as artists and potters. It isn’t that our earlier work wasn’t well-crafted. It is just that, in our eyes, we do better now.
Carter goes on to make a statement later in his post that “a beautiful teapot does not necessarily pour better…” So true. And a great reminder to me that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What I see in my work and what others see in my work are not necessarily the same. There is a reason Chuck has kept some of my early works from going into the trash bin. He saw something that I did not. The same is true of some of his pieces from college. They may not have made the move from Illinois to California years ago except that I did the packing and I loved them! 😉
Along these same lines, this must be why sometimes items we think will never sell, do. And items we think will fly off the shelves, do not. There are as many individual perceptions of art and beauty as there are individuals in this world.
To this point, I just want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all our readers and customers. CatTail Studio Arts is celebrating our one year anniversary this month. To those of you who have made an emotional attachment and purchased one of our creations over the past year, thank you. It is because of you that we can go on creating and growing as artists. It is you who allows us to evolve and get better by supporting us yesterday, today and tomorrow. Many thanks! And, as Carter Gillies often says, ‘Peace all! Make beauty real!’ (Thanks to you too, Carter. Your words of wisdom and philosophical thought have helped us to grow both as artists and individuals.)