Browsing: Letters

Letters
27 How to do it

Dear Artist, My mail carrier, a guy about my age with a gentle smile, always brings the deliveries to the front door, sneaks a glance through the windows and gives me a wave. Yesterday, when I opened the door to…

Letters
11 The Timid Test System

Dear Artist, We’ve talked a few times about audacity, which is a totally good thing unless you don’t know what you’re doing. Think of a surgeon giving someone an artificial hip with a load of audacity and no knowledge. It…

Letters
30 Letter to a young art student

Dear Artist, A young friend, who has this fall begun an art degree, received a gut-punch crit. Up until now, due to the open-plan nature of the school’s studios and her ability to overhear the crits of her neighbours, she’d…

Letters
26 Beyond ‘so what?’

Dear Artist, Last night, Catherine Stock of Rignac, France wrote, “I wonder if you could write a letter on how to elevate one’s work beyond the “So what?” level. That’s where I’m stuck. I can draw and paint pretty well,…

Letters
8 The input-output proposition

Dear Artist, American writer Rumaan Alam, in a recent interview, revealed that he enjoys writing about other people’s books. He says it’s a way of staying engaged in literature while not thinking about his own work. Alam focuses on writers…

Letters
11 A list of mistakes

Dear Artist, This morning, Michael Epp of Bowen Island, B.C., wrote, “’Just take away everything that doesn’t look like a horse.'” That’s what the sculptors say. Which implies that as long as you avoid all the obvious mistakes, you’ll end…

Letters
13 Place of refuge

Near Zion National Park, in the lower left hand corner of Utah is the Kolob reservoir, where at this time of year, an artist can sit at the water’s edge and paint the turning, trembling aspens and the boulders that tumbled there a million years ago. A friend and I had recently decided that while much of what the world is experiencing is toxic right now, one can still nourish oneself on the wind, a paddle and a steep climb.

Letters
14 Personal coach

Dear Artist, My friend Ralph, who doesn’t mind my talking about this, is way out of shape. His personal coach, Alberto, is a ladder-chested ex-lightweight boxer with blinding white teeth and lots of hair. Alberto comes over to Ralph’s twice…

Letters
27 Everything will be okay

Dear Artist, At the beginning of 2020, I began work on some paintings for a show scheduled to open that Spring. Everything was humming along at an intense but pleasant pace when the world locked down and the show was…

Letters
19 The distraction technique

Dear Artist, Last Sunday at 2 p.m. my friend Murray came to the studio. He brought with him a very nice 1999 “Carmen” Chablis (Chile) as well as some ripe Limburger and a good Brie. He even brought his own…

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