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More than One Right Answer

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Making art is confusing because there is always more than one right answer. This is difficult for students, and a challenge to teach. We often think that throwing everything into a project will make it more successful, when really, eliminating information would be a better solution. What you don't say is often just as important as what you leave in. It gets messy and confusing, it's difficult to know when to do less.

This piece is a perfect example. I had the idea of glazing this from the beginning. However, comments from artists whom I respect, suggested that it doesn't need more. It would be better if it remained unglazed. So now I'm questioning my original intent. Are they correct? Am I too emotionally close to this piece to see the truth in the assertion of others?

What is it about wanting to add more information when it's might be better as is? If I apply the glaze: red buzzard, black and yellow Gila Monster, and white rabbit, will it be better? It might be better, but if it isn't, there's no going back.

In art class, the students and I talk about doing our audience a favor by leaving information out, so that the viewer can fill in the missing pieces. I believe this, but living by this advice is more difficult in practice.

"Also attesting to this false impression is the fact that many people struggle through life by persistently pushing without understanding the effectiveness of pulling back." Uncanny Valley


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