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The One Worst Habit for Artists

Avoid the bland (in art)

Let’s bring another cooking metaphor to our studio. Marination.

Are you microwaving hot dogs for Thanksgiving dinner?

I hope not!

Do you rush when you make art? I see it a lot, including in my own work from time to time.

Most of us know, marination, from concept to completion, improves the flavor of a dish (or painting, glass panel, pattern, quilt, sculpture). There are thousands of recipes with diverse preparations and instructions for soaking time. But one thing is certain:

Intensity of thought is the custom sauce we use to make our work special.

Wait, what about keeping things simple?

We must distinguish between simplicity and hastiness–for example, serving a simple cranberry sauce made with fresh ingredients versus serving the canned gel. One is simple, the other rushed. 

When an artist exclaims, “This only took me an hour,” hopefully, they are omitting the time the idea simmered in their mind.

Below is the only marination of art diagram that exists in the world today.

Get the bowls out

Are you persuaded? Are you going to take the steps needed to get to your best work?

Find the unique in you. 

Marinating fosters a deeper connection with the creative, unique self. Although marination takes patience (and involves some moments of desperation), the end result is worth it. 

Time is running out to get the bowls and spices out. 

In my next post, I will share my favorite marinade recipe from abstract modernist painter Jules Olitski. 

Bon Appétit!

My newsletter, Patterned Visions, addresses cross-craft theories in action and how-to guides for stained glass artists. This article is #6 in SGOL, Stained Glass as an Other Language. You can get Patterned Visions delivered to your inbox.

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