Thursday, October 2, 2008

Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?

A bit of background: I'm literally in the midst of teaching an intermediate drawing class--Variable Topics in Drawing. I've opted to teach the class with a Writing Intensive marker--something our students need at this university--and so we begin each class with 10 minutes of informal writing. We write about our work, other people's work, issues pertinent to collage (our drawing topic), and here and there I've also been giving them questions from Twyla Tharp's Your Creative Autobiography list. Today's Twyla Tharp question: Does anyone regularly inspire you?

I've got five more minutes.


My students in this class for one--they are currently wrapping up a 4'x6' collage self-portrait--some approaching representation, some totally giving way to abstraction and fragmentation. For many this work is the most ambitious image they've ever made, and they do not balk. I am inspired by their willingness to dive off the cliff, so to speak. They may not know how big of a cliff it is--and I envy this in some ways--a blithe readiness to rupture comfort zones--with glee and gusto. Why do I feel so haggard in comparison?

This will have to be "Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?" part one--as I'm thinking too much and have now used up the remainder of the 10 minutes. Now I've got to get back to teaching/talking/looking.


Susanne said...

Barbara, you yourself inspire me on a regular basis with your passion and commitment to artmaking!

Barbara Campbell Thomas said...

Oh yeah, you are the first to comment--the dialogue has begun!