SDA Pres Jane Dunnewold meets WA SDA

SDA President Jane Dunnewold speaks to WA SDA

SDA President Jane Dunnewold speaks to WA SDA

 A wonderful treat for Washington state SDA members, Jane’s talk on October 12 focused on the psychology of being an artist.   Here are some points that this artist pulled out from her speech:

We should always be in a cycle that includes studying, analyzing, thinking, making, and critiquing our art.  We can feel as if we haven’t done enough… learn to be satisfied with the work you’re doing.  Look to find what’s your best path and turn inward to find it.  Connect with the mystical-the mysterious part of life we can’t understand.

Jane’s definition of “Alignment”:  when what you love to do is what you’re good at.  There is a learning curve to doing something really well- you need to practice.  Often, you start out wanting to play at something.  If you play around long enough, you start to understand it a bit and want to get good at it.  You need to keep at it to get good.  Persistence can be undermined in many ways.  You might feel you aren’t talented at something.  You shouldn’t look at comparing yourself… accept what you’ve got and go with it.  We’re all challenged with the difficulties of having a busy, crazy life.  Building time into your schedule for your art is important.

WA SDA representative Barbara Matthews introduces Jane Dunnewold

WA SDA representative Barbara Matthews introduces Jane Dunnewold

A huge negative influence on our artwork which we all feel is what Jane calls “the committee.”  These are the voices you hear or faces you see in your mind whom you want to please or for whom you want to have your artwork be good enough.  You may hear a specific voice saying “What are you going to do with that?”  Or you might compare your work with the work of an admired artist and feel you come up short.  It’s important for you to think about who you have on your committee… then fire them!  Learn to Say YES to your distinctive style and choices you make for your art.

We also need to develop our “Creative Stamina.”  Jane suggests we develop a program of creative strength training… like cross training in the gym… go back and forth between different activities that support your development as an artist.  These may include:

  • Cultivating looking- take a photo each day and post them online- engage seeing-closer,richer, in a more detailed way
  • Writing- even if not a writer it helps us organize and keep track; can do a Free Association- write a term at the top of a page and free associate for 2 minutes- can lead to design inspiration and ideas; write descriptions to help see more thoroughly and cultivate curiosity
  • Visiting museums & galleries
  • Reading about other artists
WA SDA members

WA SDA members

Work on being proud of every aspect of what you do.  The detail, materials you choose, and the finishing work- all of the craft needs to support the message of the piece.  You should practice “intentional making”, limit variables and simplify.

Each of us has a life that has elements that are fascinating… bring that out in your work!  Craft a statement about your work and practice saying it aloud so you can comfortably talk about your work.

WA SDA members

WA SDA members

Finally, don’t be afraid to make mistakes… it’s how we learn and grow.  Jane joked, “I’ve made so many mistakes and have been so good at it, that I’m thinking of making some more.”

Thanks so much to Jane and to all our members and guests who attended.  Coming soon- reports from our small group breakout sessions!

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2 comments on “SDA Pres Jane Dunnewold meets WA SDA

  1. Deena says:

    Great write-up–thank you!

  2. […] asked “What part of Jane Dunnewold’s presentation (click link to see a write-up of SDA president Jane’s talk_ can you relate to?” there […]

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