My Passion for Art & Craft
“Everyone’s magic...or no one is.” *
I read this quote recently. It is one of those seemingly obvious and simple ideas that swirl into a multitude of other places as it lingers in my mind. I considered its meaning from other standpoints; such as the world of art and artists. I think you could restructure it to say:
“Everyone is an artist...or no one is!”
I write this not to diminish the thousands of hours we artists work to develop skill sets for artistic expression. Rather, I would offer that we all are intrinsically connected in our humanity, and often our work in this life is about finding the creative vehicle or medium to express that spiritual wholeness.
As artists, our sense of aesthetics and our respect for craftsmanship do allow us to stand out in the creative realm and to express our “voices” in powerful ways. I believe it is our creative voice that endlessly circles us back to our sense of humanity. Thus, perhaps, we are all magic, and we all are artists! Of course, we must be willing to work at it.
Although neither of my parents worked as artists, they gave me the core ingredients to work as one. They gave me a sense of the possibility and joy that can be found in each day. Every time I create a piece of art, it is this sensibility that moves me. My work is the physical manifestation of the yearning, tenacity and exuberance for life that I felt as a child and that is my touchstone, now, as an adult.
I had toy tool boxes by age four, and by age seven I had figured out the great joy there is in making things. I built many, many go-karts and wooden forts. In every project I lost myself; I didn't care about lunch or dinner...when I did stop to eat, I couldn't wait to get back to the project at hand.
I feel the same way today when I paint. In fact, it was this ongoing realization-regarding life's rhythm in the making-that all my lessons as a shop teacher emanated. I simply wanted for all my students that feeling of passion and engagement in the present and their work to bring them joy and confidence.
My paintings are a celebration of making and materials. Mastery does factor in. Mastery for the joy of it; mastery to express the inexpressible; mastery to bring dignity to this life.
- Daniel Gordon, June 2021