Monthly Archives: February 2012

Science and Art

The choice between science and art is not really a choice between opposites. Rather, I think they are twins that we separate at birth. Both seek truth. Both seek wholeness. Both seek to understand life and shed light on that understanding so others will see what we have discovered. And both are always seeking whatever is over the horizon. In those moments of discovery, it’s as if God whispers, “Pretty cool, huh? Wait and see what I have for you next.” Science and Art may come from different parts of our brain , but they both come from the same place in our heart.

” A work of art is good in itself. What is good in itself glorifies God because it reflects God.”
Flannery O’Connor


Posted by on February 20, 2012 in The Creative Life


Skill vs Purpose

The execution of my craft and the level of my skill, is not the end purpose of the art but it is the means through which the idea is delivered. If my idea is flawed, excellence in my craft won’t matter because it’s just a bad idea. If the excellence of my craft is bad, the meaning can be lost because sloppy skills can detract from the message. This is true for me.

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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in The Creative Life


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 “He who sells himself to style, turns his statues into bad literature.”  Auguste Rodin

I had a meeting in Aspen yesterday with a client about portraits of him and his wife. Afterward, Hermine and I walked around and enjoyed the art and atmosphere of a town designed for people who are way above my tax bracket. What great art.

I am reminded of the trap of “imitation”. Many times a style becomes successful and everyone starts doing it. Looking at things that I find terrific lures me into that thinking. Especially when I see art that is at a level I want to reach. Learning from how other artists use color and texture and space is what we all should do. But beware of imitation… find your own voice but use the great techniques that can be learned from other artists to be original.

"Harvest prayer" sculpture at Mid America Nazarene University. Photo by Cliff Henderson

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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in The Creative Life


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Structure and Discipline

I prefer lack of structure… let’s me get away with a lot. But, when I have a deadline, I have to get creative whether I feel like it or not. I acknowledge that as just the price of being professional in how I approach the work. I don’t always like it, but that’s the price. Yeah…structure stinks, but it is also what pays my bills and gets the next job.

When I am working, I am focused on communicating with the observer, whether that is the end client, a gallery visitor or the people simply passing by one of my pieces. So the very process of thinking about that person who will see my work…. and I won’t be there to explain anything…. requires that I become a storyteller and my sculpture is the narrative that people will “hear” and the story must stand on it’s own merit.

That process exercises my communicator muscles because I’m focused on meaning, symbolism, purpose…. the “heart” of a piece.


Posted by on February 16, 2012 in The Creative Life