The Wait

Art etiquette.

macro photography of flower bud

To look long and listen to the stone before making any alteration, so that the sculpture that follows may be a collaboration. To follow paint over surface and sense its wants. Above all, to hear an eloquent silence before it moves to speak, and resist the impulse to offer the first word, even in greeting, for the customs of this world are something else, and care nothing for any pilgrim’s feeble attempts at making pleasant forays toward the familiar.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

9 thoughts on “The Wait”

  1. Wonderful first line, recalling a time for me when my income was more derived from craft than from mere production and/or interpretation (of course, I was dreaming last night about a return to one of those jobs, so that may play a part). I miss those days, as dismal as the pay was. But it was a collaboration with the crafted object, as you say.

    Thanks again for words that reach out to me. Have a beautiful day.

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me, Michael! I can imagine the pull must be profound. I have never been a sculptor or craftsperson, but that line was inspired when I remembered something I had read about Isamu Noguchi’s process, which really stayed with me. Wishing you a beautiful afternoon/ evening!

    1. Hah! Laughing with recognition here, Jeff. I tend to be constitutionally immune from guessing these correctly : )

  2. This is really beautiful Stacey as it follows a pure approach to the creation of a work of art and then drops deeper (wonderfully and succinctly) into the mind of the Other; giving the stone, the canvas, the page; a more firm and noble personality. It ups the stakes of the “collaboration” and creates a richer sense of equality. The artist has no choice but to slow down. To stop. To wait. To feel the approach of the stone… Awesome.

    1. Chris, thank you for this sensitive reading. I sometimes wonder why I need to write myself so many reminders about this. I suppose it’s an ongoing process of unlearning.

      1. If you figure it out Stacey please let me know. I’ve just accepted the fact that I will always need to be reminded…

      2. Chris, I am happy to be in your excellent company : )

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