12.30.2013

on NOT failing

I've spent the past five years really honing in on a word in my art practice: failure. I've been purposely trying to fail in order to improve my work. Making mistakes make us wiggle and squirm in the studio but they are necessary in order to move forward in our practice. Several choices I've made in my series started out as spectacular failures but turned out to be the turning point in the success of a series.

Small foreclosure boro studies. I used to call them boro but no one
knew what that meant.
For the first time in my life I hope not to fail. I've had a bit of a health scare over the past few weeks that has upended our lives in ways I never knew possible. We are still waiting  to find out what I have and more than any time in my life, I'm hoping the doctors don't fail me. I realized as I sat with an oncologist (yes, an oncologist) how hard her job must be. She approaches her work completely differently, the absolute goal of not to fail her patients. How hard is that to do? I am in awe of doctors and nurses these days. They have hearts of gold and are just so incredibly amazing. How do they deal with failure?

Progress on the Idiom series. Choosing thread was a major decision!
I am very curious how this life altering change I'm about to go through will affect my work. Will my work become more political, more angry? Will it become more sedate and calm? Maybe I'll just have to try both ways and see which one fails. I look back over all of the work I've done over the past five years and feel like I need to be doing more again. I've had a bit of a slow time in my art while I tend to my life: family, gardening, cooking. And I am passionate about all of those and will not let those go. I would love to be able to combine all of it into my art. Who knows where this path will take me in the next few months but I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I hope to have some new art to share, perhaps small pieces but an effort nonetheless. Go hug your family and appreciate every second you have.

15 comments:

trees and what not said...

my thoughts and hopes for good news are with you, you are very strong and open .h x

Claire said...

All good wishes to you and your family Claire x

jude said...

hoping all is well, oh gee.

Karen said...

May you be strong enough to deal with whatever happens next. May you know the support of your friends, family, and community.

Judy Martin said...

Kathryn

Very best wishes to you as you go through the next few weeks - your art and your commitment are an inspiration to so many. Be Well!

Flaming Nora said...

I don't comment often, but I do read regularly. A very moving post. This is the terrible time, waiting for some one to tell you what is happening. Thinking of you in this difficult time.

Ersi Marina Samara said...

I wish you from the bottom of my heart that you get good news from the doctors, and soon. May the new year be happy, healthy and creative. Your art has never 'failed' me. My thoughts will be with you.

judibel said...

Thinking of you with all my heart.

Sophie Truong said...

They won't fail you. And I have no doubt your art - like you, is going to be stronger and better than ever. Art keeps us sane. I dont know how people get through life without it but you got it. Hang in there :)

Lari Washburn said...

Oh my, life gets very challenging sometimes. I am thinking of you Kathryn and knowing you will make something truly unique and meaningful from this experience. You have that talent, and it will serve you and your family well especially now. Sending you loving thoughts.

blandina said...

Hugs from Florence, may all worries dissolve as a soap bubble.

Di said...

Wishing you well with your health. My father was diagnosed just before Christmas, so I can appreciate how unsettling such news can be. I hope the road ahead in 2014 isn't too rough for you.

Jenny M said...

Wishing you all the best, and that all the support you need is near at hand.

kathrynclark said...

Thanks everyone for your supportive comments. It means so much to me to hear from you and know I'm in your thoughts. Tomorrow another biopsy and hopefully we'll know what's going on in a week or so. Fingers crossed for me! In the meantime, I'm headed into the studio to get back to work! Hugs and happy new year to you all!

susan t. landry said...

fingers, toes crossed, kathryn. the medical establishment is made up of many people, some of whom have the same commitment to creativity as you. let's hope that you find each other in this epic that you are starting on. all good wishes to you.
susan

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