Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Artist Report Card

My First Critic

I was searching for some bad poetry I had written a long time ago, and came across digital copies of my old school reports:

I was amused to read how some of my teachers had (perhaps too accurately) described me perfectly:

Though I would share, in the hope that it would both be insightful, and inspired you to do the same.

When I was 13:

Art Teacher:                    
 A capable + conscientious worker who has settled down very well.

Form Teacher:                  
Doing very well.  
Very alert student.  
Methodical in his own way.  
Has a great deal of ability.  Keep it up.

The next year...

Art Teacher:                    
A first class effort.  
Graham has made excellent progress in this subject.

New Form Teacher:        
Generally, quiet satisfactory work.


Art Teacher:                    
Graham continues to work well in art.  
A law unto himself at times.

... need I say more?

Poem about clay

Poem (1983)
Clay (1983)

Ok, this is a blast from the past.

I was required to bring along a poem one evening this week, and the pressure was on with a month's notice and reminders closer to the night.  So I dug deep into the digital files and filtered through dozens of bad poems I wrote a long time ago.

Yes, I know.

Here goes:


Squeeze, fondle
bend and tease
grasp and freeze
tickle and please.

Wrinkle and lapping water
steady patience, building mason
mind and body, hands and kindness
clay, the living flesh.

Season and steady
brace and flow
test and fire
mind, body, expire
love and laugh
flow within, to the clay.

An expression
often a suggestion
a statement of directive
but balanced and beautiful
built into this a tangible relationship.

The pleasing of construction
the delight of success
the testing of flavour
and the seasoning of despair
teasing back for more to build
harmony between man, water, clay and fire.


what do you think about clay?


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