Art: What I can do

When faced with a challenge, and this year has presented a few, I just try to focus on what I *can* do. Sometimes I feel small and what I cannot do seems pretty daunting. So I look instead at what I can act upon, in love and with courage.

Recently I had lunch with the artist Amy Scofield, and shared with her my newly written out strategy for how to proceed as an artist, or in Austin Kleon’s words, how to “Keep Going.” 

I fail often. In the pain of those lessons, it is easy to get discouraged. This is my current strategy about how I can make art and keep shining:

Feelings for me and viewer:

  • Transcendent
  • Surprised
  • Original (synthesis)- New Experience – not like other things seen before
  • Make us feel connected, grounded, and in commonality with others


  • Human hand/craft evident – doesn’t look like it came from a machine
  • Visceral relationship to human body scale
  • Geometric
  • Reference to sacred space architecture


  • Does not create “inventory” or “distribution” problem
  • Does not create “storage” problem
  • Inexpensive to produce
  • Materials and finished piece are not too precious
  • Originals can be affordable to most everyone $200-$2000
  • Reproductions can be affordable to most everyone $20

Nice to have:

  • Easy to scale up or down to fit location
  • Has elements of light and color
  • Easy to ship and install
  • Modular or sectional if large
  • Can be reproduced inexpensively or with fancy materials
  • Environmentally sustainable

I imagine your “What you can do” list is different. What’s yours?