How to Make Good Art

When I arrived at the Vermont Studio Center, I learned during orientation that this is actually the largest residency center in the world, based on the number of artists hosted every month.  The lodging and studios are quaintly 19th century New England in style with a bit of rustic charm.  The chef prepares nutritious meals and a sense of comradeship is beginning to develop among the artists and writers around the table at mealtimes. Around the table one topic of conversation has come to the surface several times; how to make good art both literary and visual.  The themes of these discussions repeatedly come back to show up to your studio/workspace on a regular schedule even if one feels creatively blocked or lacking inspiration, eliminate distractions, quiet the voices in your head of self doubt, make a lot of work, learn from the work that is poor and build upon the work that is good, and mos of all do not give up. 

Today it was about 10 degrees F and I spent most of the day outside trying to photograph snowflakes.  I took one photograph that I like.  The rest of the photos taught me that when the wind is gusting to 25 mph, the snow gets pulverized into little chips of flakes and sticks together in clumps, which makes it visually unattractive at the macro scale.  I kept at it all day, fearing that I would miss a change in the weather, but was disappointed at the end of the day to have only one photograph.  I will try again on another snow day soon, hopefully with less wind!