Dan Sankowsky, boston area Member Since March 2007 Artist Statement I recently retired from university teaching, my main focus the barriers students inadvertently create for themselves in learning mathematical subjects. What does this have to do with art? I have been painting for 35 years and have taught others; I found similar barriers in students' learning to paint. My other hat is in counseling, where similar issues arise in letting go and getting in touch with painful, but necessary, emotions. I have written extensively about these issues. They are available on my website www.sankowsky.com.
The fears I encounter most often in all 3 settings are (1) fear of getting started, i.e. having nothing to say; (2) fear of producing "garbage"; and (3) fear of making a mistake, once an idea was in place. With my artwork, to defeat these fears, I rely on the following principles: the value of experiencing, i.e. simply enjoying the activity (of painting) without regard to outcome; dialectical processing, the reconciliation of apparent opposites; action preceding idea generation; letting go; and indeterminacy. I'll explain.
Dialectical processing says, for example, that the more analytical one is, the more intuitive he or she can be. Sounds like a paradox? If one switches focus at certain key moments, he or she will likely find that to be true. By action preceding the idea for a given painting, I mean that I have found it helpful to just start with a rudimentary plan. Ideas will come. But if I aim for a parfticular idea, a particular scenario, I will often be frustrated. The key is to aim for an idea, not the idea. That's the idea! And that's the principle of indeterminacy. Finally, letting go refers to allowing for periods of not knowing where I'm headed with the faith that following certain processes, things will come together later on.
As far as my case goes, I loved to draw as a child and was encouraged by my artist father -- but not pushed. I gave up any artistic ventures when I was about 11, not producing anything until my late 20s when I discovered the magic of magic markers. I went on from there, as these galleries will show.