Thinking about Daniel Pink…

Dear Tina~

Daniel Pink has moved me as well. I feel a new sense of optimism and excitement about the future thinking about what he calls, “The Conceptual Age”. The quote you cited, reminded me of Brain Andreas’s Story People and the quote you have by him in your home. (Can you remind me of it?) I just visited the Story People website to try to find it, and was enlivened by the “about us” section. It stated, “We believe (fiercely) in the power of stories, not because they’re our stories, but because it is valuable & right to protect the precious connections between people.” The work that they create through this company has always resonated me for it’s whimsy, lightheartedness, color and ability to make connections to the everyday.

You spoke about my work in terms of storytelling. It is funny because I had never really thought of my work as being about stories. Your comment put a new spin on the way I think about it. It made me ponder the stories held in each moment. As you know I have always been interested in how people relate to one another, and what can be learned from “the conversation,” yet I wondered how this was actually translating into my recent work. I have realized there is always a story, even if it isn’t obvious at first. For example, I recently painted some lemons and wondered about the content being too “fluffy,” and whether it was “real art.” I had been thinking about the “meaning” behind the lemons and grappling with my “intentions.” My initial attraction was their bright color against the cold backdrop of the New England winter, along with the fact I had been squeezing them for days to make a homeopathic tea for my dear, sick husband. While painting, I thought about being on the cruise over Christmas and how the staff on the ship would always bring my father-in-law, wedges of limes, instead of lemons for his scotch. This made me laugh, so I made a card for him with the lemon on it, reading, “not a lime” on the inside. This small series also reminded me of my friend Sue. She had recently gone to Italy and brought me back a lovely lemon wine cork from her trip. I realized I had some wrapping paper with a map of Italy left over from a gift Brett had given me so I collaged one of the lemon paintings with this paper along with some other items. Your comment made me realize the connections I was making trough story, however fragmented it may seem. I didn’t see how these things connected until I stepped back from it. All of these things came back to my ongoing inquiry of moments and the time we share together. Our time is fragmented and scattered, much like this new work could be perceived. Creating it helped me reflect and make connections. I realized how it is up to each of us to pause and reflect in order to create meaning from this world. We make connections through our stories and without sharing them, they are lost. This personal search for meaning that Daniel Pink refers to has helped validate my work. I feel less alone somehow, which is why I think having you to share this conversation with me has meant so much. Our dialog has enlivened my life and brought a richness and depth that I treasure.

lovely lemon card

One of the reasons I love your work, and believe it is so strong is due to the content of the visual story you are telling. Your series of boxes allows the viewer to think about their own connection to the words on the outside of each box. All of the imagery on the inside allows one to bond in a very intentional way, while addressing some of the larger issues of our culture. You do this without bombarding us with facts and figures and in turn, give us a point of entry that is accessible and not oversaturated. This is one of the many things that resonates with me when I view your work. I cannot help but think about your inquiry and view on the “no child left behind act,” which your work addresses, yet is subtle and poignant. Daniel Pink stated, “When facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable. What begins to matter more is the ability to place these facts in context and to deliver them with emotional impact.” (p.103) Your work does this so well! Do you think your work has always been about storytelling?

Creative exercise: mini-saga~yes! About Goddard~could be enlightening! Let’s talk some more soon.

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