Words of Wisdom from Jonathan Talbot


Words of Wisdom from Jonathan Talbot

Jonathan Talbot’s Words of Wisdom

It was the summer of 2002. I trekked to Coos Bay, Oregon to take a week long workshop withJonathan Talbot. I stayed at a campground and slept in my mini-van to save money. I caught a horrible cold, but refused to let it keep me down. I did art from morning till night, met wonderful people, and learned about being an artist. On this page are some of the little collages I did during the week. Jonathan was our teacher, guide, and confessor. He was incredibly generous with his time and talents. I tried to write down everything he said. Here are some little gems that continue to inspire me.

Jonathan Talbot Words of Wisdom ~ Karen's Whimsy

  • Don’t worry about wasting things or using old things; you have to free yourself for your art.
  • We learn the language of art through imitation, repetition, and mimicry.
  • As artists, we should profit from all the gifts laid out for us by the people who came before us.
  • If you title a piece too soon, you limit the piece. After the work is done, the title is like a sign post that leads the person into the work.
  • We should nurture the artwork the way that we nurture a child.
  • Each piece of artwork is going its own way; it’s our job to help it get there.
  • “Every time I get to something I expect, I make a right turn.”

Jonathan Talbot Words of Wisdom ~ Karen's Whimsy

  • Whether the collage is successful or not doesn’t matter; it tells me when it’s done.
  • You have to play through your mistakes. Don’t get stuck because you’re not satisfied. Finish what you start and then go on.
  • Art is most successful when it expresses our experiences. It should reflect our love of nature, other artwork, etc.
  • “We have experiences that transcend ourselves, that bond us to each other.”
  • Art is not about better or worse; it doesn’t do any good to compare art.
  • Selling artwork has nothing to do with what it is or how good it is; it is based on the art of selling.

Jonathan Talbot Words of Wisdom ~ Karen's Whimsy

You can learn more about Jonathan Talbot and see his artwork at http://www.talbot1.com/. Also, if you’re interested in learning about his method of collage, check out his book, Collage: A New Approach.

Another book you might enjoy by the artist, particularly if you’re interested in trying your hand at image transfer methods, is Acrylic Image Transfer: A Handbook for Artists.

And finally, I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s on my Wish List. It’s called The Collages of Jonathan Talbot, and it’s by Deborah Snider and Andrew Marvick, both from the art departments of Southern Utah University. It’s gotten 5/5 stars on eight reviews on Amazon. The book talks about the artist’s process for collage, has full-color photographs of thirty-three of his works, and contains an in-depth interview with the artist.


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