Monday, January 24, 2011

Getting to Perfection; Sometimes it takes awhile...

Me and Joe Sorren at his retrospective opening, Jan. 22.

It's the beginning of the semester, and I'm back with a vengeance.  My goal is to attend one cultural event per week and then ramble on about how Americans don't attend any art events (and that they really should.)

Kristi and Kara glam it up.
Yup, I'm keeping my same resolution as last semester--but maybe refining it a little bit.  For instance, I never go see live theatre anymore, or jazz concerts, or even chorale events.  So maybe I'll try to push myself out of my comfort zone just a little.  We'll see.

But anyway, the first weekend of the semester was just thick with culture, and Flagstaff's most beautiful people were out participating in it.  (You can see some of my favorite shots below.)  As for me, I attended Willie Nelson's show at Ardrey Memorial Auditorium on Friday night, Joe Sorren's retrospective "Interruption" at the Coconino Center for the Arts on Saturday, and then super-fine bluegrass band Railroad Earth later on Saturday at the Orpheum.  The three finest venues in town!  Lucky me!!

Willie Nelson is a great guy.  I might have heard five different people say they would just love to meet Willie Nelson, and, you know, HANG OUT in his tour bus.  But it took Willie about 1/2 an hour to warm up, to get the tempo right.   For that first half hour we in the audience were just hanging in there, listening to him rush through country songs that are supposed to be drawled.

When he did hit the groove, however, it was worthy of a knowing head-nod to my bestie, acknowledging that he had "the magic now."

I guess you got to admire Willie--he just keeps playing through the muck until he hits the golden notes.
Anthony hits the golden notes,
no problem.

In contrast, I was really struck by Joe Sorren's interview on   KNAU, where he states "If I don't make something that I believe is truly outstanding, then I'm just leaving debris on the planet."  His art dealer drives home that he is ruthless on himself, and says that he destroys paintings that he doesn't feel are outstanding.

I admire that perfectionism too.

These two artists have totally different styles. They are working in different mediums--one is ephemeral and fleeting, and once played is gone.  And the other is captured and solid, placed on a wall, drawing a lot of attention.

But what they are both saying to us civilians, is that NO ARTIST IS PERFECT.  Whether they are shameless about playing until the moment of perfection hits, or would rather trash their "failures" before the public sees them, what Joe Sorren and Willie Nelson taught me this weekend was that nobody gets it right the first time. 

Just keep on creating whatever you're creating -- and eventually that golden muse will give you the kiss of approval!

And for some reason, that gives me a lot of courage.  (Thanks Joe.  Thanks Willie.)

Ruthann Border comes as a vision of rose.

He said he was going for the Genghis Khan look. 
Karen does The Great Gatsby.


  1. Hey Elizabeth, come check out a guitar concert with Grand Canyon Guitar Society!
    we'll comp you tickets so you can see what others have been raving about:
    Florian Larousse, Saturday, Feb 5
    Eduardo Isaac, Tuesday, March 22
    Adam del Monte, Friday, April 29
    facebook me and let me know if you'd like to attend one of these!

  2. Hi Craig,
    That sounds like the perfect way to get out of my comfort zone! What about Adam del Monte?
    Thank you!!