Artist’s Statement

I’ve gotta keep it simple and concise,

But still, an artist’s statement is supposed

To say enough about me and the way

I work, my motivation, background, thoughts,

And reasons why I work the way I do

That the prospective buyers buy my prints;

That people reading it will think my prints

Are just exactly what they really want

To hang above their couch, or in their hall,

Or even, if they want, a bathroom wall.

But what is it I really want to say?

I’d like to talk about the process, write

About the way it feels when wood just seems

To carve itself, and how it holds a line,

And why the mountain cherry of Japan

Is better than some other kind of wood.

I’d like to mention European pear.

It’s harder, holds an even finer line.

But what I want to sell are prints, not wood.

Perhaps I ought to mention just how long

I have been carving and been making prints.

“You’ve heard of Guttenberg? Well way before

He started setting type . . . .” No. That won’t work.

What is it that I care about the most?

What do I want to say? I carve and print

Because really I like to carve and print.

I guess I will be satisfied with this.

It may not help me sell a single print,

But aren’t the prints supposed to sell themselves?

My artist’s statement’s done. It’s back to work.


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