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.