Lee Morais

Thoughts on art and making art:

For the artist, process is more important than product. My first experience with this concept was as an art student at Newcomb College of Art, at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. My art instructor and future mentor, Hal Carney, had his beginning students throw their completed drawings directly into the trash can at the end of every class. The doing is the important part, not the finished work.

For me one of the most important parts of the creative process is listening to the work and letting the work tell me what it wants. I spend as much time with the work looking and listening as touching and adding and changing. As a teacher and artist, I believe an artist must be brave and have courage, the courage to risk. I play the, “what if,” and, “why not,” game with each piece on which I work. Often, taking a risk means losing the work, but without risk there is no learning.

When is an artwork finished? It is said that it takes two people to make a work of art, one to do the work and another to shoot the artist when the work is finished. I know my artwork is finished when my wife comes into my studio and says, “Bang.”

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