We’ve found A LOT of great stuff in Sandra Calder Davidson’s book The Calder Family and Other Critters, Portraits and Reflections, about the many interesting people who surrounded her famous father Alexander Calder and the family (check out the amazing Pink Fluff). This lesson she learned from the great Saul Steinberg is WAY more than about making a portrait.

Sandra Davidson
—Sandra Calder Davidson

It’s impossible to find anything new without first giving something up.

The more we thought about it, the more we realized that to really shift our thinking, we often DO have to give something up: a preconceived notion, knee-jerk reaction, opinion, assumption, what Steinberg called “commonplaces”

When we’re trying to make or write something, more often than not we need to discard the way we think it was supposed to go, in order to follow a new trail of thinking. And that has been our big lesson in life as well. Steinberg pretty much illustrated the concept of “kill your darlings” in this drawing.


Artist's Rights Society
Artist’s Rights Society

Steinberg, and Sandra, are plain WISE.


2 replies on “Saul Steinberg: How to Find Something New

  1. What a creative high one would get to be in the company of two such outstanding individuals. I could only dream…….

  2. I have been lucky to have been in the company of Sandra Davidson many times. She is an amazing, utterly creative, always illuminating person.

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