I just have to tell you all how much I’ve been enjoying your comments lately.
I began this blog with two goals, or intentions. The first was to simply get down my thoughts and ideas as a record for myself- as a way of journaling. Keeping this blog has given me a place and reason to think deeply about what I’m making, why I’m making it, and why other other people might want to look at it. It’s been a reason for me to write it all down, and share my progress. Even though it is a digital journal, floating in cyberspace, it lends a feeling of solidity to my ideas and history for me to look back on.
My second goal was to find some community, and begin a dialogue with other artists and people interested in art. When you comment, this digital journal becomes a conversation. My monologue becomes a dialogue. I go look at your blogs and websites, and gain inspiration and insight.
So- thank you for sharing your own thoughts about what you’re making, why you are making it, and what our art is for. Your comments make my day.
Because, really– who couldn’t use a little more inspriation right now?
It’s really weird to me how life seems to simultaneously speed up and slow down when I get sick, as I was this last week. Flu. Not fun. My tendency to stay vertical and moving doesn’t help things. So much to do! So, you can imagine, not much going on in the studio. But I did work a little in my new journal. I’ve been thinking and writing about where “deep well” inspiration comes from. Where new ideas that pop into my head come from. I think it’s different for all of us, but I think for me it is about creating stability, a base, an internal home, to come back to and act out of …a place where the seed of authenticity and singularity can grow. Fertile ground, inside. Without it, my ideas seem to lose their initial brightness before fading away. For me, the integration of routine (action) and introspection is key.
Another new thing: A table for encaustic. It will be so nice not to be hunched over when I’m working anymore. My father built this table when I was a kid to hold his photography equipment. He and my mom are moving out of the house I grew up in, and I was very enthusiastic about adopting this table. It is truly perfect. I’ve been itching to start some large encaustics, and now I have the space!
Also, this week I’ll have new work up in Atlanta. Huff Harrington is featuring new work by gallery artists in their show, Wet Paint. You can check out the announcement here.
Started some new nests today.
Here is the under painting for one of them. The very first layer, and it shows how crazy they start out. I scribble a lot in my under painting. Then I gradually build layers and it starts coming together eventually. One of the most challenging things is trying to build the image without losing the sense of spontaneity that is underneath it all. Starting a painting is mostly about putting one foot in front of another, and not over thinking it. But as the painting gets nearer completion, I really have to stay alert to each mark, each brushstroke. Each mark becomes part of the conversation on that canvas. There is a tension between the spontaneity and the completion. If I am not paying enough attention, I can paint right through that point where it is done, but not too done. Just done enough. When that happens, I usually have to either paint over the whole thing, or part of it, and start over. I just painted over an unsuccessful painting that was the victim of my distracted inattention. Oh, well, it’s a better painting for it now. But how did this start? With my talking about how they begin. And they do begin raw, don’t they?
Here is something else I’ve got going….
I worked on the cover for my new journal. These journals help keep my momentum going and end up being little laboratories for new ideas and image making. I collage a lot in them, and write in them. Here are a few examples from past journals, since I don’t really have anything worth showing in this one yet….
The first is from when we lived in Massachusetts, and I was terribly homesick. The second is from shortly after we moved back, “changes”. I’ll post more as this new journal develops. There are definitely some new ideas I’d like to work out in it.
This is actually what I made the most progress on today. I know, I know, It’s not painting. But would you believe me if I told you that it is related? Because of course it is. There is something about digging in the ground that gets my creativity going. I think this sort of work creates a little mind space, so that my ideas can bubble up without strain, without too much intention. Just flow. So, in that way, it was a very productive day. I cleared half of my future vegetable bed and dug in some soil conditioner. I am only planting a few things – mainly for the pleasure of growing something- because we have a CSA starting in May that takes us through October and is truly abundant and splendid. I will have more veggies than I know what to do with.
The studio has seen some action this week, too.
The last one here is a journal I am working on. I use the Molskine Japanese albums, which are a little hard to find, but I love them. The first thing I do is put several layers of color, gesso, and maybe a little random collage in there. Sometimes I sew into them. That is all so that I don’t have to face a white page. It primes the page, so that ideas flow for me more easily. These are small enough that I can carry them with me and add things as I am inspired. Pretty great.