“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.” -Rumi
One of the trickiest things, I’ve found, about making images is the simultaneous need for experience and innocence. On one hand, we want to bring our years of experience to bear in the studio. On the other, we want to be able to see as if for the first time; an adventurous and inventive eye must not be hobbled by what it thinks it knows and sees.
This summer, I’ve been walking the same route through the fields, almost daily, and like to practice seeing things with a fresh perspective. A few times, I’ve taken my camera, and it has been so fun to look through that magic window and see how limiting the view can sometimes expand how I see.
Artistic perception is this great elastic thing that must be exercised to stay limber and responsive. Ironically, doing something repetitive is sometimes just the thing to practice keeping things new.
This post is to celebrate my daughter’s work. This past weekend, we drove down to Valencia, near L.A., and dropped her off at Cal Arts for a month long intensive art program (one of the more terrifying and exciting things I’ve done as the mother of a 15 year old). These are self-portraits she drew- exactly one year apart. The one on the left was finished last week, the one on the right last summer. I just think it’s such a testament to our capacity for growth. That truly, we are hardwired for growth. And hard work. It is rare that Alexandra is not either drawing or carrying one of her sketchbooks around. She lives for graphite. She would probably eat it if she could. If there were more hours in the day, she’d spend them drawing. I bought her three sketchbooks to last her the month she’ll be gone. She fills them so fast, I can hardly keep up.
She inspires me.
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.
I was going to share pictures from the opening last night in Walnut Creek, but that will have to wait. (Just till tomorrow, I promise- so, so much fantastic work!) First, I have to share this video, from TED, of writer Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) talking about creativity, and the possibility of re-inventing our perception of it. It’s funny, and bone-true, just like her book. And it’s worth watching if only for the description of the poem and the poet… you’ll see. It took my breath away. *Thanks to Beth for sending me this!!
Oh my. I finally made it over to Big Huge Labs and their Mosaic Maker. What a fun, fun toy. I’ve been meaning to do this forever, and just hadn’t gotten around to it. They also have a tool that generates a WordPress header image. Whoo Hoo! I am so NOT a techie, that I love it when other (brilliant) people come up with tools like this that take the headache out of trying to do something infuriatingly mind boggling fun on the computer.
Anyway. I’ve been gathering dreamy, natural-form photos on Flicker, and I love seeing them together like this. Inspiring, indeed.
1. 20090110_0109_4, 2. La belle Astrance…avril 2006, 3. …, 4. …, 5. …, 6. …, 7. Dried Seeds, 8. Untitled, 9. the shot of the day., 10. Untitled, 11. dry, 12. Bokeh Flowers, 13. Untitled, 14. Untitled, 15. secret garden of Princess thorn, 16. pass over the hedge of thorns, 17. come feel the sun, 18. We Apologize For This Interuption, 19. frost, 20. …, 21. Untitled, 22. i was thinking about hundertwasser, 23. –, 24. Untitled, 25. Nostalgia
This stop action video made my morning. So creative.
"Subterranean", 2009, encaustic mixed media on panel,
I just finished this itsy-bitsy piece the other day. It is for a project directed by Saije Bashaw, at The Creative Gym 5. The idea is to create an art work inspired by a word or words, and taking between 1-8 hours to complete the project. Very simple, very fun. The words this time around were “hidden” and “change”. This little piece took me a few hours, and got me to do some visual problem solving, and felt refreshingly different from other recent work I’ve made. The deadline isn’t for a while, so I haven’t seen other’s work yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
I’ve also been working on more “White Series” paintings…
One….. Dot….. At….. A….. Time.