Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Phase 4 - acknowledge limits, update 3

and baked
and baked

and baked more
The only thing missing last week was photos of cookies. This past week - I did more baking. I wasn't planning on doing quite this much cheerying, but I feel lucky to have so many people in my life who deserve cookies (at the very least)!

While baking, I was thinking that one of the things I admire most about the cookies recipients is their quiet bravery in remaining steadfast. I think of this as the opposite of dilettantism, only doing the fun parts of a task. I heard an interview with a musician who talked about a dream (nightmare?) she had in which she went up to Art (personified), and he told her 'Art does not love dilettants' and turned away (ouch.) It made an impression, and I was thinking one way to honor my friends' devotion would be to follow through all the way with the process - packaging nicely, mailing carefully and on time (and no new baking projects until the last one is completely cleaned up). 

Now, since this is "Artwork, etc." and not "Cookies, etc." (though, really, both sound good to me :)), I tried to apply those ideas to the artwork this week. I went back to the carnival piece I've been working on for the past two weeks. The central image developed so quickly, but the rest wasn't adding much conceptually.  I couldn't recreate the spontaneity of the center (I didn't try); so instead, this week I tried to make it repetitious and laborious to emphasize by contrast the immediacy and flow of the center.

In terms of phase 4, acknowledging limits, I've also been re-thinking how to photograph the work. It has multiple scales, lots of small details, neon colors, and metallics - all things I've been finding it hard to capture.  But then I got to thinking - maybe I'm asking too much of each individual photograph? If I accept the limitations of photography, is there another way to try to record what I'm doing? So, I'm trying something new - I photographed the whole thing again, but then I shot a close up of the figure to show the touch and mark-making and took a separate shot of the ornament to show the patterning, gold, and neon colors. Thoughts?

I also had a home project. December always sneaks up on me (not sure how it happens every year), but I realized I've been living in "Owl House" (so named because it came with owl tchotchke's in every room), since October - the time had come to move beyond the camping cot and sleeping bag. I found a beautiful headboard at a salvage place and built a net in place of a box spring. The mattress came rolled in small box (who knew?) and the frame was modular. I got to put it together with help from my feline assistant (and a ghost apparently - see the orb - it only shows up in this photo even though I took several pictures in a row from the same spot.) Clearing enough space to put the frame together in the tiny room with all the bedding removed was a little challenging, but I get "good human" points for building the best kitty fort ever.
It's comfortable,
as my feline assistant will attest:

"Really, Mom? Interrupting nap time 

on my new bed for pictures, Really?"