Sunday, February 24, 2013

Phase 6 - start with what you know and build from there (or practice, practice, practice), update 3

I have some good news! Just when I was thinking “I really love Hudson, and I am so happy that I moved here, but I'm not sure that February is my favorite." I got an email. I had applied for a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in the fall (knowing myself well enough to suspect when I moved, that art time somewhere warmer would be like manna right about now ;)). I had been on the waiting list, but there was a cancellation, and I’m going to Virginia!! It is an amazing gift to be able to go as I am and spend some time focusing exclusively on art! I am so, so excited (I’d like to pretend I didn’t jump up and down and dance around when I got the email like a tween girl receiving Bieber tickets - but I did).  I have some time to prepare, so my goal is to plan for and organize a  Tempus Fugit sub-project so that I can hit the ground running when I get there.

In terms of art, this week I concentrated on the faux black velvet poster and finished it. I have to say, I find it intriguingly hideous, and it may end up on living on the back of my bedroom door. I broke one of my own rules with this though and worked on it outside the studio. I think the photos show exactly why I have a policy against that.
Because of the pens and markers, not the kitty 

napping is a-ok with me
It was fun, and I developed patterns within 
patterns. Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night and realized I’d been dreaming of drawing, so in that sense – it worked! I now think of art 24/7 and dream in tiny, neon lines. On the other hand, it absorbed the time I otherwise would have put toward the block print (not good). I’ve been thinking, I like making these, and it's good practice, but I wonder if there's a way to incorporate them into my day without diverting so much studio time and in a way that doesn’t lead to pens and markers everywhere (apart from my just being neater with them while I work - I've given up the ghost on that one). One idea I had was getting a smaller size (or maybe photocopying to a smaller size - that way I could make multiples on better paper by manually loading the copier with art paper.) I was thinking of only using one color. That might be a fun challenge to see how many shades I can get out of one color just by varying the mark/pattern. Using black and maybe just a little color, the result may look like grisaille stained glass. The time issue remains (as yet) unresolved though, hmmmm. 

White ground lekythoi by the Achilles Painter
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Other art activities - about a week ago, I visited the Met (so much to see!) It was extra-special because I got to visit with a favorite professor (who helped inspire my love of Medieval Art and taught me one of my favorite art words - muldenfaltenstil :)) We looked at Greek vases together. I love Greek vases (even beyond my normal level of art-enthusiasm.) I wrote a thesis on winged figures and had to take a time out to refocus when I realized over half my examples were Greek vases (and I was discussing a time period from the Classical era through the Renaissance - oops). I particularly like this type - white ground lekythoi, and, as nerdy as it is, I have a favorite painter, the Achilles Painter. There are many things I like about these vessels (they're funerary, and, to me, they convey a quiet pathos in scenes of a final farewell between the living and the dead.) But one thing I hadn't thought about was the fact that the figurative sections are bordered by repeating patterns. I never made the connection before, but now I wonder if the mixture of figures and patterning had more of an influence than I realized (especially looking back at the early stages of the tracery piece, or even the recent panel piece from 2 weeks ago, and the way the figure is left open like those on these vases. Hmmmm. In terms of phase 6, I wonder if it's possible to work from what one knows without realizing it? Is it always the case and just a matter of cultivating awareness? Maybe practice gives time for movement of an idea from the subconscious to the conscious? Hmmmmmm.