Sunday, June 30, 2013

Phase 8 - not all time is the same (find focus) - Colorado 2

Voila! - It made it home in my carry-on in one piece! Plaster, 6" diameter
first stage
from the Money Museum
show at Coburn Gallery

Gothic style fun
I'm back from Colorado where I was  learning  medallic engraving from micro-metals expert, Laura Stocklin with the American Numismatic Association, thanks to a scholarship from the Gilroy Roberts Foundation. My interest in leaning this technique grows out of my quest to understand the gap between mechanical vs. human copying and love of all things miniature. All students exhibited at the Coburn Gallery, and because I was traveling with my work, I opted to bring 33 minis (which fit in my carry-on, along with all my clothes and tech for the week. (and it wasn't a big size carry-on either, since I had to be able to lift it above my head - yay for minis and portable art!)) It was fun re-visiting work from the Power in Precision Project and the mini-prints. I never thought about it much before, but one constant during the project was that I photographed each mini with a coin. Initially, my thought was to include the coin to provide a sense of scale, but in a way, it's also a juxtaposition of reproduced vs unique art because the coin is a relief sculpture which has been copied by machine millions of times while most of the minis are one off pieces. Lately, I've been wondering whether a work of art looses it's 'aura'/human-ness when it's reproduced and, if so, why/how? One art adventure of the week was visiting the Money Museum and seeing plaster casts from which coins were made (and there was even one with a parrot!) I really enjoyed seeing the designs and plasters for coins, because it reminded me that as many times a coin may be copied, it still needed a human to think, design, and create it. (hmmmmmm.)
fantastical creature 
ceiling full of patterning
wings, lots of wings
Apart from learning a new technique (and my heart does go pitter-patter for new art techniques), I also came across this lovely Romanesque-style (with some Gothic elements) chapel, friendly campus creatures, and beautiful landscape views.

In terms of phase 8 - not all time is the same (find focus), there were a few opportunities to think about this during my travels. I had been to Colorado once before. As a high school student, I visited the same campus, at the same time of year, also on a scholarship to study art (from the Marie Walsh Sharpe  foundation :)). While many things about the setting were the same, time has changed my focus. I'm still "art, art, art, art..." but this time, I concentrated on a specific, specialized technique that reflects my interests. Some things I focus on are the same (I drew cathedral architecture and campus creatures as a high school student too), but I'm better able to capture and express them with a variety of means now (such as photography - I never really liked to take pictures until about a year ago when I received a shock resistant, water/freeze/dust proof, orange camera with rubberized edges, big memory, and a beeping finder tag (love, love)).  

friendly campus creatures
Learning to lead the camera -
 framing and taking the picture before I see the action
I also thought about phase 8 while I was traveling.  Recently, I took the train to Chicago. It was a slightly longer trip than coming back from Colorado (door to door about 16 hours vs. 15 hours) but the way the time felt was very different. Even though the transportation to Chicago was slower, it required less thought and energy from me - all I had to do was walk to the train station and get on. The travel home from Colorado involved a shuttle, a cab, a plane, a tram, a subway, a train, and then a walk. The point is not so much "my travel was stressful" (O Whaaaa!, haha :P), but that time under stress may not be as productive because it requires a longer "recovery" period before I can focus on art. 
Conclusion: technology is not the enemy, distraction is.

 the intrepid explorer of Artlandia ;)