Thursday, July 11, 2013

phase 8 - not all time is the same (find focus), update 2

I have a list labelled "LTG" (Long Term Goals). It goes on the top of my master "to do" board which lives right next to my front door on the landing of the stairs. It includes things I want to try to accomplish in the next 1 - 2 years, usually technical skills to learn or places to visit. While I feel like I've been making some headway on the skills part (casting and engraving went on the list last January :D), I haven't figured out how to get to the place on my list yet.

I can't believe it's July, and the year is more than half over (Tempus Fugit!) Thinking about phase 8 this week and "not all time is same," focused my attention on this. One of my LTG's is going to the Venice Biennale exhibition, because I want to see first hand the layering of contemporary art onto historic places which, due to the city's unique environment, have resisted being plowed under by industrialization. I feel like it's the perfect place to look for "between" places where the spiritual and mechanical clash and interact in interesting ways (and who wouldn't want to run around a city-size, art playground?!) While I enjoy thinking about it even if it remains a dream, if I'm going to make it happen, I'm starting to face some time limits. The Biennale ends in late November. There is only so much "later" left.
These thoughts came out in my work this week when I decided that what the installation I'm working on really needs is a giant winged lion with my head on it (inserting myself into the symbol for Venice - fun times ;)). I haven't added the wings yet - they'll be collaged in like those in Lacrimae Rerum, and I got a very special piece of paper for them (going all out).

In terms of technology not being my enemy, my cell phone, which served me faithfully for many years, finally fell to pieces in my hand, and I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to a smart phone. It's no replacement for my full-time camera, but I like that the phone takes pictures already sized to upload (yay!). Best of all, I can flip the screen so that I can see the shot when I take self portraits, which comes in very handy for lining up the face for the chimeras :).

This lovely flock of planes will join the
lion and last weeks chimera parrot flock
as part of the same installation piece
for Gallery 105 in North Adams, MA
Coming up will be a stag. I thought I remembered a Frieda Kahlo painting where she put her head on the body of a deer - tracked it down - "The Little Deer"  and found some of her comments really interesting as well: "I never paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration." I don't know that much about her, but I admire her work and ability to explain the experience of painting (more research needed!)
Frieda Kahlo, The Little Deer, 1946
© Banco de México and INBAL Mexico, 2005

I haven't been feeling well, and today my kitten, Mini, is having surgery. While I know the vet is an expert who does this all the time, I'm waiting to hear the outcome and can't help but worry. Not feeling 100% and being anxious over Mini (who is really mischievous - she slipped out of the exam room when I thought the door was closed. I wasn't looking because I was inspecting her carrier - which she also (magically?) almost escaped during the car ride over. In a split second, I looked up, and she was gone and almost had an encounter with a big dog. The vet's assistant told me how she could have been hurt or killed or lost, and I cried when I got back to the car because I try so hard to be a good human to my cats, but lately it seems like I've been doing everything a little bit wrong. 

The Lernaean Hydra by
The Eagle Painter, Attic Black-figure Hydria,
 c. 525 BC, Getty Villa, CA
my yard
This is art relevant because I feel like my soul is a battery that's powering the creation of this installation, and the art is starting to drain the juice a little bit. Usually, I think of the relationship of the soul to art-making as being more like a rose bush - where the soul is the whole plant and the art is the flowers, and where the flowers get removed to be enjoyed, the plant grows back stronger and produces more (a less gentle, but maybe more topical simile would be a hydra, (haha - waving the classics nerd flag ;)).

it's a little creepy, but in a good way, right?
In summary, work on the installation is coming along (though I wish I were making more, faster - always). I feel like I'm starting to get a little lost in "the forest of and, and, and," and hope  my missing not-Cheshire cat guide will be back home soon.