Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tempus Fugit Redux

It was a helter-skelter week of art-making. I'm super excited about "Tempus Fugit Redux," but also feel like, now that I've made a decision about how to move forward, I want to take a time out to work through and complete other projects that are in process. I'm super excited that my work is getting out there (two thumbs way up!!!) - there are works in 4 shows, all of it recent, and I'm preparing for 2 more that open or ship in the next month (Yay!!) One challenge is that I want to give each piece the attention and devotion it needs (documenting, framing, packing, installing, de-installing). To have enough energy to do a good job, I'm trying to be more conscientious about resting and trying not starting a bunch of new things right now (operative word - trying ;)). Maybe a good addendum for phase 1 is "do/make the work - then care for it." Hmmmm.

I made a custom frame for "the keyhole" this past week. Revisiting this piece was a good  opportunity for reflection because I started it last July/August and it's one of the first works to grow out of the Tempus Fugit project during phase 1: do/make the work.

Sometimes I find myself irritating. I set out to make a simple frame and ended up with something almost as complex as the central piece. Luckily, knowing that things often take longer than I think, I left a few "extra" days to work on this task and ended up using every second. On the one hand, I find it frustrating that I can take any process, no matter how seemingly straightforward, and turn it into a labor-intensive nightmare (making this involved many steps of masking, painting, refining and, it doesn't show in the photo, but there are gold patters within the gold sections. All the colors except the blue are built up with sections of tiny parallel lines - patterns within patterns within patterns.) On the one hand, this is an insane way to go about this task; on the other hand, I do really like the frame. It has lots of features from the "things I like list" - patterns, flat, shiny, foilage, bright, intricate detail, repetition, and I've developed the technique for building up the patterns over the course of the intervening year. 

 I can't really explain or justify making the frame this way except to say that its more enjoyable to me now than it was before. Not only is it more visually appealing, but I feel the frame locates the piece "between" - it has lots of 3D elements and more painting now so it's less clear - is it a drawing or a painting? a 2D work or a relief sculpture? How many pieces is it exactly? To me, choosing inefficiency is an affirmation of humanness (a person can chose to be inefficient, but a machine is exactly as efficient as its programmed to be), so while it may seem crazy, I think making the frame in this way is actually the right thing for me. (hmmmm...)

My donation to "Postcards from the Trail"
an exhibition and sale in support of the Thomas Cole
Historical Site on September 8th

Other art-things I've been up to - I made this small mixed media collage for the Thomas Cole Historic Site benefit on September 8th (Thomas Cole was the founder of the Hudson River School, and helped establish American art in the region - who knows - without him, I may not live where I do? -Yay for art history!) After the scavenger hunt of a few weeks ago, I've been thinking more about the fact that space/place are very important to my work and have been cleaning and organizing to try to make things more streamlined.

5 minutes
20 minutes
10 minutes
Also more figure drawing (:)!) I looooove figure drawing. Thinking more about not getting things on the first try, I've been working on developing a new technique where I draw the figure twice - once in vine (smear) then again in a denser charcoal. I've also noticed that I'm drawn to extremes (giant room-scale installation, then tiny mini-paintings), so, I've been working on grey paper so that I can start in the middle of the gradient and move toward the ends. This also allows me to work in both the positive (charcoal) and negative (eraser), which is another aspect of technique that I've been thinking about since starting to learn more about relief sculpture in Colorado

Overall, an art-filled week!

10 minute pose (!?! pats self on back  - practice, practice, practice ;P)