Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Phase 3 - dwell in the house of possibility, conclusion

charcoal and pencil, 3.5 x 4.5,"10 - 25 minute poses

This week's theme could be: Dwell in the House of Possibility - but don't forget to open the front door.  I have been trying my best to manage time/space for artness sake, but last week, I didn't do as well as I would have liked.  (Sometimes, I feel like I'm trying to tetris two lives into a single timeline - I have my 'normal life,' where I go to work and school, talk to friends and family, go to the post office and the grocery store, etc., and then my 'art life,' where I make art, listen to music and read books). So this Sunday, I was exhausted but I got up early because, after last week, I put "DRAWING" on my calendar in all caps. I wanted to be prepared - to have all my supplies ready and take care of a few things around the house...but I got distracted. I looked up and realized I'd have to leave in 10 minutes to make it to drawing on time, and I didn't have anything ready. I was tempted to bag it and think "well, I'm going to live here a long time, I'll go next week..." but, then I thought of this week's theme, and my next thought was along the lines of "I did not move 1000 miles cross country to do laundry in a more Northerly location." I decided that all the preparation in the world wouldn't mean anything if I couldn't walk out my front door, so I went (and the laundry survived just fine in my absence ;)). I brought the sketchbook I always carry around in my bag and a selection of materials (and scraps of materials) that happened to be close to the front door. I had a great time, got to interact with other artists, and made a few little drawings.  It was my first time working with a live model on the mini-scale, and there are some things I need to work on next time (composing to the bottom of the corrugation that I cut off, not the outer edge - oops), but overall, thumbs up - working small is more comfortable to me after the 'Power in Precision Project," (and, bonus, it means I don't have to carry around a drawing board so I can put it all in my bag when I'm done and go have coffee...haha).

I also made a doll. I've made artwork about dolls before and had work in the show "Be A Doll" in 2009 at Estel Gallery in Nashville (a little jewel of a gallery that is now, sadly, closed). I feel like a bunch of factors are converging to point me back in that direction now. I got to listen to a panel at SECAC: "Two for One: Doppelgängers, Alter-Egos, Mirror Images, and Other Duples in Western Art: 1850–2000," which I loved, and one scholar in particular - Nathan Timpano, talked about an Egon Schiele self portrait as a puppet. I like Schiele's work and had never thought of this piece as a puppet before. Between the panel, the Quay Brother's exhibition, a discussion with a Vermont friend about Peter Schumann and the magical Bread and Puppet, a visit to the Quai Branly collection this summer (masks, masks, masks!), and thoughts of Venice (always thoughts of Venice on a back burner in my mind somewhere). I've been wanting to make dolls/puppets/automatons/masks and have been thinking about the differences between them. (I'm going to have to keep thinking/arting about that one...)

Then Monday and Tuesday, I had some unexpected "time-off" due to the super-storm.  My feline assistant and I weathered the storm and are doing fine. My thoughts go out to those impacted by the storm :(.  I feel like, in the face of such disaster, art shouldn't matter (theorist Theodore Adorno might agree), but then, I was at home, and maybe I was scared, so arting was the best distraction, and I made this drawing.

Not only is there weekly figure drawing within walking distance from my new location, but there's a (locally owned!) art store too, so when I decided that the letters in the background needed to be orange, not black, I was able to go get orange ink and make this piece, start to finish, during the days of the storm.

Conclusion - Possibility really can be site specific...
"Lost in the Forest of Words," ink and color pencil, 18 x 24"

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Phase 3 - dwell in the house of possibility, update

looks like she's adjusting ok :)
So, this week, I've concluded that, while I want to dwell in the house of possibility, it may be important not to leave the doors and windows open too far (the feline assistant might get out, and no possible house is complete for me without my favorite feline assistant.  We were reunited with this week, and I couldn't restrain myself from including a cute kitty picture :)).  What I mean is - while I'm trying to be open to possibility so that I can better recognize it, this week I've also had to face that not all things are possible at the same time.

I did not make an artwork this week (!) That's not to say I didn't paint - because I did, a lot, but in trying to manage my time/space for long term results (principle 2c - build to last), I needed to devote time and energy to other things, and there wasn't enough for art this time (not enough for art!?) To me, art is the ultimate "possible turned material," so I feel badly that I wasn't able to make anything this week and will have to work on it, but I also want to try to appreciate the possibilities of the ways I did spend my time/ manage my space:
SECAC show with my artwork in the background

1) I went to an awesome conference, the Southeastern College Art Conference - I had work in the juried show and delivered a poster presentation. I met lots of nice people, had a fun time, learned some new things about art, and (mental drumroll please...) I got a travle grant (YAY! - thank you to the family and friends of Gulnar Bosch and SECAC! Attendance was not only possible but actual!)
yes, that carpet was pink
The walls were pink too
This reminds me of my room in VT
there are neon stripes in the carpet!

2) In 24 hours I went from pink walls and formerly pink carpet to this (did I mention that I painted, a lot? - who knew it was possible to make this sort of change so quickly? It did involve a trip to, yes, I admit it, a big box store, as well as Salvation Army, plus a few things of mine and some from the previous owner.)

3) the timing was a little tricky, but I did my best to keep up as best I could with: jobs, school, and house (while the humans at the call centers are very nice, I look forward to a time when every week does not include lots of time spent on hold or listening to auto-voice menus...can I press 1 for that to be a possibility?)

4) I deinstalled a window display of a few paintings in Chatham, NY on Main Street in conjunction with Film Columbia - while I was away during the screenings this year, maybe more people saw my work (you never know...possible)

5) I entered a juried show (we'll see... possible?)

So my week was filled with art-possibles and possibles-turned-actuals. I (still) wish I'd been able to make more art -  but it's a new week full of new possibilities ;).

Monday, October 15, 2012

Phase 3 - dwell in the house of possibility

Ah, my own little corner of heaven! (who knew there was shag carpet in the great beyond?)
I have a long-term home!!  (This is one of those things that I think merits an OMG and lots of !!!) and, and, and... Studio Space! It has a door and walls, and (bonus) a closet! (actually, other people might refer to it as a "master bedroom," haha.) I am so so happy, but also somewhat overwhelmed. Every time I try to think through what to do, I see so many possibilities. But first off, I've been frantically trying to get the studio ready because I feel disoriented with my art things everywhere (plus they're taking over). I want to move into the studio and get working right away, but it's not my only area of focus right now, so I'm trying to get a little done each day and be patient, patient, patient.

I showed work from this summer and Phase 2 at Henry Hudson Studios last week in Hudson, NY, and this week I installed other work from the summer in Chatham, NY to coincide with the Film Columbia, an international film festival. (Yay!) I am excited to be exhibiting, and because I always try to include new work every time I show, it brings me back to principle #1 (make the work)...

 With so much house painting and mental overflow, ironically, now that I have space, I went back to working small this week because it felt safe and contained. I was making this tiny print - I think I'm really starting to get the hang of the tiny prints thing. My friends and family have been great "testers" - so far, and I think the tiny prints have helped to spread miniature happiness (though I still think they might be even better if they came with a cookie - and now that I have a kitchen...) But as much as I like making tiny prints, I felt like I wanted to do something different this week. I decided to start from the premise - what if it were possible to make anything I wanted - what would that be?  The answer: neon figure painting.
A side

B side
I went to see an awesome exhibition last week - the Quay brothers at MoMA. With moving, starting new jobs, school, etc., I've been burning the candle at both ends a bit, so an "art-play-day" was a welcomed treat. I had an incredible day in which I actually reached my point of "art-full" after seeing about 4 exhibitions (yum.)  I also saw a show on design for children (also at MoMA).  Seeing the two shows back to back gave me this sense of a juxtaposition between not playful toys and playful not toys. I think that was on my mind with this week's mini painting, which is a like a game piece that can't really be played with (because it has no instructions, no fellow pieces, and is so detailed that it seems wrong to throw it down on a table, but it still basically looks like a fancy domino or card (if Ingres and William Morris were to design a neon, metallic game piece together).  Both sides can never be seen at once (is that irritating or a bonus?) It's a still germinating idea, but I may make some more of these (I'd say it's a distinct possibility ;)).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Phase 2 - be prepared for good things, conclusion

What use would planning be without doing? This past week has given me the chance to really put phase two to the test with arting, 2+ jobs, school, moving, exhibition and an upcoming conference presentation (whew!) I feel like time/space preparation was key to finishing these two pieces for a show and submitting work for a juried (minis!) exhibition.

I also put giving into practice and made these tiny prints for friends and a charity auction

I used a new technique, inspired by the principles of tempus fugit. I wanted to bring pattern and color (both on my list of "favorite things") into the tiny prints.  I cut the tiny prints out and collaged them onto this patterned paper (saved from the trash!)  It's a great use of time for me because, while I love carving the images, I struggle to line them up on the paper when I print them. I'm also not good at cutting straight lines (even with a paper cutter), but enjoy cutting out curves - so printing and then cutting them out and affixing them to pre-cut patterned paper brings in additional elements of color and pattern that I think adds to the prints and allows me the maximum amount of time on my favorite part - the cutting of the block. I've concluded that they make nice gifts, and are especially enjoyable when accompanied by a baked good.

Overall - I've concluded that preparation is a continuous process that requires lots of patience. I feel I need to keep practicing this one, (especially the resting part), but since I think it looks like practicing preparation might be a life-long practice, I see no reason not to move on the the next phase ;) :

Phase 3 - dwell in the house of possibility.