Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Phase 4 - acknowledge limits, update

5 minutes
25 minutes
15 minutes

I went with the largest tree I could easily carry up stairs by myself .
Cost equivalent - 4 cups of fancy coffee, with decorations, 9
The question of who/what I would be if I weren't myself has never made sense to me (if I weren't myself, then I couldn't be myself as someone else, I would just be that person instead - see, it doesn't make much sense now, does it?), but as I cheerfulled up the house this week, it occurred to me - I know the answer!  If I weren't myself - I would be an Elf!  Elves purpose is to make beautiful things, decorate, bake cookies and, generally, sing, dance and cheery about. I was thinking about this because...I got a Christmas tree!   I didn't have ornaments, but I got a few boxes of candy canes (less than $1 for a dozen - that is exciting :)), a few bulbs, and - of course - multi-color lights! (I really really really like multi-color Christmas lights - they combine, colorfulness, mininess, and bright-shininess - three of my very favorite things).
I was so happy about the tree that I decided to sit under it and make an artwork on an unfinished panel I had sitting around. If I had thought it through, I would have self-vetoed the technical decisions here - it's all one layer of vine charcoal which, in theory, is a very-very-bad idea. Vine is extremely fragile, but I've used it alone before (for mini 17).  The fragility of the material makes it extremely responsive to touch and to erasure, so on a toned surface, one can work both dark (with the charcoal) and light (with the erasure) and physically push the medium around with fingers.  All good things, but it's so light that breathing on it too hard messes it up (so in my house, that means it has to be done in one sitting, without "help" from my feline assistant, who, consequently, decided to sit on my shoulders since I was being mean and denying her a napping spot on the panel). Vine smears and wipes away if one drags a sleeve or hand through it. In terms of accepting limits - while other people seem able to work without accidentally smearing, I've never been able to avoid dragging my hand over the panel, so...using this technique, I knew I'd have one shot, starting in the upper right and working down to the lower left; no going back or fixing. I'm not sure how long this took (not good at measuring time while I work, but most of the day). By the evening I coated it with an aerosol acrylic clear coat to set it on the panel and protect it (and then went and brushed my hair - wish I'd though to do that first!), and added a little bit of color pencil to bring out the highlights. Now I just have to decide what to do with the rest of the panel (I may cover the charcoal in paper while I work on the rest or I may call it quits on this one).
"Lost in the forest of and, and, and"
I also made this earlier in the week using letters like in the orange "gemini" piece of a few weeks ago, but turning them into an actual word this time (limiting the number of letters to a-n-d-&). 

feline assistant in the forest of Christmas tree
I went to figure drawing again too, except this time, I got up and started getting ready earlier so that I arrived on time, with all my materials, and was so happy about the vine charcoal piece  that I had a good session.
Limiting is hard for me, because there is always more that I want to do and see and learn, but on the other hand, it can be helpful in terms of focus - like the vine charcoal piece - by only working with one thing, I didn't have to make decisions about which medium or colors to use, only how to use a single medium better. Hmmmmm - there may be something to this one, I feel like I need to keep working on it... 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Open Studio!

mighty mini's for sale!

Come see me - I'll be a guest artist here:)

davistudio fine porcelain



NOVEMBER 23 & 24 : 12 NOON-4PM

486 Pratt Hill Road : Chatham : New York : 12037

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Phase 4 - acknowledge limits, update

So I may need to keep working on this principle for a bit. I've been cheery-fying (and cleaning) my space. The latest cheerying efforts (mostly painting, makeover cost - about 12 nice cups of coffee (thumbs up :)).  I think white paint is the little black dress of interior decorating.  I couldn't not make art things though (new doll parts), and I went to figure drawing (and made it on time too! :)), and I wanted to make these cookies for a friend.

In a sense though, I wonder if the way I used my free time is an expression of limits -I cheery-fied with paint and an arty swirl of raspberry in the cookies because that's what I know how to do (I couldn't have fixed the plumbing in the bathroom or come up with the recipe for the cookies.)  Hmmmmm, a little to cheeried out think it through all the way right now, but will keep working on this one...



From the inside looking out
but there is still time for cookies right?
white chocolate and macodamian nut
 with a swirl of rasberry - mmmmmmm
new doll parts

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Phase 4 - acknowledge limits

The studio is ready!!! (see the early during, late during, after). I feel this is a major time/space happiness moment in the Tempus Fugit  project! Getting the studio set up is part of phase 4 - acknowledge limits in terms of space/time for art because, at the moment, my art stuff is taking over my space. I can't believe I have a dedicated space for art-making (with walls that go to the ceiling and a door, and, bonus, a closet!!), but I also need to consolidate - hopefully, having my materials organized and at hand will help me use art-time more efficiently (and also help me keep the rest of the house clean!)

I went to figure drawing again. I'm not sure it was the right decision - I had a scheduling conflict with the end of the session, then at the last minute something came up at home (it involved calling the plumber - sadness) so I was late. I was trying a new technique - working on a spray primed surface, and the materials didn't take quite the way I thought they would. In terms of limits - maybe it was not the best time to try something new? Looking at the drawings, they're not that bad for 15 - 25 minute poses (and I composed to the corrugation line better - thumbs up) and, of course, I had more fun by going for the time I could than not going...hmmmm.

But it brings me back to phase 4 with a thought about not being able to be in more than one place at a time. According to theorists Deleuze and Guattari the real is a reduction of the virtual - which I interpret to mean that so many things are possible, but only one can be real at a time (as in - there are many options for arranging the furniture in the house of possibility, but one can only sit in a particular chair in a particular spot at any given time.) Limits aren't always a bad thing, they can provide structure, but I always want to do so many different things that it can be hard to know what/when to let go.

I made another doll this week. I think I may have spent a little too much time looking at this: Giacometti's hands holding the void, (which has a big crack across the legs and is beautiful in it's imperfection), but the dolls seem to have a different relationship to the idea of mass production. I feel like that's part of what makes them a little disturbing - the cobbling together of generic and unique.  By using discarded and cheap material, all mass produced, and turning it into unique objects through "artness," I think I'm trying to convert it from "standing reserve" (stuff to be used up and then discarded) back into something that at least has the potential to be special/beautiful.  Not sure it's working yet...

Listening to Through the Looking Glass (again,) and The Wizard of Oz (again), but also assigned reading of Heidegger (scary!) If I needed to give one up - guess which one it would be ;). For phase 4, I'll be giving some more thought to the question - when is giving up is the right thing to do?