Saturday, September 21, 2013

phase 1 redux - appreciate and develop expertise, update

This time, I think it’s really done (and framed J!)
"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where –" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"– so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
-Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
One thing I realized during Tempus Fugit is that part of the reasons I like minis is that unless an artwork is tiny, I really can’t see it as a unit. Looking at larger work as a picture on screen is a way of getting around this. It's "a triumph of technology," but also, kind of a pain, because now that I also feel obligated to fix things. Case and point, I was all excited thinking the owl was done Monday - then I looked at the photos (dramatic sign ;)). (I thought the blue needed to reach up into the center, the red needed to expand down, and the white background of the horizontal bar was too harsh.) Luckily, these things could all be addressed by...(you guessed it ;)) yet another layer of patterning within patterning. 
blue lines between lines added with a .005 micron pen
(Now I'm really done, because that's the smallest size pen I have!)
In the Forest of And, And, And, the new year starts in early September, so for the past few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on the past year and considering how to move forward with Redux. When in doubt – research! Since my focus is on time management and appreciating expertise I decided to read about the habits of art experts. I read "Daily Rituals: How Artists Work" by Mason Currey (love, love - not only is it well researched, but also there's a beautiful fluidity to the logic connecting each segment with the next – two thumbs up). I also liked how eccentric a lot of the artists in the book are.
Reading about the routines of artists, it occurred to me that I don't know much about the lives of many of the artists whose work I admire. Because I'm gearing up for woodblock engraving, I decided to read a book about Albrecht Durer - The World of Durer: 1471 – 1528 by Francis Russell. It had nice pictures, and I did learn some things – like that Durer made an entire monument out of paper? (Oooooo, right?!)
When it comes to the “developing expertise” part of this mission, I’ve been thinking that because I'm making "between" places, they should be populated with living things created with a variety of media.  I love learning about (creature-friendly) materials and techniques, but there are so so many, and new things are being developed all the time. I used a new kind of paint for the owl piece - Golden high flow acrylics (I only have a little bit to test out, but my impression so far: it’s the viscosity of ink, but with the opacity, matte finish, and drying time of acrylic.) I’ve been thinking I may not mix colors for a while and work mostly in black, white, grey, and pure, straight-out-of-the tube colors. Maybe limiting my materials will help me find focus? (hmmmmm.)
In other art news and adventures – I went to the opening of the 124th Annual Members Exhibition  for the National Association of Women Artists at the Sylvia Wald and Kim Po Gallery. I had a great time visiting with family and friends and seeing so much artwork being created here and now. 

Before the opening, I got to appreciate some art-gems of the past. I made a visit to one of my happy places – the Met, to see a special exhibition of Medieval art from Hildesheim Cathedral, as well as textiles, (and works from the permanent collections - always - my heart goes pitter-patter).
Who me?
 While my focus is on time, I’m continuing to “refine” space-issues. This past week I had a studio visit (two thumbs up!), and so I had some extra incentive to get things organized - it was a bright day when the last piece of 70's shag carpeting finally left the building! With the floor cleared, I have more space to assemble collages in a newly established "kitty-free" zone. In general, I accept that letting my feline assistants in the studio means I have less pristine work, but a happier life, but my little Mini is soooo mischievous. She was carrying off and hoarding pieces of the owl collage (kitty logic: my human spends so much time fixated on these - they must be tasty). This wouldn't be so much of a problem except that she left teeth marks in them (at least the ones that I could find - ha!). So, I now have a separate area for things with as-yet-unattached pieces (and the feline assistants get extra-consolation-attention (and treats) to make up for the crime of a closed door.) Everyone is happy. :)