Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Meditation, Abstract Painting, and Possibilities

"When I'm painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It's only after a get acquainted period that I see what I've been about." Jackson Pollock
Abstract Painting
This is a portion (maybe a third) of an abstract painting I worked on a couple of weeks ago. Very vivid colors, including gold which doesn't always photograph well. I believe I may be working on a series of this kind of abstract, as half a dozen more along this line sit in my studio. I'm in the "get acquainted" phase that Pollock mentions, and am discovering the meanings for me.

"You begin with the possibilities of the material."Robert Rauschenberg

Sunday Meditation
This so inspiring well done video is worth viewing. It was created and is copyrighted by Elia Saikaly in an attempt to share the spirit of a man who carried a message of hope and understood life. Sean Egan died on a Mt Everest climb in 2005 living a dream. Sean said "How sad it is, for a man to grow old and not know the beauty and strength of which the body is made. Your soul and the body function together." He encourages us to live in our bodies, enjoy and appreciate our environment, as he did in a grand fashion.

What had promised to be a very busy packed week, instead became a week of rest, contemplation, tea and soup. I am finally feeling over my flu today, it's time move about, go for a walk, maybe enjoy the hummingbirds in our yard feeders from outdoors instead of from behind the windows and look forward to the possiblities of spring coming.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Basket, Weaving, and Randomness

"So much of life, it seems to me, is determined by pure randomness." Sidney Poitier
And this is how I feel today, random, tangled... I had to look up a quote as the words are not flowing easily. I've managed to come down with fever and a cold or flu. So it's hot tea and chicken soup for me for the next week.

Meanwhile, a bit of creativity from a week or so ago. This basket (about 7.5 inches across and 4.5 inches deep) I made in our sewing guild, a whole day spent learning how to ply the wet fiber into a shape. A whole day of random weaving. I think that's why I signed up for that workshop. The randomness is so appealing. No pre-ordained pattern, nor rows, nor specified colors or anything. Just weave as your hand leads.
There's a kind of Zen feeling to this randomness, just tapping into spirit and letting the piece evolve as it will. Looking straight down at it, I see a mandala.....
So, here is my Sunday meditation (on Tuesday). Randomness is a good thing and I shall meander in my art creating more often. Not think too much. Let the rhythm of making take over and lead me on. And for today I shall savor tea and let the ideas come.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sketchbook Project, Organizing, Just BE

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast..." from Alice in Wonderland
The Sketchbook Project
Above is the outside cover from my sketchbook "Lights in the Distance" just submitted to the ArtHouse Co-op a couple of days ago. This previous posting talks a bit about it. I made 2 originals, so I could keep one. I used the moleskin sketchbook sent by ArtHouse, but removed most of the 80 pages. My book has 16 finished pages plus the outside/inside covers..... The paper was so flimsy, so I glued some of the ones I left in the book together, then collaged/ gessoed more on top of them to make them more sturdy. I included a few sketches but found my subject lent itself more to some personal photos (altered in Photoshop), and previous artwork (also altered in Photoshop).
All in all a very fun and productive art project. Some of the the pages will lead to other pieces of art, paintings or 3d, for example the one above. I have used this photo in other art pieces and it's one of my favorites. I've posted the ArtHouse tour schedule for the sketchbooks (thousands of them from around the globe) in my sidebar. Additionally, ArtHouse will be digitizing and posting quite a few of them online too in a couple of months. If you click on the link, scroll down to see what they are about, since they currently have a special message for the sketchers at the top.

Organizing Art
Speaking of impossible things - maybe this year will be the year? I've seen at least half a dozen blogs talking about cleaning out the studio's. Hmmm, I wonder, is "organized art" an oxymoron? I think I need a certain amount of chaos or jumble to stimulate ideas, you know, unexpected things or colors randomly colliding in a great way...

I have art all over the house, some is organized (kind of) and some not so much. I think it's because my art from very early years evolved from watercolor painting and some sewing into "why not try everything". I suppose it's an organic process & grew so much with all kinds of art, that I didn't create "homes" for some things. So that's my thought now - instead of getting lost in the details too much - to envision "homes" for everything, how all the space in the house would be most useful, and then reorganize from there. And at the same time, consolidate some things that are scattered. It would eliminate some occasional "search & rescue" missions for tools or supplies I sometimes can't find. Here's a very small glimpse of my art messiness...
And here are examples of some things, but not all, that I do now; at least it's a start....
Labeled clear drawers or plastic boxes - "Adhesives" drawer for wet, stick or tacky tape; "Tape" drawer for masking, dble-sided, washi, packing, etc.; "Tools" for some larger ones (hand drill, heat gun, etc); "Sewing Notions"; "Ribbons"; "Threads"; "Felting"; "Embroidery", "Stencils", "Inks", "Pens, Colored Pencils, etc", and more
Zip plastic bags (the kind linens or sheets come in) - easy to find & take along somewhere. I have one bag that is all about matting, framing paintings & hanging up a painting show. I have one that is for bookbinding kind of tools..... And then a misc general tool bag.
Small clear boxes - for pricey tube acrylic paints; separate ones for watercolor tube paints. Old thrift store wooden CD holders - for cheap $1 acrylics
Wood CD holders & wire baskets & closed cabinet - for fabric quarters & larger pieces
Clear Over-Door Shoe Holder - great for art mediums, gesso's, etc.
Plastic bags for projects - I haven't been doing this consciously, but I always have a bag with one or two small handstitching projects (fabric books, embroidery, collage, beading) ready to be worked on. And another bag with my small sketchbooks, journal with pens & mini-palette & waterbrush also at the ready. I do make time every night working on something as I wind down maybe watching tv at the same time. But I think I might expand this, and "bag" up more at-the- ready projects that are small and portable. Or possible "art experiments" I have been dreaming up and wanting to try.

I don't know about any of you, but I've decided that as part of figuring out how best to use & reorganize my space, I must include a "staging" area. As well as arting alone, I often come in and out of the house - going to sewing or painting groups, meeting friends, a workshop now & then - so tools/supplies/art projects come in or go out with me... and often don't get put away, then I'm scrounging to find something later. I'd love to hear some ideas for this problem!

Sunday Meditation
In spite of the post New Year's organizing frenzy, do remember this: all those lovely art tools and supplies are there for a reason - to support your creativity, nurture your inner soul, provide ways to express yourself... Maybe it's ok to have them visible to remind oneself to take the time, to make the time, to just be, just play. And maybe it's about a balancing act between how much time you owe to play and how much to maintenance. Perhaps an organized space is possible with time for play too...

A quote from Einstein: “... although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head. If my work isn’t going well, I lie down in the middle of a workday and gaze at the ceiling while I listen and visualize what goes on in my imagination.
Meanwhile, here's an interesting blog read that I've followed off and on, and added to my sidebar, Zen Habits. Here's what they say in their "About" page..."Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness." How true.

Sending you a Peace-Filled Artful Day,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Art Show, Art Play and Projects

Taking time for art, it's so relaxing...
Kaewyn Gallery Miniature Show
Their annual show is still on until January 25, so if you are local don't miss the opportunity to see lots of wonderful small art pieces in the gallery. You can find the address and hours at the link to their website.

This and That
Lately I have created an array of art pieces that I have yet to post.... some fabric dying & stamping, a collaged hand-stitched fabric piece I resurrected from two years ago that I never finished, a couple of small experimental abstract canvases, two 10x10 mixed media pieces that I submitted for possible publication, two mixed media sketchbooks - almost done, and some journaling. One of the sketchbooks is for me and the other is for the ArtHouse Coop challenge to add to their Brooklyn library, it's due January 15... so I'm managing to stay focused on that project. I decided I needed to have one to keep, that's why I'm overachieving by making 2.

But meanwhile, this week in three fiber groups I belong to, I'll be experimenting with making simple books, dying fabric shibori style, and checking out a museum exhibit. And I decided to sign up for Mary Ann Moss Remains of the Day sewn fiber journal. I'm sure there's more on my plate, I just can't think of it now!

An artist's life is never dull... too bad the housework doesn't do itself....