This one’s for you little salmon sister, swimming upstream in the Big Apple. Just get the Art Diva attitude on and be what you are….an awesome artist!
This past summer I had the opportunity to be involved with a community art project in which artists and non-artists alike collected interesting garbage and junk and other seemingly useless items. In this Collect Project, local artists then created works of art using the discovered discards. The results were amazing! All works were finally auctioned off a week ago to benefit ArtWorks, a non-profit arts organization based in Cincinnati that promotes job training, creative services and public art.
Fellow artist Tina Westerkamp and I created three mixed media pieces of work together. Lady Pilot, below, was my favorite of the three. We started with a metal paper towel holder, an old watch, some (clean) hospital tubing, and parts of a bicycle wheel. We then added some other “art goodies” from our own eclectic stashes. I could write a dissertation about our artistic process but basically, it was the magic of putting two rather different styles into what became an Other. It was a blast.
One of my favorite sayings goes something like “If you don’t stir the pot now and then, all the good stuff sinks to the bottom.” This is so true for art. Collaboration with another artist is a great way to discover new avenues of making and stirring that proverbial pot. I highly recommend it.
Yesterday I decided to do a little experiment to try my hand at stop motion animation. So I got the ubiquitous pose-able art guy out and took some pictures of him and some river pebbles having a little physical dialogue. I then put these still shots into my I-movie program, adjusted the timing on them a little and voila! Art guy and his river pebbles are on the move.
I am working on an idea for a longer project (read 2 minute music video) using a hand made doll and I want to create smoother movements. This is all part of my rather steep learning curve when it comes to computerized movie making. But today’s experiment showed me what potential there is in putting images together to create simple movement. I’ll keep you posted!
I have been home in my new home studio space for about 5 months now and still marvel daily at how wonderful it is. This light filled, quiet work space was one of the selling points of this house we decided to move to. I love it. For the first time ever my tools, technology, inspiration, family and kitchen are all under one roof. There is nothing like having a pot of chili on the stove, kids quietly doing homework, the dog snoozing on the couch and me getting real work done, all happening at the same time!
There are things I miss about my old house, (primarily its “oldness”), and things I miss about my former studio space (the company of my Blue Door Studio mates), but frankly, things couldn’t be better here. I step into this space each morning and breathe a deep sigh of gratitude, and wave to anyone who might happen to be peering into my window with a curious gaze.
“What is the use of a tree? Well, it has many uses, but it isn’t TRYING to be useful. It’s just doing what it wants. And in that process, it does its job in the natural order of things. Despite all the rantings of moralists, you are in the same boat. The only way you are ever going to do an ounce of good in the world is to do what you want. Do what makes you happy, or at least what distracts you from your misery…. So revel in your perfect uselessness. It’s the useful thing to do…. You do not have to strive every minute to be better than it is possible to be…..”
In that spirit, I have spent today in a sort of wandering mood. I met an old friend I haven’t seen awhile for coffee, stopped into Salon Cherry Bomb for an impromtu hair trim (amazingly, she had a spare 5 minutes). I practiced some music, walked the dog and took a nap. There is a small part of me (getting smaller by the day) that feels a little guilty having a day like this. But the gentler part of me, the artist-self who gets stronger and wiser each day, knows better. In the midst of all of this “uselessness” I seemed to have found the key to slowing down the clock. Today seems to have lasted longer than most. Along with my wanderings, some drawing has gotten done, some of the boring studio house-keeping tasks managed to get done as well. I have some ideas brewing that weren’t there earlier in the day…. I feel productive. It’s been a good day in the studio. The action and practice so necessary to maintaining forward momentum as a self-employed artist must be tempered with balancing non-action and days of uselessness (or so it might appear to others) that allow for ideas to simmer.
So, that said, I think I’ll make like a tree…. and grow. Useless as that may be.