Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pretty vacant

spring time in the dirt, sometimes it is hard to work

I am happy to report I have completed the massive 5.5x7ft commission I have been working on since January. I am just waiting for the painting to be delivered to the client. I might show it to you sometime. I am still waiting to begin the next batch of work, the next series. I have some tiny ideas, some grand ones and some false starts. We will see what happens.

I have been enjoying photography in the meantime and walking in the spring weather and listening to all the music lovely people give me. I have been talking a lot lately. I have been having wild dreams. All of this is tumbling around in my head and as soon as it reaches that critical point it will come out in the form of a painting or twenty. I have been productive just not in ways that are clearly seen or easily shared.

Here are a couple of links to photography things that I find inspiring.

Here is a song that I have been listening to a lot lately as well.

Oh and I sold three paintings this week. That was an exciting surprise. I was also rejected by a gallery. Oh well. That is how it goes. Life is basically good, actually life is magical and most things are possible in this world if you want them and can dream them.

Write your story and make it happen. I believe in you.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Here we go again...

The weeks are flying by and here it is another Friday and another studio blog. Hm.. What have I been up to this week in the studio? I have been finishing up the commission. I have been thinking, and looking at my art. I have been organizing and promoting events for the underground studios where I work and I have been having meetings. Today I talked to some young children on a tour of our studios.

So, sadly there has not been too much time for paintings or for letting concepts jell for my future work. What have I been doing outside of the studio? I have been in the park early in the morning to watch the sun cast shadows across the fields, I have been walking through daffodils and smelling the Spring in the air. I have been waking up with the moon glow in my room. I have spent quality time with friends and family. I have talked about art and looked at art. I have taken photographs, I have thought things through.

Does this all translate into art eventually? Yes, it does. Will it soon? I don't know. Do I want it to? Um, yes... I am looking forward to painting again, but I can't force it. This is just one of those lulls I struggle through at times. Suddenly the veil will lift, I will remember and I will get caught up in a new series and run with it.

If you keep fighting, I will too. Until next week...

Friday, March 11, 2011

The things I thought I heard...

I promised you new work and I really try to keep my promises, but I can't offer you a finished piece or even a work in progress. Perhaps you will accept a concept instead?

This week has been rough, with a lot of old ideas resurfacing about myself and how I fit (or don't) into this world. A lot of self doubt kept me preoccupied, corroding my confidence. Old habits and defense mechanisms were deployed to remedy these negative feelings with limited success.

Art has always helped bolster my confidence and has given me a place to belong when I felt that I didn't belong anywhere else. So, I thought perhaps it was indeed time to explore some of these feelings in my art. I don't often use my art in this manner. My usual goal is to create work that people, including myself can escape into rather than using my work to dwell on a certain emotion or issue. I say my usual goal, I do understand that my work is emotional in nature whether through use of colors, text, or titles. However, my work usually only hints at what I am trying to explore. My work is often dreamy and perhaps intentionally vague not only so that the audience can bring themselves into the work more easily but also as a protective mechanism for myself. I hold back from this more personal and clearly emotionally charged art because I fear this type of work is often heavy handed, juvenile, and perhaps even a bit selfish or self absorbed. At the same time, art is about expression and freedom and is a good place to challenge these perceptions.

The concept that came to me this week was in the form of a simple sentence, "The things I thought I heard that helped make me..." The idea being that people in our lives say things to us all the time but what we hear and internalize can be completely different than what was actually said, yet we take and carry this perception of their words with us forever. Also the element of self doubt is expressed in this statement with the word "thought." We can not be sure, did they say that and mean this? Did they mean this and say that? Did our emotions in the moment color an innocuous word and turn it into a poison that will now be our undoing? Imagine all these instances adding up over a life time, the things that children think they hear, but can't be sure of, changing them forever. This repeats throughout our life, the things we think we hear create us and make us who we are today. These half truths, these confused words give us our identities, our language, our issues and change the way we relate in the world and to each other.

So, these are the ideas that have dominated my art brain this week, I have begun exploring it with photography but I hope to move through the concept with paintings and drawings as well. We will see, I have no idea if this is just a passing concept that will burn out quickly or if it has room to grow and be explored into a new series. I will have to see how I feel once I get into it.

Until next week, keep fighting...

Friday, March 4, 2011

The best part...

As many of my regular blog readers know, I am a member of The Fayetteville Underground, which is a group of four galleries and fifteen working artist's studios. The first Thursday of every month we debut our new exhibitions and have our studios open from 5-8pm. It is a wonderful night of art, community and fun. I love getting to interact with so many people coming into The Underground on this one night each month. I pretty much smile and talk the entire night. We have been having First Thursday since April of 2009, and I must say I feel so much more connected with the community at large because of it. I enjoy recognizing the regulars and becoming friends with many new people each month as well.

Every now and then, there is a conversation or an interaction at one of these events that really sticks with me and fills me with such hope and enthusiasm. My job as an artist is of course about making the art, but then it is about sharing the work with others and receiving feedback; it is about connecting and creating relationships. I am very fortunate to have met so many wonderful people because of my art.

Last night, I met a lovely couple who came into my studio. They are both artists and they were really taken with my work. The wife of the couple seemed almost giddy with excitement to be viewing my work and talking with me about it. I can still see her smile plainly in my mind. I told them about myself and my work and they told me about themselves as well. About how they had spent some time in Arizona where they discovered so much art that they found exciting and how thrilled they were to discover The Underground and especially my work. They seemed truly moved by the whole experience, almost as if the whole world had opened up for them in Arizona and it was continuing to expand as they looked at more and more art. They seemed to really understand my work on an intuitive level and very appreciative of having discovered it. I can't tell you how this feels exactly, but it is a beautiful moment, almost an out of body experience.
Their smiles and words of encouragement and understanding will stay with me forever.

These conversations we have with each other about art, they are so powerful. Sometimes they can be the reason the artist works the next day and continues on this uneasy path. Thank you to all the people who have supported me over the years with your words, connections and sharing. It is a wonderful gift you give me.

Next week, I will be sharing some new work and that is a promise!
Until then, keep fighting and remember every day we paint is a victory.