Wednesday, January 30, 2008
According to Gonzales, research suggests when a person gets lost, he or she goes through five general stages, similar to the stages of grief and dying. First is the denial "that you're disoriented and press on with growing urgency, attempting to make your mental map fit what you see." Second is the realization "that you're genuinely lost, the urgency blossoms into a full-scale survival emergency." In the third stage you struggle to "form a strategy for finding some place that matches the mental map. (It is a misguided strategy, for there is no such place now: You are lost.)" Stage four is where you "deteriorate both rationally and emotionally, as the strategy fails to resolve the conflict." And stage five, is where "you must become resigned to your plight. Like it or not, you must make a new mental map of where you are... To survive, you must find yourself. Then it won't matter where you are."
Here's what I get to learn during my walk in my artistic wilderness. To be true to myself, find myself, and trust myself. It might be tough sometimes, but geeze, the view is incredible!
Friday, January 25, 2008
I am blessed with ideas. I carry around a small notebook, and when I get a vision of a new art piece I write it down, complete with thumbnails, copious notes, and lots of options and ideas. This can be tricky sometimes since I'm usually driving. I'll be careful, I promise. My ideas usually start with a personal issue -- something I'm sorting out in my own life, etc. -- and then the visual concept starts to bubble to the top.
I have a day job. I have a family. I have several four-legged critters. In other words, my time is not always my own. I'm also an expert at finding reasons for not going out to the studio. It's butt-freezing cold and rainy. There is no electricity out there. It's dark.
Also. There are roadblocks. There are technical/mechanical issues with one piece. Things are not going as planned. (Note to self. It's time to mentally remap. If you don't know what that means, read Deep Survival. I'm half way through and starting to get it. The artistic process is not unlike wilderness survival. Perhaps that will be another entry.)
There's more. There's the fact that I am taking on an uncomfortable subject right now. It's a strong powerful vision and I'm excited. It also involves snakes - OK, just one snake - but that's enough. I am not snake-phobic, but I am afraid of venomous snakes. Rattlesnakes in particular. Really afraid. And I know how powerful snakes are. They show up in my dreams whenever I'm going through a particularly difficult transition in my life. So right now I am in the squirming stage of the artistic process. I think that comes somewhere after denial and bargaining, but definitely before acceptance.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
What is it about girls and horses?
Creating this piece was one of those spontaneous words-as-elements things. In this case the words came first and the images formed around them. I love to use old topographic maps in my work (a backpacker's best friend) and the blue and gold seed beads carry the motion I was trying to convey. The words are tricky to see online -- but if you click on the image hopefully the larger image shows the words better.
I think of this piece as an affirmation and encouragment for me to go ahead and live. Get dirty, take risks, break the rules, work through the fear, be uncomfortable, trust your vision.
And people wonder why girls love horses.
Never take a job on commission. Especially when it's for family. Especially when it's for your teenage daughter.
OR - Go ahead and take the job. Then throw out everything they say they want and do what you want.
I have a word box. I cut out words and phrases from magazines, comic books, and catalogs and keep them in my word box. It's best if I keep this a totally right-brained activity (tricky since I think language is left-brained in origin) and not have any expectations for what I cut out. I just snip what jumps out at me. Then, when I'm constructing a piece I go through and see who wants to come out and play. While many of my smaller pieces incorporate these words, I haven't used them in my larger pieces -- yet.
My daughter, Mara, saw the words "No Accident" one day and asked that I create a piece for her with these words. After picking her brain for some inspiration I realized I couldn't work with her vision -- I had to work with my own vision for her. Wolves are important to Mara (I sometimes call her Wolf Pup) and the rest of the words chose themselves. I really wanted more of a street or graffiti art look for this piece -- something less polished and little messy. I'm not sure if I achieved that but I'm pleased with the end result. I worked with acrylic emulsions, medium, and many, many layers of different paints and papers. The digital image really doesn't do this piece justice (it's too big for my scanner -- this is a digital picture. As soon as I can get it scanned I'll repost). There's a lot of texture going on and I can't look at it without touching it and experiencing the textures. This piece, called "Mara's Wolf", is 9X12 on canvas board.
Some folks have been
puzzled by this piece. Mara and I both really like it -- so both client and artist are happy.
Things I learned:
- Feel the force, Luke. Trust yourself, you know best.
- Composition, composition, composition. It doesn't really work here, I know.
- Life is messy sometimes.
- Wolves really are teachers.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I've learned so much from watching her live her life and she seems to be my personal cheerleader no matter what I do! In fact, she's partly responsible for the name of this blog. When she announced she was moving out of Northern California -- again -- I couldn't let her leave the state without a small piece of art from me and my wishes for joy on her journey and the many gifts life brings.
So the closet door has been opened just a wee bit here, but I'm looking forward to seeing sunlight soon.