Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Doctor Who?

I have watched Dr. Who off and on since the early 70s. I guess you could say his character, as a Time Lord, influenced my fictional character, Zetti Corkey.

Zetti Corkey, is also a Time Traveler. He has over the eons collected art, notes and memorabilia from the different worlds he has visited. 
Now, tell me, isn't that the best for giving yourself a legitimate excuse to make strange art?

In an online swap, with an Altered Book group, I created a wonderful altered book about Zetti Corkey's home planet and is younger years. Apparently, I did such a wonderful job that one of two people decided to just keep the book. 
That ended my involvement with online art swap groups. And, to my disgust, I had not known, at that time to record my art with pictures.
The book is gone, the memory now, so perhaps I will recreate it again.

Despite my issues with that particular swap I have to say that I learned quite a bit about art techniques from the wonderful artists that I came into contact with, on the Internet.

I'm wandering down this lane because I'm in the process of writing up artist statements and description labels for my art work. I have to remind myself that coming to art, self taught does not mean my art does not have value. 

If someone stands in front of my artwork, leans in to see something a little closer then my work is done. Something about the piece has resonated to them. They are curious, puzzled or perhaps confused?

After researching, online, suggestions on how to write an artist statement, looking at all the questions they suggest that you answer in your suggested three paragraphs, I decided to just go another direction. 

If someone has gotten close enough to my art work to read the artist statement they will find out what influenced me to create the piece, or perhaps what the piece represented to me while it was in construction. 

I may hold up a piece of dyed, stamped, painted and stenciled cotton that I made this past summer and ask myself, what on it is worth keeping? What parts of it do I like? Then I rip or cut those out.
The process isn't that difficult I either like something or I don't. From there I will gather the colors of paint or fabric that seem to work with the ripped pieces. The process has begun. I can't always know where it's going from there but I can tell you that somewhere in the middle, I hear a tiny voice in my mind that is whispering a title. 

You don't have to have me committed, I'm not the only artist that hears their art talking to them. Once we have been introduced, I now know it's title I can see where the piece is going. I now understand why I chose one color over another or added a piece here or there. It's like getting enough puzzle pieces put together that you are finally able to see the outline of the total picture.

And, sometimes when working on a piece I will find myself coming to a dead stop. Nothing is working. That color is wrong, that border is not right, what's happening? I put it aside, frustrated that what was such a smooth process has not hit a truck size pothole.

If I get all pouty about this, the piece stays in limbo.
It's a standoff. There is no teamwork going on. I'm the artist I announce, it's my way or the highway!
Well, not really the highway but you can just sit there on the design wall or the easel and just sit!

One thing I have learned over the years is to stop being childish about the process. Stop trying to control the outcome. Perhaps, my younger daughter, stretching her wings brought that wisdom to me.
However, it came I have learned to take a breath, sit quietly and then ask OUT LOUD, where do we go from here? 

Why out loud, you ask?  My studio is filled with muses. I'm not sure if they look in out of curiosity or a need for a laugh but I can feel their energy. And, I figure one of them is my co-pilot in this adventure.

I'll sit quietly, listen to my music, softly playing and look around the studio at either piles of fabric or a rainbow of colors of paint. My eyes will travel around the wall with shelving full of mixed media and at some point they will fix on something I hadn't seen before or didn't remember seeing.

A shade or hue of a color that I hadn't considered that now looks perfect. Or some strips of fabric that had been castoff from a previous project and are now perfect to add to this new adventure.

I thank my muses for their help and I am off again, working on my piece. We are back on track again.
I can see the finish line. Actually, I can often see the finished art in my mind's eye. One little shift of color or fabric or babble added to the piece shifts it into a possible reality of being completed.

I don't work alone, in my studio. But, I don't work at all if I don't take a moment to quiet my busy mind, listen to the silence and then respond to what my subconscious has finally been allowed to push to the surface.

Muses, dearly departed, my subconscious, I don't care what label we put on it works for me. Otherwise, I would probably still be sitting up in the studio, frowning at a piece that just isn't going anywhere.

Now, I'm just waiting for Zetti Corkey to time travel himself back to my studio so we can get to work on some new artwork.


"Take heart, truth and happiness will get you in the end.  You can't lose in this game. Have fun. It goes on too long to be taken seriously all the time."
John & Lyn St. Clair Thomas, Eyes of the Beholder

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for following your instincts on the artist's statement. It seems odd to dictate standards and consistency to an artist. This was a great reminder that I need to welcome my muses in to work with me on my own artwork. All my energy has gone elsewhere lately.

    It's a shame about early Zetti, but I know he will return. I'm looking forward to reading what he's been up to since he lasted visited you. I wish you great musings today. Thanks for reminding me about quiet time.