Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Thoughts from a mental walk in the woods.

I have this thing about crowded bulletin boards, over papered telephone poles and any wall that people have plastered notices over each other.

I love the layers of information. I love the color and the fact that they are like a time capsule of events. There is a story that surrounds every piece of paper tacked to the substrate.

I love stories. Maybe it's because I love to read. Maybe it's because I entertained myself as an only child, creating written stories. On road trips with the family, when I was driving I would have one of the boys up in the passenger seat. We would play a game where they would think of three or four words, I forget how many, tell me the words and I would have to come up with a short story to tell them. Then it would be their turn.  I can still remember those stories. I hope my kids can.

The reason I bring this up is because, yesterday, while working in the studio I had an moment when I suddenly REMEMBERED something. 
I was selecting fabric to create a landscape.

I had been looking out the Studio window, trying to enjoy the wood scene, the shadows cast by the bright noon day sun and ignoring the bitter cold outside.
I decided I wanted to do the landscape of that scene. 
I didn't want to just do another photo like snapshot landscape. I was interested in more of the patterns, shapes and colors this time around.

I was going through the Cerulean Blues when my mind wandered over to one of the last pieces I had done thinking about pattern, shapes and colors. It was a piece that represented New Orleans Jazz to me.  When I was working on that piece I was thinking about the music, the story of that music. I was listening to a CD of jazz, thinking about the people listening to a live band and all the time working on the piece.

Something of that experience worked it's way into the piece. Somehow, the energy of that "story" in my mind translated into the fabric selection, shape placement and the piece in general and it resonated to another human being, who bought it.

Still with me?  I can create a piece of art and enjoy the process of working with textiles or paint. I can create something that looks good, fine, even excellent but it is lacking something if I haven't energized it with it's story. No, really. I may not be getting this across clearly but I really believe there is something here.  Something that I need to take seriously.

I can create an abstract landscape with this fabric.
It will be interesting, the composition will be fine, fabric selection fine and maybe even the final piece will be fine. But, it has nothing "attached" to it. It's no more than a commercial product that could have been picked up at a store.

I truly believe that when I am creating from a "story" that somehow that energy, that magic of the "story" works it's way into the piece.

I got to thinking about the other pieces that sold. I was perplexed, at first, as to why they had and although surprised and pleased why did they sell and not another.

I'm not going down this road to pat myself on the back or make myself feel good about sales. It was more of a cuff on the back of my head when I realized that the pieces that sold had been ones where I was MENTALLY involved some story about the piece.

I was having a dialogue with myself, in my mind
and it wasn't about technique.

So, this little thought, like the morning light at sunrise, starts to creep into my thinking. I was creating those pieces in a different way from some of the other things I have made. Those pieces had something else attached to them. Something not visible to the naked eye but something, perhaps a thought form that surrounded them. Something, some form of energy, perhaps that resonated with someone else that walked by the work.  Someone that stopped, perhaps went back and stood there wondering why they liked it.

Some would say I put something of myself into that piece of artwork. Up until now I hadn't really thought about it like that.

I'm still mulling about this. I'm not sure it's something that can be forced. Perhaps this is were the soul comes into play. I know I always talk about that and maybe I needed to remember that.  Maybe I sometimes get to caught up in technique, balance, form, color and all the other things that need to be right just to make something look good or right to the viewers eye. 

Maybe I need to remind myself that I need to create the story. Or perhaps I need to "see" the story, "hear" the story and then get it out there.

You think?


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