I'm not sure I do my best thinking at say 4:00 in the morning but I do wake up with my head crowded with thoughts. This morning it was a jumble of ideas and questions about the direction I should go with my art.
The Women Inspiring Women show is going to do just fine and with at least two pieces of artwork from each of us we will have more than enough to fill, what I consider a rather small entrance gallery at the Overture. If pieces sell or we apply and get into a larger venue we can add another piece or two.
So, I feel like we don't have to concentrate so hard now on that goal.
Linda and I have encouraged the group to seriously consider working in a series for the experience and to see how it might help us in our development.
Finding a topic, or rather focusing on ONE topic seems to be my problem right now. There are so many on my list. I'm a Mixed Media Storyteller. There are so many different ways I can tell these different stories.
Narrowing it down to which one and how should it be presented is a major concern right now, for me.
So, at 4:00 am I completely ignored those questions and circled around to one that had also gathered in my mind. Why wasn't I achieving the dyed cloth I wanted when it seemed I was following all the multiple instructions I had collected? A part of me is ready to move on from immersion techniques and begin thickened pastes with dye but another part of me is a little frustrated that the unique designs and vibrant color I wanted just didn't happen.
When in doubt I find that sitting quietly for a moment and then typing the first thing that actually surfaces loud and clear, in my mind, into Google can help.
From the recesses of my mind I saw the Art Cloth Book. Then very clearly I saw the author's name, an artist I thoroughly enjoy, having taken one of her online classes, read her books and laughed at her Deconstructed Screenprinting DVD, Jane Dunnewold.
Skimming through all the different entries I picked this one at random. http://vimeo.com/71357676
It's about 23 minutes long, filmed last year when she was opening her show at The McNay in Texas.
I highly recommend it.
Well if you are focused and clear about your art you might find it entertaining.
If you are unclear, scattered and seem to want to try it all, do it all now and then stymied because you can't see you sit yourself down and begin, just listen to her talk.
Yes, there is the introduction, get your tea, crank up your desk chair, practice sitting up straight, shoulders back, bellybutton pressed to your spine and wait........
Just wait........... Ah, there it is, when she begins to talk about her photography. You know I feel like she is a kindred spirit. She begins to talk about a challenge she gave herself to take a picture every day.
We've all heard about people that do that. Heck some of us might have even tried and then flagged when the weather became uncomfortable or we forgot to charge the camera battery, etc.
Forget about that. If you love your camera, big or little and on your phone, then you might find her questions interesting, especially if you are grappling like me to focus and begin a project.
I don't have to do the photo a day thing I certainly have enough photos that I keep in a folder that I like, that interest me and that I have taken over a year.
Bring up your folder, like that, I bet you have one. And, then listen to her questions and apply them to your work.
How do you organize your environment in how you see the world?
I had to think about this one. It seemed a very deep question to ask someone at 4:30 in the morning.
When I Googled that question (yes, I have been known to cheat) to see what the heck it meant I got hundreds of entries for organizing my life, my surroundings, my car, my studio, etc. I wasn't sure that was what she meant.
I felt like a sixth grader having to write an essay in my Blue Book.
I organize my environment and how I see the world by................. oh boy.................(jot some notes in the margin and move on, old girl.)
In my photographs what is the projected story?
Weathered, old, run down, uncared for, progress, moving on, neglect..........and yet, I attach a certain dignity to these old barns, they have character, they had a purpose, they were part of the relationship between the owner and the land, the survival of the family and they are part of my environment. They are disappearing and some are being repurposed, the wood for interiors or art, the building themselves for housing or studios. And, some just fold in on themselves and collapse.
Textures, I take a lot of pictures of textures. I like the fact that it is often difficult for people to figure out what the picture is. They can see the texture but don't know what caused it.
Trees, old trees, big trees, falling down trees, part of trees, there isn't much that doesn't fascinate me about an old tree. Again, it's age might be awesome but its permanence isn't guaranteed. A storm might bring it down and then my photo is the only record of its long life here.
DO I ever photograph something that expresses my interior humor, my "little nutty piece" of myself?
How do my photographs put myself out there?
I'm more interested
in parts of things.
Jane mentions that she likes to take pictures of signs. Oh, yes, have a folder with those too. She asks the question, what compels people to put things on signs. I would add, their cars and shirts, too.
Are our words symbolic of the world?
She sums up her introduction to her exhibit with a statement that I can identify with. As a woman of a certain age do I see myself now willing an able to share wisdom through my artwork?
It is now 6:30am and I have notes scribbled on the back of old envelopes. There are two cups with the remains of Serenity Tea on my desk.
These questions, she has asked and a few more I haven't touched on give me lots to think about.
What about you? If you are creating art where are you in your development as an artist? Are you happily playing with techniques, perfecting some or trying everything in the work box? Do have something you want to say, do you know how you are going to say it?
Can you answer Jane's questions easily and quickly?
I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and if these questions were helpful for you to find focus.
If you leave a comment and it includes your email I'll get back to you.
Keep snapping those photos!