Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's In the Mail

I have finally packaged up my unfinished painting to send to Mandy AND I even took it to the post office and mailed it. Have I started my sketchbook yet? Well... not exactly, but the painting is in the mail and that is a good start. I have been sketching fairly regularly and will try to get some of those drawings scanned and posted in the next few days.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Two Projects, One BLog Post

Now that summer is almost behind us, it should be easier to focus on indoor activities, like this whole art-making thing we keep talking about! So a while back we each ordered our Sketchbook from the Art House Co-op and I'm a little embarrassed to report that my book remains untouched. I have taken it to NYC and back with me, foolishly thinking I'd get started there. I did get some sketching in simply for the sake of sketching (in my other sketchbook), but making that allusive first mark in the project book...

So for this month, I demand that we both start work on our sketchbooks! I have concepts and ideas, just need to act. Draw! The fear comes from knowing that this book will be viewed all over the country, without me there to protect or defend it. The same thought also really excites me. So it seems I need a push towards focusing on the excitement. Here it goes- by October 1st, we will each post scans of ten pages. They do not have to be complete but they do have to at least capture the essence of what that page will represent. Maybe when we're done, we can both post them to the Sketchbook Projects' website, as I see other participants are doing already.

Simultaneously, I have another project to dig into: Art Swap! I think this is something that any creative person can relate to- unfinished projects. Whether you write, draw, paint, sculpt, take pictures or blog, I'm willing to bet that you've got at least a few unfinished projects laying around. Sometimes it's really hard to re-engage after taking some time (or lots of time) off. As I mentioned in the previous post, my new studio space is filled with unfinished paintings. Well, if I can't finish them, maybe someone else will!

Here's the plan: I will send Mandy one of my unfinished paintings and she'll send me one of hers. We'll post pictures of them once we receive them and then we will complete each others work. There are no rules, no boundaries or no directive from the original artist other that do what you have to do to make it complete in your eyes. Scary right? I'm actually really excited about this one!

We'll ship the originals out next week and determine the deadline once both paintings are in hand. One last thought- I think we should ship them back to one another before posting the final results. It's always nice to get mail, especially when it is surprise artwork!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Art of Momentum

I've been wanting to get a move on so many different projects lately; so many ideas, yet so little motivation. My brain starts churning and I literally paralyze myself with this overwhelming need to be productive. I do nothing, and feel even more overwhelmed the next day. Rinse and repeat.

With this in mind, I found myself surfing Facebook, the little voice in my head chastising me for wasting my time doing something so pointless, when I stumbled upon this post- The Art of Momentum: Why Your Ideas Need Speed

So simple yet so true. So I logged off of Facebook and logged in here at the CWP to make this post. Before doing so, I moved my trusty laptop (aka Spendy) into the office/studio, so that all of my unfinished projects are staring me down; in some cases quite literally!

This painting of my grandmother was a 50th birthday gift for my uncle. He's turning 51 in a few weeks.

I will try to do something creative every day this week (yes, I realize it's already Thursday, but I'm talking the next seven days kind of week). Who's with me?

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Ready? GO!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ancient Egyptians Did It: Coil That Is

I was in NYC recently on a business trip but managed to squeeze in some fun time too. My uncle has always loved Egyptian history, art and artifacts so we found ourselves at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to check out Tutankhamun's Funeral exhibit. While I'm fascinated by the relics and culture of these ancient people, I usually prefer more modern and painterly art for inspiration. This time around I thought I'd look at the decorative patterns used on the surfaces of vessels and funerary items to use in future ceramic endeavors.

As I was passing through a section of ancient pottery dating back to 3,500 B.C., I was pleasantly surprised to see two vessels that looked very similar to the coil projects Mandy and I just completed. Nothing like a little ancient validation. Check it out. Perhaps we're on to something after all? We can call it Egyptian Revival...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Coils Away!

Well, I lost a little momentum on this project. I just couldn't translate the shape in my mind to the real, live, clay version of itself. While I’ll admit (and have already admitted) that I really didn’t care for this project initially, it did grow on me once I got going and committed to finishing it. The shape I cut from paper, that was supposed to evolve into a three dimensional form may have been a little too complicated for a coil novice like myself. I made a few attempts to make the shape I crafted in my mind so easily, but translating that shape from paper to clay just didn’t pan out. I was surprised to find that I did really come to enjoy the process by the time I'd finished building. Not the coil as much as the manipulating the shape it produced. Smoothing it with my fingers- blindly searching for the right shape to be formed.

It became more about the process. I finished coiling it- creating a shape that is … interesting for sure. Certainly out of character for me and my “style”. Definitely abstract. And I couldn’t help myself but to turn it into a vase; evidence of my uncontrollable need to have functionality & purpose in all of my endeavors. I'm a creature of habit, what can I say?

Like Mandy's project, I am still in the greenware phase, but we are long overdue on this one, so I thought best to post it as-is and re-visit it once it's been fired. So here we go...