Thursday, October 14, 2010

What I'm doing with this one precious life.

DSCN1602 144:2 (in progress)

Tomorrow is photographing day.  I have 2 pieces I'm going to submit to Form Not Function (deadline is this Saturday, the picture above is not one of them, just thought I needed a photograph in the post).  Even though these 2 pieces are complete I still find myself talking to them in a way that deepens my understanding of what I was attempting to do and weighing if I succeeded...success is defined as full excavation (thanks to Grace for using this word yesterday...a light bulb went off for me) of an idea and my emotional response to it while in the process.  Here is a sample of some of the questions I ask:

  • Did I short change my thoughts and emotions by not full pushing the technique to communicate them back to me? 

  • Was/is there a better approach that would have expressed myself better?

  • What ideas and emotions and associated images did I discard and keep and why?

  • What works? What doesn't? and why?

I cannot get away from describing what I do as "abstracting emotion".  For myself, it is of no value to me for a viewer to understand or relate to the idea/and emotions that I abstracted while planning and creating a quilt.  I want viewers to walk into a piece on their own terms...if they like it, I love it; if they love it; then I've found a member of my tribe.  Somewhere on line I came across an artist (can't remember who it was) whose statement was "if you like, then it is art; if  you don't, then it is not".  For me this is a more open and honest approach...I'm free to do what I need to do and stay in my head, heart, and soul while putting a quilt together and the viewer gets to relate to the piece and me on their terms as well.  Win-win.  Kinda.  Because then from there I go into thinking about culture and gender and myself as an artist and weighing if I've challenged in someway either myself or others to ask questions or perceive ideas differently.  Most of the time I try to provide "hints" in the title, but that is the writer in me, and do the words become an extension of the visual image? 

I become more philosophical when I'm charged with writing an artist statement...I'll settle my mind after the weekend but then I have 2 other deadlines next month ;)



  1. I am loving the piece you show in your photograph....will you reveal the entire work soon?

  2. My dear friend you make it sound like "WORK". Art is not work, it is something done where we can express ourselves without the burden of what others may think of us or our work. The best art is the art that is made with the freedom to create what you like and what you want, unless its done as a commission. Do you think Picasso, Monet, Michaeangelo and the other great artists were concerned about what others thought. NO! So do your own thing without reservations or having all the stress about it. HAVE FUN, get loose and let your creative juices flow the way they do when unhindered.
    Love, Carol

  3. Good luck, Darlin! I couldn't get my new work done - entered some almost new work!

  4. am reading this at a timely juncture as lately I feel utterly saturated by the perspective(s) of folks (artists and healers alike) who are hugely preoccupied with/motivated and-or hindered by an over-arching need to be understood on their specific terms and little else. am oriented a lot more like this particular description of your expressive motivations and we do all like some ongoing exposure to affinity, don't we. I do actually write about my personal process quite a bit on my blog, as you know, because for me that's the major purpose (and attraction) of maintaining a creatively oriented blog. But that's separate from my actual goals when I send something - words or visual art - into the world. Once I've made that choice I don't necessarily wish to influence "the viewer" with my perspective or the inspirational backstory. It's all right there in front of them, one way or another, and they have my blessing make of it what they will. There was more I had been strongly moved to express but then concluded it was not my place. Did you *send* Penny S. to me or did she appear of her own volition?

  5. I sent my jpgs in last night. Had two entries, then threw in a third one for the same $$. I can't, for the life of me, remember what I entered last year (or what got in). Just put me away, NOW. I have a feeling I re-sent one I had entered in 2010 - but I guess there's no law against it and the jurors are different. That was the third rogue piece, so oh well.
    I suspect your artist's statement and mine are, if not verbatim, very similar because they express the same approach. Let the viewer decide what the piece is about! Wishing you good luck with your entries.

  6. Are you referring to the website...I think I might have sent you the link but I've slept, blinked, and rolled over since then, so I can recall...I love her and I love her work.

  7. soon is relative lol...but yeah, WHEN I complete it I'll show it. Jane D. will be here the end of January for 2 workshops. I'm planning on taking one of them...are you still feeling the impact from the workshop you took with her?

  8. almost new works for me :) Meeting these deadlines is more than a notion for sure...I'm going to try for another show held here locally with a Nov. 1 deadline. eyes, toes, and fingers crossed!

  9. I wish I would have thrown in a 3rd one...I kept looking around at what I had available but then if felt like too much pressure in the 25th hour...

  10. Are you referring to her website? I love Penny and I love her work...I might have sent it to you but I can't recall since I've blinked, slept, and rolled over since then. :)

  11. Oh, I know Carol, but I just have a hard time turning the brain off. I'm going to do some collages just to clear my head and before I jump into the next Crowbonics piece.