Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Value of an Honest Critique

I feel blessed to have friends, particularly jafa pal Nancy, who I can trust to give me an honest critique. What I thought I was saying with the teeth wasn't quite how it was coming across. That probably explains why I was having difficulty with what to put in the upper lid. Several friends said it looked more like an angry mouth and not consistent with what I was trying to say with the piece.  That made it easier for me to choose the right word which was still within the framework of what I was trying to say originally, only from a different perspective.  
I embroidered in gold thread onto the velvet (what a pain) but now I feel it works.

Just for fun I went to the instant art critique generator and this is what it had to say: As an advocate of the big mac aesthetic,I feel that the reductive quality of the biomorphic forms seems very disturbing in light of the accessibility of the work.

YUP, I think that's about right ;)

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Madness of ART: What's in YOUR corner?

I couldn't resist sharing this video From the Madness of Art.
Candy in the Corner

What's in MY Corner
Not candy, just dust bunnies and my easel

I was in the mood for experimenting with my oil sticks and charcoal on paper. Haven't used oil sticks (not to be confused with oil pastel) for years and never on paper.
 I think I could have done more push and pull with the values, BUT the purpose was more to just get involved with the process of creating rather than the end result.
It felt good ♥

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunset Wires

One day they, they being the powers that be, will remove the old poles and wires and put all the cables underground. One day people will look back fondly of how the sunset made the wires sparkle in the fading light, and the birds sat on the wires.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Did you know that

once upon a time wearing a dead bird on one's hat was considered the height of fashion and inspired the beginning of the Audubon Society.
Image Source: Library of Congress Bain Collection
"In the late 1890s the American Ornithologists' Union estimated that five million birds were killed annually for the fashion market. In the final quarter of the 19th century, plumes, and even whole birds, decorated the hair, hats, and dresses of women.

Glad to say that putting a bird on it in Yellow Springs doesn't involve dead birds.
Just old cd's, spray paint, and a bit velcro. A YS doorstep faerie called Susan left me nearly 500 old cd's and I THANK you.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Something fishy: Art and Public Space

Remember the case I posted about in 2009 about a Fish Mural on the side of  Complete Angler (now closed) in Clearwater Florida and how the city fined the business owners claiming the mural was an ad. 
Thanks to the ACLU the business owners won their case, although it is claimed the proprietor is not happy
Fast forward 3 years later and clearwater has made sweeping changes to their sign code (Tampa Bay Times) although the revised code doesn't support murals that depict imagery related to the business. 
All that fussing and faffing about a mural in a blighted area of Clearwater. 

Oh the irony, some cities cover up art that beautifies a blighted neighbourhood, but others blight a neighbourhood with ads. Such was the case for the Silver Lake "Our Lady of the Iguania" Mural that was created 15 years ago by a neighbourhood alliance as part of a city beautification program. 
Image source

Oh dear though, did it HAVE to be an ad for a Geordie drink painted over the mural.

Anyway it is interesting that people accept the ugly intrusion of ads (yikes some of them in Las Vegas could make your toes curl) in public spaces, but if it's art the sky is falling and your biscuits are burning and all hell breaks loose.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Each Bird Doth Choose a Mate

I overheard a young college student protesting loudly nearby on his cell phone that Valentine's Day is a made up Hallmark Holiday and thought to myself with that inner smile that comes with age, "uh huh,just wait". Sure it's commercialized BUT it's not a made up holiday.
It is said that once upon a time this was the date that birds began to choose their mates...  the earliest reference by Chaucer in 1381.
For this was on seynt Volantynes Day Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make

Must, bid the Morn awake! 
Sad Winter now declines, 
Each bird doth choose a mate; 
This day's Saint Valentine's. 
For that good bishop's sake 
Get up and let us see 
What beauty it shall be 
That Fortune us assigns. 
- Michael Drayton

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Third Day of the Week

and I have
20 minute pose

been on the go all day, so no time in the studio. I did start the day off with life drawing at someone else's studio though.  I was there for 2½  hours, but it usually takes me nearly 2 hours to warm up and generally my last effort is the best. I would have liked to have developed the head, and the hand more, but only so much can be done in a 20 minute pose.
 I buzzed over to another studio
Yellow Springs Arts Council

Nancy and I made a Free Art Friday presentation board (with two of my BOX-isms) for the exhibit and hung it this afternoon. We will be giving a talk about free art friday for the March Experience Weekend.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Giving Up is NOT an Option or is it?

Not for me, but rejection can take it's toll most particularly when there is an onslaught of events, related and unrelated to one's art.   I read two things last week that made me wonder. Georg Baselitz repeated the same old tired self fulfilling prophesy that women can't paint (yea-groan 2013 and we still hear this crap about what women can and can't do) and a Guardian News  article about Kitaj who wrote in one of his last diary entries before his suicide, "Failure, failure as always".
 It is one thing to have haters, or be rejected from a couple of shows but when it is peers, and/or art institutions who predoom you to failure, savage your work or you personally, I think why bother. What hope do I, by virtue of being a woman, have as an artist. Nowt probably, but I don't care. Goerg can have his antiquated opinion, stuff it in his pipe and smoke it.

RB Kitaj
"The Killer-Critic Assassinated by his Widower, Even 1997"
Image source: Jewish Museum Berlin
I suppose the story about Kitaj disturbs me because he had dedicated his life to his art and had such a powerful influence, and yet! The savage atttack on his art and him personally went beyond the pale and proved devastating.

There are some who seem to think that because an artist puts themself out there via their work it is open season, but I just think that is their excuse to be a nasty little shit.

Meanwhile in the Studio
 I am experimenting, and failing, playing and failing, and loving every step of the way, even when it can be a royal pain in the arse at times. 

An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one 
Charles Horton Cooley

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Sniffle! Sniffle!

Well so much for my life drawing yesterday, got the sniffles and felt too grotty to leave the house. On the plus side I had an epiphany in the studio as I tidied up the clutter. Who knew cleaning the studio had such benefits, besides it being clean ahem!  I now have a PLAN, phew!!!!!!! It all started because I saw the burlap under the desk. More about that another day. 
After my ONE success making a Valentine Card I decided to scan it and see if I could do more to it.

So I added a background and enhanced the blue in the eye.
Well my dear peeps, I am off to play in the studio a bit, have a brew with the KAOS Queen aka Karen Russell, and then off to the charity shops with dear daughter and hunt for birds to cover in glitter for the YS Put a Bird on It.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Blogging Vs Facebook for Artists

I see a lot of young or emerging artists putting almost all their time into fb promoting their work/organization but there is a downside. The pros of course are that you can reach a large group of fans quickly, but check out the cons of putting all your eggs in one basket courtesy of Patricia Redsicker


I have this idea in my mind of what I want for a piece due for an exhibit in a few months, but somehow every approach I take doesn't seem to cut it. I have cut, sewed, made plaster casts, plaster of paris molds,  painted it and nada, zip, yak!  Yesterday was my final attempt at a 3D version and it just isn't going to work. Then I spent the slumber hours haunted by it. GRRRRRRRRR!   

Okay, not all days are great. There MUST be some value in everything I did wrong, must be!
I did however manage to make A valentine card.

 SO it's a new day, and off to life drawing, then come home and clean up studio.
Then try, try again!

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm"
Abraham Lincoln

If I go by this quote so far I have been very successful, ahem ;)

Experiments in the Studio

"When the Nightbird Sings"
I love that interplay with paint and computer and seeing how I can take a painting and stretch it. I have hated this bloody painting (yes I think I have mentioned this a few posts ago) for years. So I was inspired to rush down to the studio last week for several hours and paint over parts of it, adding a  bird  one day, then a mouse, and hair with drips plus a few touch ups.  Took a pic, and then played with it on adobe and added an overlay pattern and came up with this. I think the head needs to be moved to the right slightly but  I think I am ready to do a new painting using this manipulated version of my old painting and I think I LIKE it ♥ 
I thought I would try and do a HORRIBLE painting, in that I would not plan it, would slosh on the paint, not worry how it turned out AND had to be done in 5 mins.
It's on a piece of plastic sheet, and done in acrylic. The purpose of the exercise was to just move paint about on a surface.

 I remember reading about Georgia O'Keefe as a student and every morning her teacher would set up a still life and ask the students to scrape the canvas from the previous day's still life and start over. It would drive some of the other students bonkers, but it was a way of teaching them NOT to think about the end product, but learn how to paint. 
So often we get hung up on the end product and forget the joy of pushing paint around and seeing what happens. 

Monday, February 04, 2013

Why Do It?

Leave free art out for faf that is.
Buddha Shrine Box abandoned at the Little Art
It's complicated. Well maybe not. I don't know, erm, there are several layers to it. 

I have a constant need to create 

I love the challenge of upcycling or re-purposing something into art.

I like sharing

I enjoy making people happy

I like expanding art beyond traditional venues 

It's a statement against the commodification of art/craft (which doesn't mean I don't enjoy sales of my non faf work)

I hope to inspire kindness and pay it forward 

Whether I know who found my work or not, I prefer inviting good Karma ♥ Don't want to come back as a fly ;)
I love the freedom of expectations when creating faf art and it helps inspire new work and ideas.

I enjoy the camaraderie that comes from being part of a global movement and connecting to artists all over the world.

It promotes art, artists and community building.