Sunday, April 15, 2018
"Woman with Spring" 2018
In sharing a workspace with seven other people, I've come to realize how much I need the space and solitude of my own studio. Because my method of working has evolved over the years, I hadn't really realized what the key ingredients were to my making an image until I found that I didn't have those things. They are 1. Lots and lots of space(I mean 7-8 large tables space)so that I can spread out and make a mess, and then leave the mess. 2. Not to have to think about what other people are doing or thinking or saying. 3. To be able to go in and out of the many moods I evolve through (among them irritability and frustration) without worrying about other people's reactions. And 4. To be able put up work in progress and look at it, often for weeks or months, until I feel it's done.
As we've progressed through our time here, I've found myself stealing as much space as I can and working early in the morning or on weekends when few people are around. I've learned to tune out much (but not all) of need for approval and attention from the other artists I share the space with. And I've gone ahead and finished pieces in a few weeks without the luxury of living with them until I'm sure they are finished. And that may not be such a bad thing.
Sunday, April 1, 2018
The rules for working on my own images during my two months at Penland School of Crafts are this:
1. I can only use materials that I find(or buy)while at Penland.
2. I should try and use materials that are completely new and/or foreign to me.
3. Any photo I use should be taken while at Penland.
4. I have to stop complaining in my head about the lack of privacy and space available to me.
5. Students needs come first, except after hours.
6. I can break any rule I want.
"Round Head" is made from the negative space left over from student Troy Skully's portrait, the white marks are made using a new foam roller from a set bought at Michael's, the mouth is from a piece of dry wall mud mixed with polymer medium with the teeth drawn in ink, the eyes are student Beth Kokol's, and the sweater neck is from a photo of Photography Studio Manager, Betsy Dewitt's cap. Image not yet adhered, could blow away with the next strong gust of wind that blows in periodically when the door next to my area opens and shuts suddenly.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
I've done a weeks worth of demos for the students, but haven't really started anything of my own yet, and I have quite a bit of trepidation about starting. I will try and work on the weekends, but have already seen, with this weekend almost gone, and next to nothing done(a trip into Spruce Pine, the nearest town, to buy art and household supplies)how quickly it goes by. I will be way out of my comfort zone in terms of my ways of working, plus my normal, extreme anxiety anytime I start something new. I'm going to try and post every few weeks as we progress, so, sit tight, and send a few creative prayers my way.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Years passed, and I learned not to use food to avoid my problems, instead, dealing with those problems directly. In 1997 I did this painting. At the opening of the exhibit that included it I noticed a young woman standing in front of the painting, rocking from side to side, clearly distressed. My memory is that she was very thin, slight and probably in her mid twenties. I asked her if I could help her, and she turned to me, and said, in a very angry voice, "Why did you do this? Why? And what does the red mean anyway?"*. I don't remember how I replied, only that later I found out that she was from a very wealthy family in Canada and came to live at a resort in Tucson every winter, which is where the exhibit was. She was, of course, struggling with her own overwhelming and destructive eating disorder. I wished I could have helped her in some way, but, of course, I never saw her again.
*The red path refers to the cessation of periods in women with eating disorders
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Sunday, January 21, 2018
I was there on the opening night to give a walk through to a full gallery, probably 45-50 people. I went through the gallery selecting images that were especially important or timely for me to talk about, and discussed as well my techniques and processes. People asked questions so that I could fill in what I do, what I think about, and what I react to when I work. It was a truly wonderful evening for me, seeing all my children, lined up on the wall, patiently waiting to be appreciated. I felt proud, a little overwhelmed, and extremely grateful.
There are people like Paula Tognarelli in the art world, but they are few and far between. She is one of those unique people who love art and artists and have the means and the where-with-all to support us on the rough and tumble journey that we have chosen to take as creative people. It was a night like no other for me, and I can only give thanks to the art gods(and Paula)for having made it happen.
*To see and read about some of the work in the show you can follow this link