What I found in the silence:

  • That I want to be better at writing
  • That I want to be better at coherently explaining my process/intent behind my work
  • That these things happen through practice
  • That I am not adult enough to practice either without the element of shame and accountability that come with a public forum such as here.

 

To these ends, I added some weekly writing time into my morning-studio mix. My rules* are simple: Publish something– once a Wednesday, every Wednesday, preferably with a few sentences of actual writing (by me) involved. Picture-only posts should be used only as a last resort. Following the Elizabeth Gilbert Principal of Creative Work, the something doesn’t have to be great, or even that prolific, what matters most is that I show up and keep showing up until I’ve tricked my habit-driven plodder of a brain into thinking that this is what we’re supposed to be doing. (My art practice really is like a big obsessive compulsive slow-moving beast of burden)

This past month has been full of internet outages (both frustrating and refreshing and entirely what I needed), ill-timed Wednesday morning meetings and intentional self-imposed-rule breaking as I get deeper and deeper into making for Remnants. But that’s the point of self-imposed rules, right? Looking to get back into the habit of stringing together scraps of English on a regular basis as the project continues to coalesce, and I turn my attention towards a) writing a statement and b) figuring out how I will answer when a loved one looks at the piece and says, “So….?”

In the meantime, let’s get excited about blue skies and the return of the sun:

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*because I have to make rules, even if they exist solely to be broken. It’s worth noting too, that these are totally personal and arbitrary. Feel free to steal for your own purposes or disregard entirely

slowly amassing remnants

In the absence of dimensions for the finished piece (which I should get tomorrow!)- I’ve just decided that the amount of bits I need is “a shit-ton”. More on what all this is/is for later. for now just enjoy the strangely seasonal color scheme and try to stay warm wherever you are.

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As the idea comes together for this one I’ve been updating my analog tumblr…

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Pausing in the ‘messy middle.’*

From Jacinda (who says it better than I can):

…I have tried to reconcile this, deciding if it is worthy to pursue (or too insular), but I can’t stop thinking about it. The concept refuses to fade away and I keep taking photographs. I may post a few of them over the next week or two while I formulate the words to describe what this means.

 

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*the ‘messy middle’ is a concept I first read about via Nina Simon. As a total completionist, I find this idea fascinating and scary, and have been experimenting with this concept.

Bridging the gap.

Sometimes I’m fairly convinced that the universe is trying to communicate with me via public radio. (Which, if this is the case, good work, Universe! I’m ALWAYS listening to public radio, and trust the the likes of Carl Castle, Terry Gross and Lynn Rossetto Casper with almost frightening implicity.*)

This past week, cosmic intervention took the form of the TED radio hour (as it sometimes does). I was flipping through the stations (let’s be honest, looking for some Journey to belt on the way home) when I heard the phrase ‘LOLcats.’ I, of course, immediately abandoned my search for the smell of wine and cheap perfume and tuned in to listen. Though I didn’t happen to catch all of the talk (The entirety of which, you can see here) the part I did manage to catch and which I’ve been mulling over like a tasty worther’s original, is this:

The stupidest creative act is still a creative act. The real gap isn’t’ between the mediocre and great work, the real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you’ve created something, even if it’s stupid, you’ve put yourself in a position to do more.

OH YEAH. Does anyone else periodically lose sight of the fact that we all started making art because at some point it just feels good? Or, to go a step further, does anyone else periodically discredit the creative acts they do based on an arbitrary scale of ‘worthy (i.e. labored over)’ and ‘stupid (i.e. fun’)? For now, let’s stop doing this and just take a moment to celebrate that for no logical or tangible reasons, we are creatures that make things, and sometimes these things are fun.

As a first step, here are some completely frivolous posters and cards that were made entirely for fun:

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poster for Cosmika’s second gig.

 

A birthday card for the fella

“How do PIE love thee?”

'The Spirit of Texas,' a farewell gift to a friend, with John James Audubon playing the role of Steph, and Bobby Darren playing the role of the Spirit of Texas herself

‘The Spirit of Texas,’ a farewell gift to a friend, with John James Audubon playing the role of Steph, and Bobby Darren playing the role of the Spirit of Texas herself

 

I had a lot of fun making these, and there’s certainly some creative remixing happening here, but is this still…art? Is it a ‘lesser’ form of art than my large scale projects or even my drawings? “There is no such thing as bad art, there’s just ART, and things that are not”…but how can you tell which is which? Without the context of the gallery or museum to validate what you’re doing, how do you justify your work to the rest of the world? Or even to yourself? What am I doing awake past 10:30 and why am I trying to form words and/or thoughts? More questions and more ambiguous, ambivalent  ponderings to come as this stuff continues to rattle about in my head.

 

OH: And in case you were in need of more motivation to make things, check out my friend Sharon’s latest blog post, where you’ll find answers to all  your lame excuses AND a picture of the cutest dog in all of Ohio.

 

 

*Seriously. I once tried waiting until 9:30 to have my first cup of coffee, based on a report I heard on Morning Edition, with  tragic results.

Hey LADY

Hey LADY

There are a lot of reasons to hate Valentine’s Day, but then there are a lot of reasons to hate a lot of things.

For me, Valentine’s represents an opportunity for ridiculous Non-Serious Crafting. In the midst of the past month’s website buildingpseudohistorical performances and proposal writing, this girl was in serious need of some Non-Serious Crafting.

Smooshygooshy forced romantic overtures aside, it’s also nice to have a reason to tell people they rock. Especially in the form of mixed media collage. Especially in the form of mixed media collage featuring lady artists who (almost) as badass as your friends.
And most especially with puns.

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Lee Bul, contemporary sculptor who represented Korea at the Venice Biennial. WHEN SHE WAS ONLY 35.

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Cecilia Beaux, portrait painter with an outsized work ethic.

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Frida Kahlo. Painter. Revolutionary. Personal Fashion Icon. Ask me sometime how much I love this lady and I will infovomit all over your face. Then I’ll tell you ‘a lot.’

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Sally Mann, photographer and mother who quietly and unintentionally created controversy with photos of her children being real children, and then totally rocked it.

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Louise Bourgeois, sculptor and founder of confessional art. Also awesome
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Yoko Ono, the most unknown artist you’ve probably heard of. Like Valentine’s, there are a lot of reasons most people hate her, but even more to love her. Before John was in the picture (and after) Ono was a super badass fluxus artist, feminist, musician and peace activist.

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Yvonne Rainer, an American performance/dance artist. When told that her lack of turnout and less than ideal body would prevent her from ever joining an established company, she pulled herself up by her capizio laces and created brand new work that was ‘challenging’ and ‘experimental.

Sarah Sze, one of my favorite installation artists who is also a CERTIFIED GENIUS.

Sarah Sze, one of my favorite installation artists who is also a CERTIFIED GENIUS.

Happy Valentine’s (or should I say Galentine‘s?) Day! Here’s hoping you spent it staying warm and telling people they’re awesome.

Hey, did I mention YOU’re awesome?