As I reflect over the past year and make my goals for the next year, I have discovered a few people summing up their year in a single word. This seems like such a great way to focus on my goals, to have one over-arching word of significance to guide my actions. I always include text into my artwork already, but to have a given word to almost become a signature for the year sounds so freeing and exciting.
Many of my online artist friends have been declaring their words. Dale Anne selected Explore for her word, so I decided to explore more about choosing a word for myself. Christine Kane describes the process in “Resolution Revolution“. In fact, I remember reading this post last year, and I looked into some words, but for whatever reason I didn’t pick a word. (Although I did set some art goals.) Now she has a month of posts about people that selected a word and had a year of success focused on that word. It is exciting to read about people that picked their words from deep emotional places like transition, or ones that pick their word with humor, like chicken. Courageseems to be a popular word, and in this world, it seems we all need a little courage just to get through the day. Another blogger, Ali, not only has a list of word suggestions, she also has a little contest/giveaway for those setting words as a focus.
So far I am looking at the following words:
Action: the process or state of acting or of being active
Immersion: concentrating on one course of instruction, subject, or project to the exclusion of all others for several days or weeks; intensive, state of being deeply engaged or involved; absorption
Journey: a traveling from one place to another, passage or progress from one stage to another
Vibrancy: pulsating with life, vigor, or activity; exciting; stimulating; lively
The words on the longer list included challenge, energy, achieve, active, accomplish, strive, release, discipline, but most of them felt to final or had a negative feeling to me. I know that this year will not be the end of my projects and goals, nor are they the beginning. It is important that my word encompasses my fitness goals as well as my art, relationship and professional goals.
I am leaning towards Vibrancy… but I am going to let it sit today and see how it looks in the morning. Then I will print out the one I will focus on and put it in my studio and my home gym so I won’t forget!
what word do you think I should pick?
I apparently have found my art twin. Over the years when I was primarily working with collage on glass, and showing… I always wondered if someone else was doing the same type of thing. I had seen painting on glass… but never collage. So today this guy, Mike, from France posts a comment on my blog and it seems that around the SAME YEARS as me, he was also doing collage on glass.
Then as I look to his bio I see that he is born in a year and date very close to me. So we are both 40 something geminis (me: 05/25/67 him: 05/27/65) He also does performance and installation arts, both types that I admire and he writes quite a bit. He is very diverse in his creations as I have been… we just went off in different directions.
So anyways, for the time being I will think of him as my art twin… and I will continue to keep an eye on his work. You should check it out as well!
More great news from The Pulse (This collaborative project aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals.)
Today’s question: At least for today, your can’t-live-without blog or website is…
It seems like so many artists have difficulty picking just one website. Although, so many artists pick Flickr as a daily top pick, must-see, website. Always the perfect site for the eye candy junkie. And though it will take hours of webtime, I am determined to check out all the suggestions in this four day long quest for the best websites. Needing some new eye candy in your life? Then check this out!
Marilyn Gallas loves to visit Kelly Rae. As soon as I clicked the link, I realized that I have stumbled across Kelly Rae before. I have seen her book cover, seen photos of pictures of people taking classes from her or being inspired by her work. Her backgrounds are a rich tapestry of luscious color and texture (my two favorite elements of art.) Why she wasn’t already in my google reader is a mystery that was quickly fixed. Then when I went to go add her to my flickr favorites, I saw she was already there! No wonder her art was wonderfully familiar. Now where can I order that book…
Michelle Ward is an artist I have followed on and off but didn’t know she had numerous blogs these days, including one that has some great challenges and tutorials.
Stephanie Hilvitz (BTW…who’s aprons and tablecloths are flirty and wonderfully colorful!) is inspired by Elizabeth’s site Be…Dream…Play… I can see why Stephanie likes to visit Elizabeth’s site. It is filled with a color and vibrancy of life that is infectious.
When I followed Canadian Artist Kate Strickland’s favorite link to an Austrailian based blog by printmaker Jo Horswill, only to I find my friend Bridgette (who just moved from my neck of the woods in Seattle, back to her home in Chicago) It made me realize first how easy it is to get lost in a string of links AND how small and strange the internet world can be.
After looking at a growing list of art websites that are filled with colorful photographs, smiling kids and artists, along with proud displays of creativity, I just had to chuckle to see that James Michael Starr’s favorite site is http://weather.com.
On the whole, I am more visual than verbal. But I was very intrigued to see that Shona Cole’s pick was a Poetry site that hosts podcasts of and about poetry. As a teacher, this is a site I will have to find a use for with my students. I will also have to return to Shona’s sites. I am so impressed with her publication resume.
It is also interesting how many artists listed their own blog or site as a go-to link. I do check on my blog regularly, sadly mostly to delete spam comments, but I wouldn’t have thought to list it as an answer to this question. I am curious as to why they did list it. It makes me think that I put some extra meaning into the question. But with over 80 participants in the survey, the questions are bound to be interpreted in many different ways.
If you haven’t made it over to the Altered Page to check the Pulse… I highly recommend it, as this month it is MY daily go-to site.
Seth calls it Getting In the Groove, another entry in the month long artist survey. Today, artists share the ways that they get mentally prepared to create their art. I shared with Seth that,
“I work best with deadlines and challenges. In many ways I am a very linear, organized, list-making type of artist. But usually if I just go up to my studio and sit down at my sewing center or collage desk I can start creating pretty quickly, getting TO the studio takes some inspiration. I will search the net, look at art books and doodle ideas in order to get myself into the head space for studio time.”
It seems like there are many artists that struggle with getting to that creative space. Because I teach Middle School Art (yikes, school starts in 4 days!) I see so many of my kids struggle to get started. Of course, many of them are completely new to the artistic process and even to handling the media provided. On top of that, they struggle with the whole belonging issue that is so heightened in the early teen years. Part of me always wants to PUSH them, “come on, we only have 30 minutes until the bell rings!” But I know few artists can be forced to create on demand. So I encourage them to use many of the strategies that these PULSE artists employ. Listening to music (like Kim Logan), watching films about the work and lives of other artists (like James Michael Starr), or just sitting down to the supply center and finding some color or pattern that draws them into the creation. I tell them to think about and use their dreams (like Angela Cartwright and Roben-Marie Smith) or to look at the many art related books that I have in the classroom (like Dawn Sokol) All these things also help me. But of all the ideas presented in the survey, I think my favorite answer was from Linda Woods, who said, “I just open my eyes!” If only that worked for me.
I spend a good part of any day reading books. I read books while eating, while sitting in the sun in my garden and even while watching TV. Summer is my favorite time to really get out and read. I love my local library! So lately, I have been reading a lot and thought you might like to know what!
Recently I picked up a bunch of art quilting books to get me more inspired to MAKE ART! Turns out I accidentally grabbed two from the same author. I was enjoying her quilts and thought, “wow, these two artists really have similar styles.” then I looked at the authors, duh! Same one 6 years apart. Ruth B. McDowell I have been pouring over her “Art & inspirations” and “Fabric journey : an inside look at the quilts of Ruth B. McDowell“ I am now very interested in seeing some of her piecing pattern books. She has a very complex way of piece quilting that looks amazing!
I also re-found a book that I looked at over a year ago,”Collaborative quilting” Authors Morgan and Marston have worked together on many quilts, but I love this book for the ideas on “liberated” versions of traditional quilting blocks.
Since I am interested in teaching about fiber arts in my classes next year, I picked up a book about Faith Ringgold, “Dancing at the Louvre : Faith Ringgold’s French collection and other story quilts” Her quilting style is very unique and definitely about story telling. Something I would like to include more of in my own work.
My final fabric books (this time around) are two on textures. My favorite part about using fabric is the physical and visual textures that you can create. But my quilts have been so flat lately I wanted some tips on adding more. “Stitched textile collage : innovative designs for textured surfaces“ by Toumi and “Fantasy fabrics” by McCaffery both offer a number of ideas. I was not very impressed with Fantasy Fabrics actually. This book was all about capturing different materials behind sheer organza and tulle. Something I did on a doll in a class at ArtFiberFest. I did like the technique, but I don’t think there needs to be a book exclusively written to the idea. And although the style of images in Stitched Textile Collage were not for me, I did like the techniques and textures.
In addition to the fiber art books I am also reading some fiction. I tend to read either Young Adult fiction (so I can recommend things to my students and stay in touch with them) I am really into the Fantasy/sci-fi series about some kid travellers my MacHale. I just finished The rivers of Zadaa. I look forward to finishing the series.
Now with all these books that I am mostly reading simultaneously… I need some BOOKMARKS! In my Google Reader today I found the coolest How-to for a picture bookmark. SO I guess I am set to find the perfect photo to accompany my daily reading.
My larger work consists mainly of nude women. But within each is a collage of images and textures. WORDS, text, lettering and numbers are always within a layer or area of my work. I have drawers of book pages in many different languages.
Even when I moved to fabric for my artwork, I continued to find, collect and use fabrics with printed text. Although being able to read the text is not key, I want there to be that attempt. An interaction or even a conversation between me and the viewer. One of my older pieces even has shreds of actual journal pages and love letters as the background.
In addition to text, I see SPIRALS and Butterflies commonly make an appearance in my work. Both speak to me of movement, flight, dance and beauty. Looking at some of my smaller ATCs (not made for a specific theme) I tend to notice flames and flowers used as crowns and more butterfly wings. The cycle of life and death being ever present, perhaps.
I have noticed rulers making an appearance lately, and wondering if it is strictly related to sewing. (As sewing patterns also are often used as backgrounds) or if a deeper meaning of needing to “measure up” to something, or insecurities about my size, may be behind their inclusion in my work.
I have done a number of pieces that are focused on eyeballs! Which is am sure is simply because I am a visual artist! (ha!) well, I am a visual learner too…
So I hope you have enjoyed my little trip through my personal imagery. If you notice a pattern that I have missed, please point it out! it is amazing what I learn about my own art from other people!
So I too was feeling the COLD weather this week with every morning starting at 25 degrees F. For mild little Seattle that is pretty cold. The air is so dry that it crackles. I jumped at the IDEA Of Jen’s Challenge #4 this week… because I too wished I was somewhere warmer.
Right away I knew I wanted to make a mandala. I haven’t made any in awhile and they often look like flowers (another spring and summer icon) So I collected some citrus type images and started digitally slicing them. But then I looked at the challenge again and realized I wasn’t really PUSHING myself with this. SO I thought, “I haven’t even doing a fabric mandala.” although I have thought of it many times and dismissed it for the sake of difficulty. So I went half-way and decided to transfer my digital collage to fabric and then embellish it. But even after ironing it onto some fabric, I realized I still had not really PUSHED.
So I went ahead and dug out some citrus colored fabrics. (If I wasn’t on a supply diet I would have run to the store and bought some delicious citrus fabric prints.) Cut out many triangles, positioned them into a radial pattern then sewed away with many of the different cool stitches on my new(ish) machine. I had some tension issues so I am not totally happy with the results. But I am SO glad I finally did a fabric mandala! (the image is sliced off on the sides due to scanner limitations, when it is light again I will try some photos)
Check out what other artists have made for this challenge:
and here is Eliza’s Painting of fruit-goodness.
So I am looking into art groups to be a part of, especially fabric oriented ones. I want to do more with my art quilting and take it to the next level. So I was (once again) exploring the Contemporary QuiltArt Association website. I ran across Margot’s website a few years back when I was exploring the same site for the same reasons. Her work is similar to what I envision mine to be (but with my own slant.) I am sure her technique is similar to what I am doing too… except she seems to use a lot of sheer layers. I would really love to see one of them in person. For fabric the flat images on the internet rarely do them justice.
So I have printed the application to the CQA and plan to get it sent in as I continue work on my latest art quilt.
Explore some yourself and see what strikes your fancy!
Possibly for the True Colors in a Mixed-media Paper Quilt Challenge.
This is still a work in progress. It is actually 12×12, but I scanned it and my scanner only does 10×12 so a few inches are missing. It is several layers of torn paper, many left over from my ArtErratica color tag swap including some dyed paper towels ala Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista.
I am noticing several of my common themes in personal imagery (which I will post more on later)
What do you notice?