Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Things are moving in the studio these days. I've had to do some re-arranging and finally got to stretching some new canvases last week and working on a couple of new paintings, as well. Felt good to breathe some new life into the space...
New painting that's currently untitled.
New drawing: graphite, oil stick. Lots of addition and subtraction with this one-scraping, smudging, recovering...
Thursday, August 24, 2006
detail of recent, unfinished painting
It's funny how things work out. Yesterday, I had something of a breakthrough from my latest creative blockage. I can't say that there was some kind of "ah, ha!" moment. It was more like the gradual build-up of a series of moments until I found myself suddenly thinking in a wide-open space where ideas were pouring in. The space was there the whole time; there was just something blocking the entrance. Slowly, ideas began creeping around the edges of the blockage, finding weaknesses in the armor of the space's guardian whose only interest was keeping that space clean and pristine. Now, there's all sorts of thngs messing up that space, the way they should.
The past couple of days have found me re-engaging myself with the mental side of art, which I hadn't been able to really do for a while this year. I've done a few paintings here and there, but for the most part, I've felt myself divorced from real, active engagement with my work. Just like my re-immersion in it, there was a gradual separation from my art life over the months since my last solo show, almost a year ago now. I think I hit something of a wall after that exhibition. Just like the end of any project that you've spent a considerable amount of time and energy working intensly on, the end of that period can bring a lot of questions about what's going to happen next. It's always like that with me. "I've done this, now what next?" As always, the answer is "continue working"
I feel reanimated now. Refreshed and ready to re-engage my creative self in ways I haven't in a while. There's a lot swirling around in my head. Ideas for paintig, photography, drawing, printmaking...everything, almost. The only thing to do is work...
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
It's been a while since I've been back from my foray to the other side of the world (Australia) and I need to make up for lost time. Needless to say, the trip was great. I managed to lose two days in the beginning due to a variety of mishaps that are only usually only expeterienced one or two at a time. I got hit with a bunch of biggies:
-three hour delay at PHL due to mechanical problems
-missed connection in LA
-diverted flight due to fog
It all worked out, even if by the end of the ordeal, I was way beyond tired and giddy because of stress and lack of sleep. The details can be found in my personal journal. Scroll down the page and start reading at "7.14.06"
Of course, being the shutterbug I am, there are plenty of photos
Australia was beautiful. I was around Sydney most of the time, but did get out to the Blue Mountains for three days of mountainous nature...and loads of fog.
While there, I got to see some art via the Sydney Biennial and going to the suburb of Paddington to visit a few galleries one day. The art there is as diverse as it is anywhere in the States or elsewhere. There's everything from contemporary painting, video, and installations, to gorgeous Aboriginal art and a lot in between. I only got to see the part of the Biennial that was at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, but there were exhibits around the city and region, also.
One of the questions I've been asked a lot since I returned has been variations of "So, were you inspired?" A normal question, but I couldn't really answer that question, as I had a ton of stuff to take in and digest. I'm still going through that process after almost a month of being back. I have no clue as to how things might shake out for me. The experience was short and very intense on the senses and emotions.
It was the first time I'd been away in over five years and going around the world is enough to handle alone. I took some materials with me to draw with, but never used any of it. I thought I would, but never had the time to really get into the mood for doing anything art-wise. I did write a little, so that helped. I was more interested in taking in as much of the sights, sounds, tastes and smells as I could in a short time. That, and get over jet-lag at the same time. By the time I was leaving on the 27th of July, I was *just* beginning to adjust to the time there. Returning to the US was even harder on me. It took almost two weeks for my body's bio-rhythms to return to normal. There's a 14 hour time difference and that's a lot to recover from.
In that time, I've only been in the studio a couple of times. Last week, I was in for a whole day and part of another, so I'm slowly getting back to things, though not at the pace I usually have. I'm having a crises of not knowing what I want to do at the moment, but I'm attmpting to work through that. This year has been very strange for me in terms of my work. I can't really explain it. Just feeling unsure of what I want to do next. My usual remedy is to just work until something comes out and that's still the best thing for me. I just need to re-establish a routine.
I just feel that this trip has changed a lot for me and I'm still struggling to figure out what it means. There are changes coming around beyond just my work. That has to do with my personal life and how things are turning out with *E*, whom is one of the reasons I went to Australia in the first place. We met through Livejournal this past spring and almost three months into our conversations, I told her that I was going to come there to meet her. We've gotten along great and our time together there was fantastic. She's planning on coming here later in the year and what happens from there is anyone's guess, but we've both said that we'd like to close the gap.
So, yeah, life got a little more complicated this year, but in a good way. It's just that I don't deal well with big changes in my circumstances, so I suspect that's partly behind my inability to focus on my work like I usually do lately. It's not that I'm out of ideas or anything, I'm just not sure what form the work is going to take. I'm still painting, but there's other things coming up for me, as well. I'd like to do more printing or just work with paper, in general; drawings, collages, whatever. I was thinking the other day that I do miss working with paper and the processes of printmaking. Perhaps I should look into doing some of that this fall and winter.