I experience my artist flow when I allow my intuition to drive my creative process. Working on a predetermined result is less satisfying and usually results in a creative expression that is more pedestrian. Therefore, my future collaborations will require more freedom, which may be interpreted as artistic narcissism. At least I will be happier.
When I’m not in the shop, I’m volunteering and helping others with their marketing. Lots of projects: Focus group research for embracecreatives.com, business planning for Plymouth arts committee, social media seminar for integrity shows, marketing for Mint Artists Guild, curating Schoolcraft Metal sculpture art exhibition, creating a new art exhibition with Scott McDuffee, launching podcast series with Mary Temple. Not to mention the 4 large art commission jobs I have.
When I put it in a list like this, I realize I may be over committing. I guess I haven’t changed a bit. The difference is, I get to choose what I do and when I do it.
I have my first solo show coming up. So I am working on a couple of pieces that require more left brain effort. My intuitive process takes lead on most creations. For the show, I am aspiring to make more complex structures, which require some engineering. Bringing my sketch to life was a failure. Engineering problem #1. I wanted the piece to come apart for easier finishing and transportation. engineering problem #2. the top of the sculpture design must be light so that it requires minimum support. engineering problem #3. Attaching the pieces requires not only a MIT degree in geometry but shoulders built like “The Rock”. After 10 hours of work, I’m back to the drawing board.
There are 2 hours left of open lab time, so I grab some rando metal scraps and build a beautiful graceful sculpture that took no thought at all.
”The materials of art, like the thumbnail sketch, seduce us with their potential”. -Art & Fear
I believe there is a pulse in the universe. I like to stay on rhythm and hit on the up beat. If I settle in and miss a beat, it is difficult to catch up with the rhythm. Once I am on beat, the universe's energy keeps me going. This momentum needs to be acknowledged for its importance and the role it plays in my success. It's like skiing down a mogul hill... just a little too fast and bit over your head. You know if you stay focused and plant your pole and turn at the right part of the mogul, you can easily navigate the next mogul. If you hesitate and miss the beat, you slip into the trench and icy path. I slipped into the ice in November, I thought I could take a week or two off, to re-energize.... At my age and wisdom, I should know better. I felt sluggish and my creative muscle was tense and unimaginative. I since have hit my rhythm again.
So, I admit it. I have been very selfish since I retired. Focusing on me, myself and I. Constructing the studio, signing up for shows, finding a place to do my art...... Most importantly, working on my health - building a stronger body that can endure the physical requirements of making large scale metal sculptures.
I was less busy than I thought I was going to be. My to-do list, ever-changing, continues to grow. (“Start writing a blog”. Check!).
September is a transition month. My last show was Sept 22. My inventory is good. My back is stronger. My shop is in order. Time to focus on others. Check out www.mintartistguild.org.
It’s an unflattering term artists use to describe the one piece of production art that’s sole purpose is to drive volume sales. It pays the gas bills, hotel, show space etc. - A necessary evil for the fine art purveyor.
My least expensive piece in my booth start at $45; too much for the impulse shopper. I needed something small, simple, desirable....worthy of an art show, yet affordable.
Some background, I have been using my clay Birds (aka glaze testers) to decorate my tables. At least once a show someone would tell me I should sell them (“Bingo!" Inside joke for other show artists). However, they were too simple. I needed to amp them up. During the Royal Oak show I was discussing this with a friend. I had built a bird nest out of scrap electrical wire for a metal and fused glass sculpture. I came up with the idea of combining the wire nests and my clay birdies. I debuted them at Art and Apples art fair and sold 3. I sold the other 8 at Funky Ferndale art show. Considering the time and repetition that goes into the series, I now understand why “art on a stick” has negative connotation in the art world. Making a few was fun. Making a dozen is mind-numbing. The opposite of what i expect from making art. I want my art to stimulate my mind, create challenges, push my paradigms..... so will I make more? Mostly likely, no. I’m just not an "art on a stick" kinda girl.
another summer of art shows ends.
love running into old and new friends.
best part, sharing my passion.
excited about creating a new series.
excited about entering the world of galleries.
I have a fervent need to create more. The process is consuming. Finding a treasure. A mangled piece of metal, rusted from the elements with so much potential. Filling the bucket, the pallet to a weight that requires a full body commitment to move. Filling the truck bed, filling my bins at the shop. So many possibilities swirling in my mind.
The time in the shop flies by. I watch the clock on the wall wishing for more time. 3 projects in process at once. Cutting, grinding, welding, shaping, powder coating. It's a symphony of activity. Perfectly choreographed moves to the timing of the horizontal saw. The screeching blade is a reminder of how much time I have for a task. Do not waste a second. I need more time. always... more time.
Today was spring cleaning. I cleaned up the store added 2 dozen photographs of my current sculpture series and submitted my application for a few shows. It feels good to take a day and take stock of the work from this winter. I have been so inspired by my fellow artists. Chuck Hipster is a painter that has recently experience success that he deserves. Sam, my fellow metal sculpture, was accepted to College of Creative Studies in Detroit. It feels good to explore this side of me.
My fall welding class final critique was last night. I enjoy discussing other artists' motivations and ideations. Mine is pure ascetics. What feels balanced, inspired. What feels good. I get a vision or an idea, and then I just go. fast, furious. I am the multi-tasker in the shop; cutting, grinding, welding, baking - all at the same time. It is a symphony of art creation. It is the balance of creativity and efficiency. Perhaps my day job still is too much of an influence - Rewarded for producing work. I dream about a future where there are no deadlines or expectations and I can slow the process down and give myself time to push and explore my creativity.