As an artist I find everything is an obstacle, daily life is an obstacle, chores and errands are obstacles, all the things that preoccupy our minds are obstacles to me. Having a studio is my salvation, only there I can turn my brain off from all the things I have to do and delve deep into my work. The challenge now is praying that on the one day a week I allow myself to go to my studio I will find creativity waiting for me.
What do I mean? What am I talking about? Well, I am frequently asked since my work is mostly done on salvaged wood or recycled canvasses, with recycled magazine paper is it by chance acid free paper? Do I use archival products that withstand the test of time or will my paintings be around for ever? My answer is I am sure my paintings will be around as long as everyone else. I use reputable paints and inks and markers, but I can't vouch for the papers I use in my coils. I actually don't even bother with factoring in that problem. There are too many variables to factor in to the longevity of my work. Natural disasters or unnatural disasters my work could be destroyed in a fire, a flood an earthquake. My work could be destroyed in a fight ... that has happened. My work could also not withstand the universal appreciation factor... the person who loves and buys my painting or sculpture might not share in the same passion as the rest of their family so that work will be sold at auction or donated off in the future. Worst case scenario I figure it would give work to the future art restaurateurs. So in my opinion you shouldn't worry so much about buying expensive archival materials if you can't afford it and go with letting your creativity soar, without worrying if you can afford to be creative.
it's the beginning of 2015 a new year, a new challenge... not that the new year does not start off with a bag of challenges, from the new year resolution everyone burdens themselves with, or the mere fact new year opens up full of promises and expectations... This year I picked up a challenge put forth on the great wide web to produce one piece of work each day for the next thirty days. Now that's a crazy challenge for me to take on for so many clear reasons, 1. I work full time if seven days a week and in average 10 hour days aren't enough. I accepted to paint a lampshade for a fundraiser for the Gastonia Rotary Club literacy group due at the end of January. I also accepted a fun challenge to make a wearable piece out of condoms for a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in Charlotte due in February. I am part of a gallery action where we have to produce one original piece every month to hang in the gallery. I also have to coordinate two recycled couture events other than our very own ecoFAB Trash Couture. So, taking on the 30 in 30 was a bit rich. Oh yes the best part, I don't really create small pieces of work. I have, and keep creating small "affordable" pieces, usually at the coaxing of others and though I really love my small pieces they don't fly off the shelf just because they are "affordable".
So, my pieces are quite large, I usually am working on a handful of them at a time, though these pieces take me months to complete I am always completing one a week when the inspiration is crazy abundant. I so happen to be in one of my closing cycles of work. Lucky me. My 30 in 30 will at least see a couple of my large pieces completed.
I am stepping out of my traditional earth tone colors which I love and feel safe in because I also happen to love vibrant and bold colors like lime greens and turquoises but have always b been to scared to use them for they never really fit in my surroundings. Having walked the corporate path for a long time, you adopt the colors that fit that life, that responsibility, that 'code'. You wear toned down colors, you live in toned down cubicles and you don't act too colorful either. Those colors had no room in my life then. Interesting how color dictates who we really are and how we live. I was raised quite traditional in a strangely extremely progressive home which created this eclectic personality within me. I am seriously attracted to light and playful colors yet in me reigns the serious earth tones, browns, taupes, dark blues and blacks. The olive or mossy greens are what my hand reaches out for in my work but when I see a painting containing vibrant oranges and aquas, lime greens or purples I want to jump into that painting and stay there for a while, basking in the whimsy of those colors, playful and energizing unlike the traditional serious colors. So here I am trying really hard to pursue what my heart really wants, color, energy, vibrancy, life but it comes at a price, tormenting myself because it doesn't just happen, my work now takes months instead of weeks to be completed because I am stepping way outside my comfort. When done though, I am ecstatic with the result, it speaks to me more than my older pieces because it came with a price and this painting is now the one i want to climb into and bask in the light of it.