Wednesday, March 12, 2014

byroad burley arena

Do we not find freedom along the guiding lines of discipline?   Yehudi Menuhin

Off to a racing start to the studio today but here it is 11 AM and I'm not there yet.  I keep finding Other Things that need my attentions.  At 9 I went over to a friend's house to help with a knitting problem.  Ir was easily fixed when a different pair of eyes looked at it but I also gave my lecture about sometimes 'good' being 'good enough'.  Loved her yarn and the pattern but it was really warm and wooly, not something I could ever wear so I won't make it.  Sigh.  Then I came home to finish up the eye drop schedule for Molly for the morning, walked them and ed them and got caught up in moving furniture until I got up against a piece I can't move myself.  I'm telling you, the last thing I need is to injure this stooped shoulder again, so I'll wait for TY to get home and whine at him until he helps.  Maybe by Easter?

Wanna talk about EGO?  I am a Leo, I have a lion's head of hair to prove it, I KNOW about ego...  I like meat.  (But not rabbit-  rabbits are pets-only)  Growing up I had no ego, no self esteem, no worth art-wise, but I love to be always making things.  My art teachers along the way told me when things were good, but never interesting.  I knew I could draw from when I lifted a pencil for the first time.  I loved to dig up clay from the many house excavations in our neighborhood, but I know that would never happen these days-  no seven year old kids are now locked out of the house for the day to go amuse themselves, especially to climb into house basements being dug!  I would grab handfuls of clay, go up the rickety ladders and deposit it in a pile, go back down and grab more until I had a good lump that was too heavy to carry.  That meant I would make multiple trips to our 'fort' to get it made into something.

Did any of you have forts?  Did any of you develop as free-range kids?  If you did you're probably a child of the 50's.  And my mom was completely overprotective!  I just never told her what I was up to.

Well I knew diddly squat about clay but I did know you had to 'bake' it so I took it home, wet, and stuck it in my mom's oven on one of her cookie sheets.  I didn't know how to turn it on so I just left it there until she pre-heated getting ready for dinner.  My beee-u-tiful clay sculpture didn't make it.  But I learned a big lesson-

  I needed expertise to tell me HOW it works, WHAT to do with it, and all the WHYs of the above.

Unfortunately I never learned to stay away from construction site and have a deep love of the building process to this day.  But in Florida, they don't dig anything, they 'scrape the ground' to start the whole building process.  Personally I miss the basement part.

But back to Ego-  I knew it all, but 'all' was just about myself and the limitless possibilities and the fact that everything will work out.

Many years later I decided to knit.  No classes, no guidance, just the fact that it was knitting and how hard should it be?  I made a sweater, then another one-  a Fair Isle with all the color changes and decreases at the same time.  NOBODY TOLD ME I COULDN'T so I simply DID.  No ego, just a sure knowledge that I was doing something that would MAKE something and I would be able to figure it out.  My ego was stroked when I could actually wear something I made.

I had the same attitude in art school-  give me the assignment, skip the fiddly details, and I'll have at it.  Don't waste my time with talking talking talking.  I don't know what I'm doing or why but I'm happily making something, so leave me alone.  

Later on my 'artwork' became making curtains or painting dining rooms or garnishing a dinner plate.  Finally I got back into making a quilt for my baby daughter and the earth moved!  I already was an artist.  I already sewed everything I needed, and the lightening bolt told me that my 'art' would be quilts.  Shortly after making my first quilt I went to a show (this was in the 70's) where I saw some things people were doing that didn't involve somebody else's patterns or patterns at all!  It was Off and Running time.  I knew just what I was doing because I already had the skills needed.  And my ego grew as I became more successful.  By now I could decide what I wanted to spend time learning, like appliqué, and what I hated to do, like dyeing.  How fortunate because handwork fit into my life-with-kids program.  And away I went.

Now, decades later, the ego is in check (the hair still isn't).  I still like my work, but mostly  it's the process I now realize.  The last thing I need is more quilts or more art lying around but I continue undeterred.  I wish for you the same contentment in your work and I hope you get the same satisfaction from it I do.  Whatever I do!  Sometimes a gal has to branch out a bit, ya know.

So today I found a couple of things for you, then the squirrel-  enjoy!  As you know I love image transfer techniques-  I started doing this years ago using different mechanical methods and rubbing off the papers to varying effects.  Eventually I go ahold of a wide bed pigment printer, the amazing breakthrough Epson 2000 which is long deceased after a very fruitful life.  I started printing fabric for everything I made.  Now I see it mainstream with this dress designer-  some are so beautiful but I need WIDER printer to do anything like this!  

Mary Katrantzou  using digital printed fabric for her collections-  these are amazing!

In 2009, Jesse Krimes, his real name, was sentenced to 70 months in a federal penitentiary for cocaine possession and intent to distribute. His way of coping with the life-changing sentence went a bit more differently than you would expect. He got by with a little help from federal prison bed sheets, hair gel, The New York Times, and some color pencils. Although money was limited in prison, he never struggled to gather enough money to purchase these objects. You might be thinking these are random, but, in fact, they are what made prison life a somewhat more passable experience.
Yup, I remember teaching the hair-gel transfer in my classes-  see that it's still being used!  It had to be Dippity Doo!  
I knew that today I had to find a CLAY squirrel and was lucky enough to find one with MIXED MEDIA-  see his fluffy faux fur glued on tail?  (I made better squirrels than this with my clay-  it's just that they were temporary until my mom found them living under my bed!)

1 comment :

Rayna said...

I hope you noticed that I quoted you on my blog last night. That's because you are so knowledgeable about all these art things:-). Yes, I was a free range kid but my brother got the art lessons. However, to this day my kids laugh at how I always said, "I can do THAT" -- at least when it came to making a quilt, knitting, making bread, dill pickles, or my own stuffed grape leaves (starting from the ones that came off the vine instead of the jar). We didn't know we couldn't, so we did it! Except (for me), drawing.