Awhile back, I posted some images of my sketch book in which I was using small shapes to create larger organic ones. I had it in mind to translate them into paper cuts and to try to do them pretty large. This is my first (work in progress) attempt at it which I actually started many months ago. It's really time consuming and, because I am doing them without more than a vague idea of a final shape, it's both fun and challenging. There are some things I wish I had done differently here but I'm looking at it (like I do all artwork) as a learning experience.
I am definitely having to rely on the drugstore granny glasses to do these. Apparently, I am in need of bifocals (BIFOCALS!) which I have yet to pull the trigger on. I. just. can't. yet.
This paper cut is about 18" x 27". Here is a detail:
- and a detail from the reverse side - which I also like:
It's been quite awhile since my last post. Life got busy, another baby arrived, and my blog was put on the back burner. I've been in a bit of an artistic drought to be honest - I just haven't had the motivation to do much painting or work on paper. I suppose most of my creative energy has gone toward my kids. I've also been spending time on maternity leave rediscovering my love for cooking (well, when my 5 week old son allows it). I've felt kind of badly about not getting into the ole studio in so long - but a friend reminded me not long ago that there's "a season for everything."
In the past few weeks I've been getting the itch again - there are some things percolating in my mind and a few projects that I'd like to finally finish. The studio arrangement has changed. With the addition of a new baby my husband and I have had to combine studios which is nice on the one hand but also tough when one is used to having one's own space to work, hang art, etc. Overall, I like the idea of a family communal art space though and our three year old has gotten into the act as well (she informed me last week that it's her studio too - and so it is).
I wanted to share some wood sculptures I discovered not long ago in Manhattan. I passed a shop somewhere along 32nd Street and noticed these in the window. I absolutely adore them. In addition to the wood cutting I love to do I have always had it in my mind to try wood carving and sculpture at some point. The shapes, texture and color of these lovely organic sculptures really inspired me.
Recently I've been trying to utilize my long subway commute to draw a bit in my sketchbook. I'm working on something for some papercuts I'm planning on doing. Putting together these tiny shapes has been relaxing.
I also started to try a little on paper to see how it will translate. I'm envisioning doing some pretty large pieces but the thought of zillions of these tinycuts is a little daunting!
Still, it feels great to be working again. Happy New Year!
This week I had to do a little demolition on the triptych I've been chipping away at. The trees weren't working for me. I tried salvaging some of it but they look like they're in a wind storm which bothered me. Sometimes, you just have to accept that you have to undo what you've done to make a piece better - even though you've spent a lot of time on something. It's a little painful but it has to be done. I need to spend some time thinking about what I want to do with the doors.
I also spent more time on the flowers - still so much to do but I've really been enjoying it. Feels good to be painting again.
In other news, my favorite former painting professor, Meri Bourgard is having an open studio this September in Brooklyn. She is an amazing teacher and a wonderful artist. You can see her work at her site: www.meribourgard.com.
SO. Last week I challenged myself to work at least 10 minutes a day to try to finally get a painting done (well, to start to). For the most part I did pretty well - although there were a couple of nights I was too tired to do it. I know it's hard to believe I could be too tired for a measley 10 minutes but between work and our toddler it's true. I doubled up my time on other days to make up for it though. I discovered two things from my little experiment. One is that 10 minutes a day doesn't produce much in the way of results. And two, 10 minutes a day DOES produce SOME results and that's a good thing. I was able to start the underpainting of the Magnolias.
In other news, my 19 month old and I did this little collaboration. Of course, all the most interesting stuff is by her.
Can't wait for the weekend and hopefully more painting.
I have been lamenting the fact that I have had such a difficult time getting into the studio to work and that I haven't blogged in what seems like forever. Having an 18 month old is more wonderful and tougher than I ever could have imagined... tough in the sense that finding a minute to myself is nearly impossible. Recently, a friend asked me how the blog was coming along. I had to confess that it had been months and months since I had worked on anything or written a post. To which she responded, "Well, there's a season for everything." Such a simple statement yet the reality of what she said was a comfort. There IS a season for everything and now is the time in my life that most of my energy and creativity is and should be going to my daughter. That being said, I still have a desire to work so I am beginning an experiment this week - I am challenging myself to work at least 10 minutes a day - meaning that at the end of the week I will have tallied up over an hour! I know, I know - it sounds a little pathetic but I need to start somewhere. And rather than begin something new, I am committing myself to working on things that have gone unfinished for too long. I mentioned this piece ages ago and now I am going to try to tackle it and finally finish it. Here it is again just waiting for a little attention. Ok, well maybe a LOT of attention.
I still have a lot to do on the doors... script on the banner and I'm not happy with the trees so I will be repainting them.
The inside is bare - except for the beginning drawings for the Magnolias...
I start Monday and will post what I've done in a week.
Several years ago my mother gave me some embroidery kits and embroidery floss that she had stored away. I wasn't much into needle work of any kind and the few times I tried I was always a little frustrated that I was so bad at it. Recently, though, I have been craving doing something creative and have had little or no time to do anything in the studio. By the time I get home from work, I just want to enjoy the few precious hours I have with my daughter and husband. But I know I have a deep need to make things so I was thinking about my commute of nearly two hours a day and what I could do to sort of turn the subway into a moving studio.
Something made me think of a kit my mother had given me - a set of pillowcases with a floral pattern printed on and ready to embroider so I thought I'd take it with me and try it out. The first day was pretty funny. Having just turned forty I felt like a little old biddy - especially when I propped my red magnifying glasses on the tip of my nose (there's no way I could see those tiny stitches otherwise). Anyway, I was feeling a little shy about it until I glanced to my right and saw a 30-something year old guy with a mohawk knitting a scarf. You have to love New York.
As I made my way through the project I found myself falling in love with this medium. It is such a relaxing process and more and more I realize how much I love any work that requires a kind of peaceful repetition and attention to detail. That being said, I did have a few moments of frustration at my lack of skill. Most of this was cross stitch which was pretty easy but anything more than that (satin stitch and especially the stem stitch) was a challenge.
Once I finished I started thinking back to my previous attempt at adding emroidery to paper cuts and decided to try again with this little experiment.
It was just the right size to take with me and, though I wasn't completely thrilled with it, I learned a lot about what you can and can't do with paper and stitching. I'm thinking of trying paint and emroidery on canvas next. I feel like there are many more possibilities there.
Last week was a bit of a milestone for me (you know, turning 40 and all). I hadn't thought it would be much of a big deal but I have to admit, I do feel a little different... as though I'm on the other side of something. And getting "up there" has reminded me I had better do some work. Time's a-wastin'... as they say.
It was nice to finish something and I think I may take some time to complete other projects that have been collecting here and there in the studio. I think I am going to take a little break from paper cutting and get back to some painting... I just feel the need for something more substantial at the moment. Happy weekend!