Did that sound random...because...it is, but that briefly highlights what I have been up to since my last post.
For starters...I have been working on my daily pieces, all 16x20 inch acrylic paintings with the exception of 3 canvas panels I painted in Nashville. I approach each piece slightly different each day...sometimes I start with the poem first, sometimes I start painting and then look for the words...there really is no rhyme or reason (pun intended!) Working with the canvases and paint has required some planning, it isn't easy to carry around these materials so I have to do the majority of the work at home at my easel. I did pack paint to take to our recent trip to Nashville, and canvas...which is why those three pieces are on panel instead of stretched. It still drives me insane that they are not all the same, and I ended up leaving the paintings as a gift for our friend, Justin...if I had it to do over again I might have just opted to buy the stretched canvas in Nashville when I arrived...but...well...oh well.
Turns out...storing almost thirty stretched canvases takes a little bit of space...which we do not have a ton of...hoping to find a space to display this body of work so that they don't just sit around!
Which brings me to boots...I went to Nashville the last part of my spring break for a surprise birthday party. In preparation I revamped a pair of pink cowboy boots that I bought some years ago. I used E6000 to add an assortment of colored crystals to the tip of the boots, and some polymer clay skulls I made a while back with my friend Jess, one of our random art nights, of course. I also brought another pair of boots with me, some black ones, that I hand beaded the first time I went to Nashville...that's been at least 6-7 years ago. My fingers were so sore from sewing the rhinestones and sequins through the boot material...but when I looked down at my feet I forgot about that. I love these sparkly boots, both pairs.
And the birthday party? Justin was totally surprised. It ended up be not only a great trip to visit good friends (and make new ones!), but John and I had time to have our own mini-vacation...we visited art galleries, distilleries and ate had some awesome barbecue...can't wait to go back!
If you have read much on this blog...or visited my Instagram...well, then you know. I love jewelry and accessories. Like, LOVE for real...right up there with how much I love art. I look to fashion magazines for inspiration and have even been inspired to create fashion illustrations based on what inspires me from the latest collections...but there is just something about jewelry in particular...I love it. I love to try to find one element, like a color, or a shape, or texture, and match it up somehow with other pieces, or based on something in the outfit.
So...I am thinking about starting a separate blog dedicated to my love for accessories. It is still very much in the planning stages, and I am not sure of the launch date...but I think it is coming. I need an outlet for this other passion of mine, so I am going to create it! Stay tuned!
The last thing for the update...ink...INK AND PISTONS, that is! I dropped off three pieces from my March series for their group show, 'Art of the Rising Sun', a collection of works inspired by Japan. It is a little bit of a haul for my to get up there from Hollywood but anytime they have a show I try to participate if I can. It is such a cool space, the inspiration resonates off the walls. Plus, JR and Amanda are just awesome folks.
And...planning some new INK as well. Looking to get that in June...and I will definitely be heading there to get it!
Thank you, Maya Angelou for your words...they comfort me, inspire me and give me hope.
It's all starting to come together now.
Wait, let me backtrack a little bit. I knew I wanted to paint this month...and I have been painting. The suggested CED theme is 'spring' and I had kind of half-heartedly committed to the theme, resolving to address the theme through my color choices...opting for tints...keeping it light.
And so I have been painting. And I was excited about the actual process of painting...and happy with the colors...and everything was figurative...but something was missing.
So last night I am painting and a poem popped into my head. The poem was 'Since feeling is first' by E.E. Cummings. This has always been one of my favorite poems, and one that I memorized back when I was in high school just because I loved it so much.
So I started to scrawl the text across my piece in acrylic paint...and then I started thinking...maybe I will make a triptych, this will be the first one, and the rest of the poem with be painted on the other two pieces.
And then I got excited, because I realized that I wanted to work with text from poems that I like this month.
And then, after looking into it a bit more...I realized...
That being said...I am approaching the pieces a little differently this month. I haven't been posting the final pics to my 'Recent Works' page or to my FB Album, which is usually part of my routine...make the work, photograph the work, post then move on. For this month I am going to give myself a little more freedom and allow myself to go back into a piece and add more paint, etc after the day has passed. I may post the final pieces after a few days, or a week...or even wait til the end of the month...not sure yet. It makes me a little uncomfortable to do this, which kind of says that is exactly why I should change it up for this month, to try something different, to try to loosen up.
We will see how that goes. (insert nervous laugh)
This weekend I was sick. John was out of town. The AC was out. I decided to have myself an art, organizational and healing retreat. Friday night I was running a fever and I get a little delirious...and in this state of confusion is when I think I thought of this whole idea...so sometime around 2am I woke up and set up a bunch of 'stations' for myself. I even made a 'to-do' list for myself.
Do yourself a favor. Don't ever make a to-do list for yourself at 2am when you are running a fever.
Anyway, I stay up til about 3-3:30am and then went back to 'sleep'. I don't think I really slept, but my eyes were closed so I will count it.
Some time around 6am I woke up...because that is just what I do. My name is Jenny and I wake up early. Nice to meet you. After a workout and a some new meds I started tackling the items on the 'to do' list I created for myself...finishing three stained glass-inspired paintings I had started in 2010...painting many, many canvases in assorted sizes and also some plaques in a light pink...painting some mannequin torsos...working on my 2013 inventory...taking a break to draw for a bit...and finally, creating my daily piece. I worked in rotations, spending about an hour on each task and then switching and mixing in some naps in there as well. I was in bed by midnight. Feeling a little more normal.
This morning, up early again. My eyes were really sore, very fatigued but my sinuses felt a little better and no fever. I'll take it.
I mainly worked on 2013 inventory, another self-imposed task that I put upon myself and then obsess over until it is finished. While I was working on September 2013, my series inspired by music, I had the idea that it would be cool to have all the songs that I referenced in one location, in case anyone (me) wanted to listen to them as a group.
So...I made a playlist and added to the September 2013 section on my 'Recent Works' page... you can click on the image below and listen to them if you would like. The link goes directly to my September 2013 works and the link is there in the top of the post. So...ummm...enjoy!
(Update: Right now I am up to November 2013 on the inventory and I think I need to stop and take a nap. I am accepting the fact that I will not be able to complete everything on the stupid list and I am trying to be okay with that....zzzzzzz)
Belated birthday greetings to Maya Angelou...here is a quote I love by her (on top of one of my drawings from March 2013)...this here is a call to action...a call to keep CREATING...art, music, movement...whatever...
Just keep it up!
...the (optional) CED theme for April is SPRING!
Holy cannoli...so what do I do with that information?!
Well, I had already decided earlier in the day that I wanted to paint this month. Driving home I was still trying to figure out...do I go with canvas paper, canvas board or stretched canvas? The first two would be cheaper options...but the framing costs would make those more expensive costs in the long run...plus I wanted more options for sizes...so I went with stretched canvas. I chose 16x20 for the size...which might be the size for the whole series...probably will because I know that I will have a meltdown if the pieces are different sizes...just sayin'. (#OCDartist...seriously!)
After the canvas was bought and I got the email back from Leah with the theme...I decided that I can kind of work within that theme. I am working with what I consider to be a spring color palette, which includes tints of my favorite jewel tone colors...think Easter eggs and such.
An additional challenge that I am going to give to myself is to try my hardest to stay loose and attempt to paint in a more abstract fashion. To tell you the truth, painting scares me. I know I mentioned this in my previous post...but it really does. I spent a little time tonight gathering some images for inspiration and looking at quotes about painting and I came across this;
Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.
And then it kind of hit me. I think I get scared when I paint because it makes me nervous... it's like I don't know who or what I am in this medium. I don't know if that makes sense, I have by no means mastered drawing or collage or any other medium...but I feel at least more comfortable working with them. But painting...even if I paint over a hundred paintings (and actually, I definitely have over the years) I still do not feel like I know who I am as a painter. I think part of this is because I only took one painting class in college.
That class was the a summer session. I have Mr. Elmore, one of the BEST teachers I have ever had. I carved a little corner of the studio for myself that summer and filled it up with various works in progress and inspirations. It was my life that summer. See, I had always drawn and painted in high school but once I got to college I started getting into textiles. I took my foundations classes, then my surveys in metals and ceramics...but I was infatuated with fibers. I weaved, I screen-printed, I hand dyed fabric, I beaded...I even attempted some very poorly constructed wearable arts. But I just didn't paint...not until that summer with Mr. Elmore.
And I remember how alive I felt. I remember how excited I was about the wet acrylic moving across the canvas, painting impasto...watching it dry and leaving ridges, small landscapes of dried paint on this large surface.
And I painted some after undergrad...just a little here and there...my bridal portrait...a gift for mom...some msc. faces for my friend Gin...
...and after I moved to Florida I started to pick back up with some painting here and there. I got a major 'inspiration jump start' after attending a Zora Neale Hurston seminar through the Florida Humanities Council...then I started making pieces with text...then specfically for art shows...and then I was sidetracked by my tree series one summer so I painted a tree to go along with the drawings I created.
...and fast forward to pretty much now. Well, 2013 at least. I have some paintings on display and for sell in downtown Hollywood. I haven't really sold any, but it feels good to just know that folks can see them.
I have been painting here and there...but I would never dare call myself a painter. And I don't know that I would be after this month coming up, either. But I am going to make a concentrated effort try, so there's that.
Per usual...we'll see where this series goes!
...I am still waiting to confirm the official Creative Every Day theme for April 2014, I don't always work by the theme but I do sometimes use it for inspiration. In the meantime, I was just looking through the March 2013 series and checking it to see how the work 'flows'. I think that I kept the treatment of the figures pretty consistent, and certainly the materials used. Each piece began with either the face drawn in pencil or the figure cut from magazines, which I then combined on a background and added paint and embellishments. Somewhere after the middle of month I started adding a thin layer of flesh-colored acrylic wash over the drawn face to make it 'blend' more with the color of the skin in the figure. One thing that I made a conscious effort to do was to begin and end the series in with the same type of piece, kind of 'bookending' the pieces from the month in between pieces that incorporated two figures. In the piece from March first I was thinking that the larger figure was breathing life, inspiration into the series, as both figures are facing to the right, the natural progression of the pieces, and actual numbering which goes from left to right. In the last piece, I was thinking that the two images were reflection about the series, eyes locked on each other, like maybe the viewer interrupted some hushed conversation that they were having about the series as a whole. Just some of my thoughts.
As I was looking through this series, and the works from February and January of this year I am thinking that I might need to take a break from the way that I have been working on my daily pieces...maybe take a break from small drawings/mixed media.
I think I need to work larger for a month.
I think...no, I know...I need to paint.
What am I going to paint? No idea and I am terrified. I am hoping that the CED theme will give me some guidance. I work in such a restrictive, methodic manner that when I paint I am torn by sheer fear of the blank canvas (which for whatever reason is different for me than a blank paper) and being excited about the movement and freedom in the act of painting. I feel like I never where to start when I paint...but I always know where to start when I draw and that can be frustrating.