Monday, January 18, 2016

print making

Making prints, as in, print-making was one mode of art-making that hooked me when in college.  Maybe it was my personable, inspiring and empowering professor, Jack.  Perhaps it was the satisfying repeatability of the images - if anyone takes a look at my website or elsewhere in this blog, it is obvious that I will repeat an action, a process, or an image/symbol for a very long time (I am also a long distance runner and can make gnocchi or tamales for hours).  While printing with Mark Lunning at the Art Students League of Denver for the past few months, it has also become apparent to me that this art media is offering me an immediacy that is helpful in keeping up momentum with my art working.

Let me elaborate on this issue of momentum.  For about 3 - 5 years, I've been making epic projects.  I will diligently work on the same project for 5 - 12 months.  The vision, drawings, technical planning, acquisition of materials and summoning courage to really begin may take 2 - 3 months.  Then the various phases of repetition (mind you, this isn't tedium to me and I'm not bored) - whether it be dying fabric, sometimes dying it again, and again, measuring and cutting fabric and measuring, sewing, measuring, sewing, sewing, measuring, seam ripping, sewing, seam ripping, measuring, cutting, sewing, measuring, and so on and so on (oh I forgot all the pressing and the organizing and referring back to the drawing from months ago).  There's even more to this and then more steps for finishing.  I am more or less describing the piecework that I do (I don't actually quilt - see definition), but the epic process is very similar for my cross-stitch projects and other media that I've worked with over time.  And here's what I'll say about momentum:  At about 2/3 of the way into the process, I usually come up against this big feeling of non-productivity because I don't yet have the product of so much labor.  I think this is an American psychological hang-up - being productive means rolling out and showing off a lot of products, and having news about what you're doing because there's "always something new!"  About 3 years ago I got really clear with myself and decided to turn against the contemporary American way with my art-making.  I don't actually care to be prolifically productive with my artwork (what will I DO with all of that work anyway? I also get grossed out by the art-market and choose not to participate, so I really don't need a lot of "inventory").  I prefer an art making experience that is more like the culinary movement, slow-food.  ...but even slow food has an amuse bouche carefully added in along the way to refresh the palette and liven up the pace.

Lesson learned:  Commit to the long haul, and find ways to keep up the creative motivation along the way.

Friday, January 15, 2016

haiku excuse

...and less piano keyboard time.
infected dog bite
right middle finger "sore thumb"
less typing these days

Monday, January 4, 2016


Thank you for building this bridge with me.
2016 will be building the next bridge with me.
I have much gratitude for everything that we learned together.
I will carry the lessons in my heart.
Thank you for generously giving me every minute of your time.
I will carry that generosity with my gratitude.