Thursday, May 20, 2010

New work/work in progress

 After a few weeks of exploring ideas and feeling a great deal of creative energy in general,  I awoke yesterday with a paralyzing feeling of anxiety about the work I have been focusing on lately. Given that I had one of those rare full days of working in the studio in front of me, I wasn't about to give up. However, it was a great reminder that positive creative energy can only last so long before the other half of my brain steps in to inform me how silly and futile my ideas are as well as all attempts at art-making in general. Quieting that special critic that lives within is no easy task, but I was able to get the volume turned down to simply "critical" so that I could actually get some work done.

When this voice began, what used to happen to me was that I became incredibly depressed and hopeless, and abandoned whatever idea I was working on. I then would stay in a terrible creative rut until the energy struck again. Not a great working process overall. When I went back to school I couldn't stop working when this happened because of the deadlines pressing down on me. I had to work through it. Still, many, many tears of frustration were shed and ideas still abandoned.

This still fresh in my memory, I resolved yesterday to not abandon these ideas, whatever happened. Certainly not every piece I am working on is successful, and what may be successful in my eyes could be a total failure in someone else's, but it's the process of fully exploring and fleshing out a series of ideas to their fullest that I am focusing on. What lies on the other side? Several failed pieces to be sure, but perhaps a few successes that I could never have achieved without this level of difficulty.

From now on I am viewing that often debilitating feeling as a gauge that I am on the right track. That for me, I am somewhere, for me, that is "unsafe"- and that, artistically speaking, is exactly where I want to stay and push my artwork.

This is also a great time for me to take some pictures and step back to reflect on where I am at this point. Below are some paintings I recently made on some clayboard I had lying around the studio. It is the first time I have attempted to work in color since school... What is interesting for me is that they are done with acrylic ink- leveraging the drawing that I love and leaving behind my major difficulties with paint in general.

Below are a few (very much) works in progress in the sculpture studio. The "bowls" are made from leaves and tea bags cast into a plaster mold. The people are currently made from plasticine, and I am playing with their positions and shapes. At the end of today I bought a box of terra cotta air dry clay to begin making the people in a permanent material. Also, the pins I have used to pin the bowls to the wall are visible. ugh. That needs to go away, but I have yet to resolve how I want to mount them.

I will have pictures of the metal pieces I am working on in the next post.


Anonymous said...

In the sculptures I think the smooth figures and rough, chaotic dwellings works really well. It makes me think and ponder the delicate balance in our bodies and our minds. The canvas paintings seem like a story- are they? They are very interesting and cause my mind to wonder about how people cope and live.... These are my quick thoughts- much love tara

Jayne said...

Thanks Tara, and thanks for reminding me about the elements of design (rough/smooth, etc)...I get so into just the process of making and idea that I often forget to step back and evaluate it under those basic elements. Which is something of a weakness and needs to be remembered.

The little paintings are not intentionally a story- but as I made this group simultaneously, they do all come from the same thought processes. Intentionally or not, it is there. And yes, generally speaking, my mind is preoccupied as of late with the environment and how we, as humans, relate to this, both now and in the future. I could probably write a whole other blog post on this subject, but that is the answer in the short :). Actually, what is really happening, is I am figuring out the thought process as I go along, and don't really understand it or know it until later.