Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Even When Grounded, I Make Pigs Fly

Some days my hands (and my fused right wrist in particular) become very tender and tempermental but because I like to keep moving forward in some way each and every day, I try to find something to do in the studio anyway.  Today, that "something" happened to be cartooning and Inktense pencils.  This is just a bit of fooling around in one of my sketchbooks while watching Halloween movies.  I don't have any specific project in mind, no deadline to meet.  Throughout the day, I revisit this one page, making small additions as my hands permit.  It makes for a delightfully low key day and I feel like I have rested my hands while still accomplishing something artful.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It is Time to Take the Paths Less Traveled

My first little clay sculpture in several years...
I've spent my studio time in the last week doing more quiet contemplation than actual artwork.  Maybe it is the onset of fall or maybe it is the temporary lull in work for outside projects...whatever the reason, I've been busy pondering instead of painting.  Big changes are ahead.  Or maybe I should say "additions" because I don't intend to abandon my current mediums, techniques, and topics.  However, it is time to experiment in some areas that I've had on my "To Try" list for a very long time.  Perhaps, in time, these new fascinations will completely replace my current loves; maybe I'll just play around for a while and decide I've had enough.  I'm not really sure but I do know a few very specifc things have been pulling on my subconscious for a while and I feel ready for something new.  It is time to step off the well-worn path and explore the waiting wilderness.

Here's 4 ways my focus is going to shift in the coming year:
  1. SOFT - I've been working happily with paper & collage for a long while.  It is time to get serious about fabric.  I want to make soft things for family, functional and/or fun.  I want to dive into my fabric stash and see what develops.
  2. SLOW - I need at least a couple of "slow art" projects, things that I can work on here & there, little by little with no pressure and no rush.  I want to slow my roll and use art more meditatively.  Luckily, fabric projects are perfect to satisfy this goal.
  3. 3-D - When I first started pursuing my art degree, I created a lot of polymer clay jewelry and artist's books.  I'm ready to take a break from flat.  Small sculptures from fabric (see #1), clay, found objects, a return to handmade books, silly crafts to decorate my home...I feel the need to expand beyond my box.
  4. FICTIONAL -  This is really the thread that will run through all of my new pursuits.  I've spent years doing "observational" art.  Look at something and draw it.  (I spent years doing scientific illustration.)  Record the events of my day in a journal.  Most of what I've done has been anchored in the real world.  However, it is time to dive a bit deeper and see what lies in my imagination.  There are stories to be told.  Characters to birth.  For the most part, I've kept the full scope of my imagination under lock and key, afraid that my artistic abilities wouldn't be able to keep up.  But I realized that I have to start somewhere and really, truly, things you are fear are often exactly the things you need to pursue.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wondering What's Next

So my show had its official "opening" last Friday evening and I've been processing and decompressing ever since.  After working so feverishly on one thing for an extended period of time, I typically spend several days regrouping once the object of my focus is complete.

The opening was absolutely lovely and easily one of the best I ever had.  Many of the stores participating in this monthly event also host live music and wine tastings.  I never know who is going to be playing and I was delighted to discover that an amazing, generous, and talented gentleman named Buddy Reed was providing the evening's soundtrack for my art.  His heartfelt blues intertwined beautifully with my work and together they seemed to conjure a bit of magic.  There was wine, spontaneous dancing, excellent discussions of art with people from all walks of life.  I sold about half of my pieces.  I felt like a real, honest-to-goodness artist.  I don't always have an easy time in groups but on this night, I felt comfortable, happy, and proud.

The experience had such an impact that I've been laying low since then, trying to savor the memories while pondering where I go from here.  I think you might be surprised by the answer but that, my dears, is a topic for another day...tomorrow perhaps. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Grumpy Owl for a Slightly Grumpy Post

I'm still hard at work on canvases for my show.  The official opening is this Friday evening but the bulk of the work went up last week.  Today I'm working on making business cards, finishing up six small pieces, updating the price list, making price tags, and making a sign for the show's title.  Once the opening is over, life will hopefully settle down into the regular sort of crazy busy that I'm used to...at least until I need to start on work for a January show.

On a brief but sort of ranting side note, you'll notice that a copyright notice is plastered all over today's image.  I've been sort of hit & miss with watermarking my images but a rather annoying session on Pinterest this morning cemented the necessity of watermarks in my head.  I love when people stop by this little blog of mine and find something that inspires them but PLEASE! USE A DIRECT LINK TO THIS BLOG AND INCLUDE AN ATTRIBUTION ("Elizabeth Michelle Remy") IN THE DESCRIPTION!!!  I found a ton of pins with no mention of my name anywhere; repins are especially problematic.  I love the inspiration of Pinterest but I do feel we are all responsible for protecting the rights of the artists we admire and pin.  For those of you who do include a direct link and attribution, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!   Your support and recognition of my artistic property is deeply appreciated. 

Unfortunately, theft is a part of being an artist and there are a select few who will steal even if the copyright is staring them in the face.  It happens and it sucks but I am choosing to focus on a positive, proactive approach.  I'm going to audit all of my own pins to make sure I have proper acknowledgement on each one or otherwise remove the image that I cannot link to a direct source.  Whenever possible, I am going to try to comment on pins of my work if credit is missing.  I'm going to watermark all my photos so in the very least, a copyright notice is embedded in work that is pinned improperly.  However, I'm not going to spend a bunch of time of this; I've got better things to do...like make more art!

Author's Edit:  One last comment/clarification:  I believe that 99.999% of people who don't use a direct link and/or attribution to a pin are totally and completely well-meaning in their pinning.  We all live busy lives and Pinterest makes it so easy and fast to develop a bangin' digital bulletin board that I think all this attribution business gets overlooked in the joy of the pinning process.  It happens.  I've done that too.  However, every time someone takes that extra minute to give credit to an artist that inspires, that artist's career and passion is validated and protected.  And that makes the world a better place.  Period.  Please keep visiting and keep pinning things you find here that fan the sparks of artistic longings in your own heart.  That's why I do this.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Finally She Blogs & the Art is Up

Oooooo!  I'm sneaking this post in here at the end of the day so perhaps for some of you abroad, it is now Tuesday but it's still Monday for the Lost Coast so it's all good!  After a super busy day, it finally occured to me in a moment of quiet that I hadn't yet posted.  So here ya go!

Shot of one of the walls in the store on which I am displaying my art...
The main part of the oft-talked about show is now up.  As you can see, the work is hanging in a furniture store.  On the second Friday of every month, local businesses host a city-wide art opening while throwing in some great music, wine tastings, and extended shopping hours for good measure.  I love this particular location and have shown here a couple of times before.  It is a huge venue; I could easily hang 30 to 40 smallish pieces here if I ever got my artistic act together in time.  So far, I've got 16 finished canvases up for the world to see and I'm going to hang some more before this Friday evening's opening. 

The walls of this store are a lovely butter yellow which always makes my work look especially yummy.  The furniture is what I call "upscale casual": real wood furniture, elegant lighting, quality futons and the like.  This atmosphere suits my work very well and I think it helps potential buyers imagine what my art might look like in their own homes.

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