Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Future?

It's a quiet morning. I'm sitting in my kitchen, listening to the hum of the refrigerator (it's a loud hum). - I finished packing all my art supplies yesterday. The only things I left out are my sketchbooks and a travel set of watercolors. - I'm not sure what I'll do when I arrive in Oakland, but as long as I've got my tools I can always explore and make some pictures.
I wonder what kind of art I'll be making after I move. Will I continue with the same projects I've been working on? Will I actualize the projects that have been swimming around patiently in my head? Will I begin work on those projects only to realize that they don't withstand the elements of my new context? Will my mind and heart and creativity move in an entirely new direction?
I will have to wait. It is impossible to see, with the mind that I have now, what will be. What I do know is that things are going to be very different, and that I am ready.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quit My Day Job

Today was my last day of work at my "day job": waitressing. I like to joke that working as a waitress, or a barista in a coffee shop, or a bartender, are the entry level positions for fine artists.

I've declared in the past that I'd never work in a restaurant or coffee shop again, but, so far, I've made a liar out of myself. - I guess I can't say, for sure, that I'll never again serve food and beverages for a living, but I hope not. I always think it'll be great and I always end up loathing it. - That's why I'm going to grad-school. I need credentials. I need witnesses. I need those 3 capital letters to put on my resume that impress the skeptics enough to make them cooperative. 

Without credentials, street-based or otherwise, why should anyone believe you, and why should they pay you, or support you otherwise, to do your work? It is not enough that the work is good. Most people aren't educated or sensitive enough to recognize that the work is good, or even what "good" is and why it is valuable. And more than any of that, most people are afraid of truly creative work. - Unless... someone that they respect tells them it's okay. And that brings us back to credentials.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Watercolor - Ketubah with Details

I finally finished the Ketubah on Thursday the 17th. I'm really happy with how it came out. I think that it is very appropriate for a wedding.  The bright colors give it a cheery, celebratory feel. 

The image is imbued with many layers of symbolism. My favorite parts are the rake and the shovel which symbolize the couple's love of farming and agriculture, and also the effort necessary to cultivate and maintain a lasting relationship; the flowers in the tree canopy (some of the couple's favorites) which are used decoratively and give the whole piece a joyful, vital quality; and the gold in the leaves and on the roots. The gold watercolor that was used in the piece is actually real gold. I used it in the two places where the trees mingle with each other and become connected. Gold has a special radiance and value that transcends the two dimensions of the art piece.

Text will occupy the center area. A professional calligrapher will scribe the couple's eternal vows. Then they will both sign the document at the wedding (I think).


Shovel, Garlic Scapes (peeking out from behind the tree), Tomatoes

Rake, Sunflowers, Agrostemma

Intertwining Roots, Lake

Poppies, leaves, and bachelor buttons (note the gold in the leaves).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

One Last Project

During the last week I've been focused on creating artwork for my stepsister's Ketubah. A ketubah is a traditional Jewish marriage contract. They are a very special document which is illustrated and which contains a text, sometimes traditional, sometimes chosen by the couple, to reinforce their vows. I am illustrating the ketubah with symbols that are both timeless, and specific to the couple's experience and values. This is my wedding present to them. It's special because they are going to have this in their house for the rest of their lives. When they look at it they will remember their wedding vows and the things that brought them together. I feel very honored to be contributing to their lives in this way. 
I'm doing the piece on 18"x24" watercolor paper. I drew everything out beforehand and now I am in the process of painting and filling in. I'm really enjoying it.

This is the last art project I will do before I move. After this is finished I am going to pack up all of my supplies (and everything else I own) and get ready for the trek. I've already moved everything out of my studio, so I'm working at home for this project.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Open Studio

The open studio was a great success. 
Loads of materials were passed on to inspired creative types.
Artwork was available for viewing.
The first version of the "Can Project" was erected, in all it's 3D glory.

Here's some pics:

This is the Can Project version #1

Here is a close up of the labeled cans (version #1)
Part tin can telephone, part commercial product, part social commentary.