Friday, September 7, 2012

Day Five of Learning Something New - Past/Present

Past/Present .. I was having a hard time with this and then it just "slapped me upside the head" as they say in the South.  I love this quote from Adam Gopnik talking about Joseph Cornell --  one of my alltime heroes...

"The false kind of nostalgia promotes the superiority of life past; the true kind captures the sadness of life passing."

I suddenly related that quote to the small rectangles I have been doing every morning for several months.  I never really thought about them as relating to the passing of time, the decaying of signs on old buildings, the fading of memory. 

The turtles, somehow, are part of that in my mind, not sure how, but there it is, the unconscious is a different country.

Zuni turtle fetishes represent the earth, a centered self.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 4 of Learning Something New -- Home

This one was hard because I am VERY home centered.  I would never leave if I had total choice and could import friends, restaurants, theaters, flea markets and museums.  

SO .... I wrote everything I did in and around my home for 2 days (not really everything but the reportables and importants and pet related).  I did one day vertical and the other day horizontal.  Then on top of the words, I drew the view out my studio window.  What you see are (top to bottom) the sky, the Palisades of the Hudson River (the New Jersey side), the Hudson River and the trees of the Hudson River Parkway in New York City.

I have a little personal project I have been doing since January in the calendar from the Alexander McQueen show here in New York.  For the first 5 months I drew the view out the window every day, fog, snow, rain, green etc etc.  Then as summer stretched on I got bored with unchanging green, so I started doing little graphics that continue daily.  You can see THEM, if you want, over on my photo blog, link on the right of this page.  Remember these are in little tiny rectangles... about 1.5 inches by 2 inches.  I am going to go back to daily views when the leaves start to turn.  

Also, I am doing this project in an already bound book, that I am using in landscape mode generally. The "thought" part goes on the left page and the "image" part goes on the right side.  Looks like this:

And like this...
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 3 of Learning Something New - Steps

Steps, the prompt talks about taking steps as a way to build a habit. If your "habit" is art, there is another part you need to remember. What I learned when I started taking art classes and really working at learning painting, drawing, photography, collage, printmaking etc, was that steps are not linear.  I thought "If I learn A then I can go on to B and then to C etc and I will get better at each step."  

Seriously not so.  Art is far from linear, it is circular.  Learning a bit about B reveals the flaws in your mastery of A and C does the same for both A and B when you try that!  Printing feeds into painting and both of them feed into photography, which feeds back. Art, for me is a huge circular staircase designed by Escher and you never come to the end, to "mastery".  Also, you have to step back now and then for distance to provide more clarity than the close up study gives. You have to learn to love circularity.

Below is a staircase from inside the Vatican.  A gloss medium transfer of an inkjet print. 

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Day 2 of Learn Something New

I have had a lot of teachers in my time, but something I read in my early 20's has stuck with me and, I think, shaped me more than anything else.  I learned the power of "Yes" from the autobiography of Armand Hammer.  As I remember it, when asked if he could build the trans Russian railroad he said yes, although at the time he probably knew next to nothing about it.  He just trusted his gut and his instincts.  Later, I had a friend who helped me clarify that what I regret in life are sins of omission, not sins of comission.  "Yes" in a different format.

The image is an image transfer of a two bear fetish from New Mexico.  Bears carry strength, self knowledge, courage, adaptability, healing and the ability to read spirits. These two carry bundles on their backs and I see them every day.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Last Big Adventure

I updated this to put in a picture that shows the gold I used behind the trees... maybe better, maybe not, but I think if you click on it to biggen it shows better.

Shimelle has an online class called Learn Something New Every Day for the month of September.  She is very much a "scrapbooker" and I wasn't sure I knew enough about that to participate, but my friend Gill encouraged me, and I decided I could try it and interpret it my way.

The first assignment was to consider your last adventure.  I interpreted it as the most recent adventure though some people in the group considered it to mean the last one you will ever have... hmmm ... very interesting.

In any  case, we were also encouraged to think what this had helped us learn.  And it didn't take much thinking to determine that my latest adventure was Tinta and to begin considering what I learned by thinking about her.

What I realized was that my relationship with Tinta has been not seeing the forest for the trees.  I focus on the ways she is different from Sienna and that I think she will never be really reliably housebroken and her incredible chewing and I miss that she is spunky and annoying and funny and determined.  I also miss that she is a snuggler, and a stubborn little girl who will probably eventually make a great adult.  (Of course only if she does not ingest my whole rug first!)

So, above is the first assignment, a collage of frayed burlap, glassine and paint about the forest and the trees...