I’ve been stuck in a creative rut. For months. Many months. I have been sifting through my way of living, my history of poor choices, and working on being a “better” person. To love my self. To eradicate the self sabotaging tendencies and internal criticism. Catch up with my inner child, find out where along the way she picked up the all baggage she carries with her. And of course working on being vulnerable, honest, present, ( The list goes on) I am working… but my self-help occupation hasn’t been helpful in my “work” … my creative drive… although making Art is a therapy all it’s own. I felt like I had so much to say, but didn’t know how to express it. How to communicate the feelings of change, pain, insecurities, loneliness. How to connect with other people, about this stage in my life, through something visual, tangible…… I just didn’t know where to start. So I didn’t.
This is where the water melons came from. In one of those moments of needing to create something, say something… I sat down, with some paint and paper and painted the first thing that came into my head. Then I painted it again, and again, over and over, a meditation, a rhythm, an addictive gesture. Something so simple, child like, and FUN. I would wake up in the morning and the first thing I would think about was painting Water Melons. Just as simply as that I felt engaged in creative thoughts again. Now I am back to painting everyday, silly quirky things (Love birds, and Cockatiels, Whales, Cats, and Hot sauces ) Nothing new, or groundbreaking, but I am forming a habit, having a practice. Water Melons were my gate-way drug to being back in the swing of it. I know that eventually I’ll be ready to make work that represents some of the harder feelings I’ve been going through. That how I will express and share will come to me…. I am just not there yet… and that’s ok too.
In the meantime I’ll oblige the child, and make art that feels fun. Because fun is important too, right gang??
I wouldn’t really call what I am doing “woodworking” but I certainly have been handling a lot of wood lately.
Every piece of work for this up coming show, is made of old wood paneling, and other random pieces that were found on the property. With the help and tools of my pal and room mate, my goal is to complete this collection with all recycled materials.
It’s been good to stand up to some of my fears of using power tools. Why am I surprised that I still have all my fingers? Every time I learn how to do something new, over come the fear of fucking up, and succeed I am reminded that that applies to most of life. Dream big kiddos, because we really can accomplish great things when we put our minds to it, and let go of the fear of failure ( flailure )
Spring has sprung. Sort of. I am still wearing three long sleeved shirts and LJ’s under my pants. But it is the end of March, so even if it doesn’t feel like spring, the desire to tidy and organize is brewing. I am going through stuff I no longer need, and putting some stuff up on Etsy. Here it is.
I am totally obsessed with hands. Artistically they inspire me in so many ways. One of the very first pieces I ever had in a show (Tofino ’06 or ’07) was a painting of my own hands, stitched together with black thread. And ever since then I’ve gone through phases of hand inspired work.
When I look at my hands, I think about the things I’ve created, I think about the potential. This goes for situations in life too. We have full creative freedom to create our own lives, to write our own stories . It’s in our power to make good ones and it’s important to reconstruct when we haven’t.
There is this fabulous Ceramic Artist named Carol Epp, who made (makes, you can check them out on her Etsy account, info below) a small ceramic sculpture of two hands praying, and on the knuckles it reads “make” and “mend”. It has become a life motto for me. How it resinates with me is in terms of life and situations. You Make it, you Mend it.(you break it, you bought it) We make mistakes, but we can also make amends.
It is also is really relevant to our “DIY” culture. Lets make things our selves and mend the things that need mending, instead of throwing them away.
I’ve been overdosing on hand imagery lately, painting hands, cutting out wooden hands, reading about Palmistry. So I thought I would take 2 seconds and tell you about hands.
All hands on deck. The devil makes work for idol hands. Gain the upper hand. Get your hands dirty. Lend a hand. Hands up! Hands down! Wave your hands from side to side. Hands on, hands off….. Out of hand, show of hands, and finally, take someone by the hand.
I am working on a show these days. About hands, about helping, about what keeps me living. It’s been a while since I’ve had a steady practice of creating, and like anything that takes practice it’s always frustrating in the beginning to feel how much has slipped over time.
I am working with old tools, paints and brushes, but mixing in some new as well. I used a Bandsaw for the first time in grade 8 and I had nightmares about cutting my fingers off. Woodwork has always inspired me. Old faded country road signs are among my favourite things (that’s not exactly woodwork- but you know what I mean) there is something so satisfying about painting on wood.
Cutting your fingers off, cutting fingers out, would be ironic…. Knock on wood that doesn’t happen…. (See what I did there…. I am Terrible… )
My space is getting there. I was painting a chalkboard wall in the big room of the trailer, and I had an idea to paint the ceiling in this room too. This way I can draw all the constellations, and the moon. I found some old canvass, washed and then sewed it together to make curtains. Mostly it just feels therapeutic to have a project.
I’ve been obsessing and day dreaming about the gardens that our household is planning for the pasture in the front of the property. Craving “work”. The kind that makes you sore and tired at the end of the day. The sort of meditative quality that doing something repetitive (weeding..) brings to your life. Art and gardens.
Well, folks, life it seems will throw you a curve ball any chance it will get. Or maybe it’s me that threw the ball. I’ve undergone another period of life, where change and personal reflection, growth, learning, adapting and so on, is necessary. All of life is this way actually. I am rambling. Trying to summarize for you the changes, with out actually getting into it and weeping/typing the night away, is bit challenging. Instead I am going to talk about how I plan to move forward.
I am currently getting ready for an Art show I have in April ( more on that later) and in an effort to keep a tranquil sleeping/yoga zone, I am moving my “studio” space out of my bed room, and into part of the trailer that my roommate is currently also turning into a studio. Blah blah blah. Come with me on the journey from before to after. It’s one of my favourite things to do in the world. So at least there is that.