Several times since the beginning of the year, I sat down and started to write a post to update the art activities. Wait a moment – that’s not quite true. I didn’t really sit down; I was more leaning back in my chair with my feet on the desk and pondering. And I really didn’t start to write, I started to think about writing. Well, several odds and ends have accumulated and a nascent guilt complex has shown its head.
Every six months or so I usually hit some kind of wall in my art making. I either believe I’ve nothing more to say/show, or even if I keep creating I feel like I’m repeating myself. Real breakthroughs, epiphanies, are not that reliable or predictable. So I often find myself just slogging through until something gives.
Last summer, I kick-started my stall by changing to a different/better medium and started working with thick illustration board. The improved depth of color and texture was enough to keep me inspired for several months.
Then I changed the tempo by working with different dimensions (of board, not reality, unfortunately) and created mandalas of 10 x 10, 15 x 15 and 20 x 20 inch formats. This also kept me interested for a while. Most recently, I’ve gone the other direction and made some 5 x 5 and 7.5 x 7.5 inch mandalas. These babies also offered some new challenges, specifically of delicacy and precision.
Meanwhile, I’m going to sell some of the mandalas in a massage/Reiki school and am looking for other outlets in which other differently wired people gather. A lot of my motivation for this is I just want to get these mandalas out and make room for new ones.
Now I’m back to a stalled position in art making but I’ve been busy with teaching. I’m still offering classes at a Sacramento senior center and in May we’ll be having a little art show of the students’ work. May will also be the beginning of teaching a four-part workshop at Colonial Heights Library.
In addition, I’m developing an art appreciation/experimental class that may or may not work out. My idea was to showcase an artist who had a distinctive style or approach, offer some educational background on his life and then do an open studio thing in which we tried to draw/paint/etc. in that style. Our initial artist will be Georgia O’Keeffe, then Mondrian and Pollock. The first class will be in June.
Now that the torrential rains of winter are mostly over and summer’s sunny skies just around the corner, I’m thinking I might go back and do some ink wash painting for a change of pace. I put down my brushes nearly two years ago and will probably have to relearn everything – which might be a good thing. I am not the person today that I was two years ago. I’ll see things differently now.
That’s it for a while. Here’s a famous quote to end the post:
“The object isn’t to make art; it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” Robert Henri