Sunday, February 27, 2011

Art Blog: COMFORT ZONE

I signed the lease to my new studio on January 3rd. I have had such great anxiety about getting this studio up and running. I had all kinds of little tasks to do before I could feel comfortable and productive in this tiny (but affordable), new space. First, there was the moving in part. Now remember, I work a full time job teaching, as well as being an artist too. I managed to drag stuff up there an hour and a day at a time. One load here, then a couple of days later another car load arrived.

Once I got all the stuff up there, I needed to ORGANIZE. For those of you who don’t really know me, you have to understand. I am an organization freak. I put everything in boxes/tubs/containers of all sorts and I label everything. Shoot, it is surprising if I don’t put a label on the door “THIS IS THE DOOR”. I can’t help it. I am a bit OCD and labeling and compartmentalizing helps me to feel I have some sort of control over my world.

Next came the arrangement of the space and the hanging of the art. I needed a plan. How was I going to use this little space to make each inch of every wall optimal? I decided there would be a work side and a “gallery side”. Also, I had to hold myself back. I wanted to fill up all the walls with existing work. NOPE! Can’t do that Sheree. I needed to leave a little bit empty as an offering to new, future work. OK. DONE.

After this was accomplished, I potted a new spider/philodendron plant and hung it by the French doors at the end of my studio. LIFE!!! It felt like the launching of a ship or something. I sat and looked at my new Moroccan plant pot with the wonderful purple pink glaze and thought “OK, I am ready to make ART!”
This weekend it happened. I finished some more “LOVE SERIES” pieces and started three more “Treasure Maps”. As I brushed away at the new map pieces today, I realized, I am finally in my art “comfort zone”.

Go, go, go, Sheree!




I am not putting photos up of my new art yet. I need time for me to digest the new stuff and feel truly stable in my new space. Also, I plan on making a video as a preview to my “COMING OUT (of hiding)” celebration during our next art walk March 12th. Stay tuned for more details. Instead, I want to share a banner I watched workers hang on a light post right under my studio window. I love it. I almost feel they hung it there for me.
PERFECT TIMING!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Art Blog: OBSESSION

I can remember when I first started to feel my “art legs”. I was a teenager. I would paint all the time. I would paint while in school. I would paint after school. I would paint on weekends. I would paint into the wee hours of the night. It wasn’t about product. It wasn’t about career. It wasn’t about money. It was about obsession. I just had to do it BECAUSE…………….

Flash forward to a few years later. One of my best professors in college introduced me to “Outsider Art”. David Barr, a spectacular artist, taught at Macomb College. Boy did I luck out! Between having him and Jim Pallas as my primary instructors, I felt (and still do) not worthy. I hit the art educator jackpot during those learning years. Dave was interested and an advocate of naïve artists. I was so young and inexperienced; I really didn’t know what he was talking about during all those slide shows in which he shared information about untrained, obscure, and unknown artists who just made art for art’s sake. I really didn’t get it back then. I do now.

As the decades have passed, I have always been mesmerized by the work of outsiders. I wish I was one, but I have far too much schooling to qualify. However yesterday, while viewing a James Kalm video, I realized the idea of naïve artists and their work habits have had an effect on me for my entire art life. The reason I have always admired outsiders is because they have an unrelenting obsession for art. Most often, even their imagery is obsessive. I love and admire this quality in their work.

As I watched the JK “Outsider Art Show” video, it hit me like a brick. This is one thing that is missing in my art life now. There are no obsessive qualities. I am not making work obsessively. Nor is the imagery in my work obsessive. This is why I feel my work right now is just too boring. I need to ramp up the energy. I want my work to exude OBSESSION in every way possible. This will be my next goal.




Thank you Mr. Kalm for offering these visual glimpses
and keeping me THINKING!

Click pic to see the James Kalm video.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Art Blog: The PLATE SPINNER

Things are going great, but I am all over the place!! (mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually) I am being reminded to take one day at a time and do what needs to be done. It is kind of funny because last year I was wishing for changes. Now, I have so many changes I can’t wrap my head around it because everything is moving so fast all I see is blur.

What is causing this confusion and fatigue? Let’s see. There is the art work that needs to be done at my studio 1 and studio 2. I need to get three pieces done for an upcoming show coming too soon. There is stuff I need to do to change my online Git Outta My Face Gallery. There are zillions of tasks I need to do for my job because I just got bunches of new technology. I have to plan and figure out how I am going to get the biggest bang for my buck during student lessons. I have to get the school yearbook created and published within the next three months. My house is a wreck inside and out. I am a mess inside and out. LOL Yadda, yadda, yadda.

ANXIETY? Ahh………..yeah, just a little.

So today is the day I said “STOP Sheree”. I am the one in charge here. I am doing this to myself. So……………………I need to make some changes. This will be a time of transition. A priority list is in order. What needs to get done first? 1-2-3-4-5-etc. Also, what really doesn’t need to be a part of my art life scenario? The rest of the weekend will be devoted to my rest and recuperation. While I am convalescing, I will decide what stays and what goes. Also, I need a timeline to figure out what comes first and last. Then, I will eat the elephant, one bite at a time.



Today when the alarm went off, I immediately remembered the 3 dozen things I needed to accomplish before 10 AM. I thought of the “plate spinner” on the Ed Sullivan show (Anybody remember that??? LOL) Well as I pulled the covers over my head to get a few more minutes sleep, I thought, “Sheree, today is the day you are going to realize IT IS OK FOR SOME OF THOSE PLATES TO FALL………..IT IS OK!”