Saturday, December 31, 2011

Art Blog: RESOLVED

Resolve:
- break up, separate
-to change by disintegration
-to reduce by analysis
-to separate, to cause resolution
- to deal with successfully : clear up
-to find an answer
- make clear or understandable


As the fireworks boom and the new year starts, I should be mimicking Chicken Little. “The sky is falling; The sky is falling!!!!!” I am not going to do that though. I am sitting here all relaxed and waiting for the ball to drop. The ball will drop in Times Square for the New Year, but not drop on my life. I just know this to be true.
Rather than make grandiose statements about what I want to happen or not to happen in 2012, I am looking at what I have accomplished to this point. That is a lot. Back on January 1, 2011, I put up a blog post (removed now for whatever reason) that gave a list of wants for this past year.



I had an agenda. I am not really sure if I accomplished my resolutions or not. I am not sure 2011 was mine. I know I rented a second studio. I know I tried hard to be more social. I know I wanted to concentrate more on me, Sheree the artist. I closed down my ”Git Outta My Face Gallery” for that very reason. I want so much to support other artists, but it is time for me to support myself. I did this by making a bunch more art this year. I have entered new and promising realms with my new art. This is good. Yet, there is a little part of me that asks “Was 2011 yours, really?”
Yes. I think it was. As I frantically move stuff around and reorganize my space and life, one thing that is a terrific triumph is I quit my job. I have had that job for eighteen years. I never really wanted to be an art teacher. I don’t have a degree in art education. However in 1993, it sounded like a good idea. I had an opportunity. I had a ten year old daughter who needed health insurance. I had bills to pay. So I signed on the dotted line.

For the first few years, I was in heaven on earth. Seriously. I was in an “artist who teaches” situation that couldn’t be better. Then about eight years into this gig things started to sour. I kept the job because it was a good job. However around five years ago, I wanted out so bad. I wanted to do other things. I wanted to be an artist who worked a day job that allowed for me to still be an artist. I didn’t want to keep worrying about everything so much that I took the job home with me every night. I would dream (nightmares) about my job. It had to stop, but I was afraid.

I am not afraid anymore. I did it. I quit. I have no regrets either. I have no idea what will happen next. I do know things will be better. I want some kind of simplicity and peace in my art life. Striving for a new adventure will bring that calm to me. Yes, this is a scary proposition, but I am not afraid anymore. I have RESOLVED this one, very important issue in my life. Now, I just have to find a way to be healthy and happy. I will do that too.

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM
Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



“Healthy”
Acrylic / Mixed Media on Canvas
8” x 6”
Sheree Rensel
THIS IS MY ONLY WISH FOR 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Art Blog: DATE of Artwork?

As I packed up my car to the brim today moving out all the stuff from my second studio and moving it back to studio one, I just had to laugh. I filled up the back of my SUV with tons of furniture, paintings, and general art stuff. I used the front, passenger seat to hold a box of small, finished paintings. Right there next to me was the face of “Healthy, Wealthy, Wise?” I started this painting years ago. I have had it hanging in my downtown studio. As I sat driving with it looking at me, it felt like a reunion. At each stop light, I would primp and prod the surface of the painting. I wanted to rework one area. How can I do this? It is supposed to be a finished painting! Some paintings are never finished. I repaint paintings all the time. Get over it.

A work is done when we say it is done. However, times change and perceptions change. After looking at a work for a few years, it is OK to rework this area or that. It is part of the creative process. When I stopped to look at “Healthy”, there was something inside me urging me to do more work on this canvas. I wanted to update it a bit. This reminded me of another one of my pet peeves.

When you fill out art exhibition entry forms, there is usually a place which asks “DATE OF WORK”. I always put the year we are in right now. I figure if I put one, new brushstroke on the surface, it means I finished it today. I always wonder why they ask that question. I mean, how would that information be verified? Is the juror going to run a time check on your work? HUH? In other words, that question is stupid and makes no sense.

I have been an exhibition coordinator. I have worked in galleries. I have created exhibition prospectuses. I have this odd daydream. It takes place a long, long time ago. Some person organizing an art exhibition created a prospectus. That same prospectus has been copied over and over and over and over again for decades. The same questions are asked. The same information is gleaned. The only problem with it is nobody has bothered to ask:
WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THIS QUESTION?
In other words, I finished this painting this very moment.
YEP, it is done for now!





“Healthy, Wealthy, Wise?”
Acrylic / Mixed Media on Canvas
20” x 16”
Sheree Rensel
Click pic for detail view

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Art Blog: You NEVER Know

I have been involved in a number of vibrant and energetic art discussions online in recent days. I love this. Thank goodness for the internet! One of the topics under discussion is my project I am doing for Art House Coop. It is a sketchbook titled “Encyclopedia of Suicide”. This is my own concept. I have wanted to explore this issue for a long time. It is definitely a work in progress. Things are coming along very well. I am creating digital/mixed media pages and taking notes. However, I have realized this is a very touchy subject. I think I am hitting a nerve. People want to talk. People want to speculate. People are hurt. This is why I am interested in using this as a springboard for art research and an expressionistic idea.

First I have to say my book is not going to be morbid or gruesome in anyway. Per usual, I want to explore the emotional side of suicide. What? When? Where? How? WHY?????????? I have been interested in the issue of suicide since I was a child. I won’t go into details, but this phenomenon has touched me in many ways. So much so, when I see any video or news headline that mentions the taking of a life by one’s own hand, I have to look, read, and wonder. It isn’t hard for me to imagine this situation. I know and I think I understand. I have worked with emotionally impaired individuals most of my life. I have witnessed how they think.

After listening to others speak and comment, I have gathered the emotional detritus and remnants of emotional scars that remain after a death of a loved one. I cannot imagine their pain. One thing that is a continuing thread is the senseless nature of the act. So many people who decide to end their own lives have had very creative and productive lives. We see that. It is obvious to us. However inside the mind of an extremely depressed person, things aren't so easily recognized. There is an extreme emptiness and a feeling nobody REALLY cares.

This part is understandable. To those of us lucky enough to have some grasp of reality, it is still very difficult to understand and accept how others perceive us. We don’t even connect with the truth of what is going on at any given time. Most of us have our own thoughts about our own world and how we perceive it. We also have conjured up ideas about what others think about us. True or false, that is our own reality.

Someone sent me an email yesterday in response to a thank you note I had sent another artist. In my email, I mentioned I felt so lost and nearly artistically insane due to the lack of artist community support. In his response he said “You are not insane by any means and you probably have more people that admire your passions than you think.” This comment stopped me in my tracks. All of a sudden there was a fight between my rational and emotional brain. You never really know what others are thinking about you. There are people that see good in you. There are people who look up to you. There are people who want the same things you have in your art life.

You never really know.

The rational side knows this to be true. I have been lucky. I know I am a force to be reckoned with and have lived a good art life. My tenacity alone deserves praise. Yet in my (emotional) heart of hearts during these tough times, I start to wonder about my work and worth. This is why I can understand why someone would feels like there is no point anymore. The rational side of our minds and being loses out to our emotions which at times skew our perceptions.



“Relief”
Work in Progress
“Encyclopedia of Suicide”
Sheree Rensel

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Art Blog: Change is GOOD!

I knew a woman once who changed the arrangement of her house constantly. When I visited her, I would notice every room had changes. These differences were daily events. Every room would be unrecognizable from one week to the next. It was almost as if every day of the week was a day to move furniture from one room to another. Even her knick knacks would flit from the living room to the family room and/or bathroom. Stuff on the walls would be in a new place. Some things would disappear all together. It was so bizarre to me. I always wondered why she wasn’t satisfied with her choices. Was there some kind of neurotic impulse that made her want to redesign her world every day?

I suppose this trait was hard for me to understand because I am completely the opposite. I am the other end of that neurotic spectrum. Every time I have a new space to live or work, I put everything in its place and it stays there for YEARS. I mean, I never, ever move anything. On rare occasion, I might rearrange something old to fit in something new. However, I have to really want to live with that new thing.

I am not sure why I am like this. It might have to do with the insecurity of my childhood. It seemed like we were always on the run. We moved from house to house. Nothing was ever in its place for long, including me. I am no shrink. All I know is I don’t like change at all. I have lived in only two places since moving to Florida and the only reason I moved that one time was to go from renter to owner. When I got to this house, I put everything where I wanted it and it has been exactly the same for ten years.

This is why I am about to have a panic attack right now. I have to be out of my downtown studio by next Sunday. I started hauling stuff back to my home studio and immediately started to freak out. It is like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. I have too much stuff. I hauled a few nonessential pieces of junk furniture to the curb. That made a bit of room. Now, I have to rearrange my floor plan. I don’t like this feeling of change at all. However, it is helping me by chanting “Change is GOOD, change is good, change is good”…as I push stuff from one place to another. One thing for sure is wherever I find spaces for all this stuff, I am not moving a thing for another ten years!!!!!!



Breath, Sheree, Breath!

Change is GOOD! At least, I have found a spot to put my flats cabinet!

Another GREAT thing is I have a way to get my biggest wall back.
I needed that to work on my new, large “Treasure Maps”
…………Keep breathing.

Opps, while moving furniture around I found this spot that was under my easel. Paint on the floor is fine in an artist’s studio, but this is gross. I will tackle that project after I have more things in order.

Just take it one step at a time and it will be all good! I can’t WAIT to post the “after” photos.
That will mean this nightmare is OVER!

"Change is good, change is good, change is good...............

Monday, December 26, 2011

Art Blog: FEARLESS

I was reminded today of a very important phenomenon. At one time I was FEARLESS. Yes, I was younger then. I had this fierce hunger of WANTING. If I wanted something, nothing would stop me. I would do everything I could to get it. I am still like that, but there is a difference. I think too much now.

I am not sure if it is age, experience, or life wisdom that is making me more cautious. I am analyzing this now. This post started writing itself a few days ago. I was looking at my “jobs” file and noticed I still hadn’t applied to a somewhat local college for a adjunct studio art position. I put it off because it was across the bay and it would take me an hour to drive to my job. That isn’t an optimal situation, but then I remembered the old days. OMG!! I was so hungry and eager back then, I would have driven 100 miles to work if I could teach college level. In fact, I did exactly that. I was teaching at two colleges and an art center all at the same time. As schedules fall, I was in a predicament. On Wednesdays, I had to work all three jobs on the same day and had to drive 100+ miles round trip to hit them all on any given Wednesday. I did it too. I was that driven (pun intended).

I think too much now. I have gotten into the habit of too much time to weigh out everything. I analyze, poke, and prod all the good and bad of every situation. Having the same job for over a decade has nurtured a lame kind of agoraphobia. I feel safe in my little art cave going to my little art job which I hate. It is time for change, big time. Back then, I WANTED it. I wanted it bad. I would do whatever it took for change to happen. It worked too.

I was reminded of this today. I sent out an art exhibition entry form. I entered works from my “Treasure Map” series. Ironically, these paintings are about the exact thing for which I speak now. They are about the times in our lives. They are about the ways we change and see things in new ways. They are about the times and places in which we find ourselves. After sending the entry off, I started thinking about being so cautious and careful. I don’t like being afraid. When I was younger I was fearless and nothing stopped me. I want some of that moxie back. BTW I applied for the adjunct job.
I will just have to get new tires for my car.



“Ice Road”
Acrylic on Canvas
24” x 36”
Sheree Rensel
Click pic for detail view

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Art Blog: We Are What We Think

We all do it. You know you do. We all have our “mind tape” mantras. Those are the thoughts and feelings that run ramped in our minds. Some of it is good. The praises we sing to ourselves keep us moving and thriving. However, there are times when that continual negative song plays over and over in your head. You want to scream “STOP IT!”

Now that I am rearranging my life, I am more introverted and introspective than normal. I am thinking and rethinking things. I am planning and prodding schemes. I am trying to figure out how I got here and where I go now. One thing that has reared its ugly head is negative self talk. You wouldn’t believe all the nasty things I start thinking, but quickly squash. One great thing about life experience is that I realize when negative thought patterns are happening and how to redirect attempts at self sabotage.

We are what we think. If you keep telling yourself you aren’t worthy, it is likely not much worthwhile will happen. If you think poor, abundance will find others to bless. Nowadays, it is very difficult to keep your chin up and spit in the wind of gloom and doom. I said it is difficult, but not impossible. You (and I) have to just keep moving and know everything will work out in some way, shape, or form. The most powerful way to keep those positive embers burning is to really care for yourself. Take pride in what you do even if you think nobody else does. One of my great mantras right now is “It only takes ONE!” I am rolling this tape everyday in my head in regards to my job search. However, it can be applied to all things that bolster our spirit. It only takes one to make us smile. It only takes one to make us happy. It only takes one to keep our lives active and productive.
That ONE is YOU.



"LOVE YOURSELF"
Sheree Rensel
Acrylic / Mixed media
Click pic for detail (available for sale)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Art Blog: GAMES Artists Play

I hate game shows. I can’t click the remote fast enough when any kind of “win megabucks” idiocy comes on the screen. I will admit. The other day I did watch a few minutes of the new “Who’s Still Standing” quiz show. I just wanted to see someone drop through the floor after losing. That is sophomoric, but funny. It was. I have been known to watch Jeopardy, but that is a different kind of animal. At least it keeps my brain cells moving.

A couple of years ago when Bravo announced the new show “Work of Art”, I was really interested. I thought it would be so exciting and informative to see artists work. I thought it would be a great chance for the public to really see artists in action. I thought it would be a true inside view of what it means to be an artist and how the art world works. I was wrong. That first season kept my attention for less than half the season. I ended up watching it in the same way I watch Biggest Loser. I watch the first episode or two and then watch the last ten minute of the finale show. I just wanted to see who wins. I didn’t care about all the stuff in between.

This is exactly how I approached Work of Art season 2. I would start to watch and accidentlly fall asleep (literally) or I would get so frustrated with the “blah, blah, blah of the artists or the yadda, yadda, yadda of the judges, I would just turn the channel. There would be times I couldn’t stand the stupidity of it. I mean ALL of it.

This isn’t good. I mean, I have been an artist all my life. I keep up with the art world machine. I worship other artists. Yet, I found Work of Art not only boring, but it pulled my understanding of art and artists off the pedestal. In fact, when I watched the season finale last night I realized this is a game show. If you think about it everything is the same with minor adjustments. Instead of giving a “final answer” to win the bucks, you have to make some pile of junk and then explain why it isn’t a pile of junk. I guess that is their final answer. LOL

Think about how similar Work of Art is to other reality, quiz, or competition shows. Instead of running to the train station ala Amazing Race contestants, the artists run around Manhattan looking for just the right art supplies or suckers to buy their instantaneously created crap. Work of Art always has their golden girls or boys. Each would have a lucky night to be the star of the show for that given episode. There were moments while watching WoA, I expected Drew Carey to pop out from behind one of the gallery walls and announce YOU ARE THE NEXT CONTESTANT ON PRICE IS RIGHT! I can’t compare WoA to “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”. I think we all know the answer to that question. However, there is a kinship with the Wheel of Fortune. I mean isn’t that what being the next GREAT ARTIST is really about in the art world. The WoA artists stand in line for days, sit through interviews, and have their art scrutinized, poked, and prodded. Then some of them get picked to spin that wheel. They laugh, they cry, there are good sports and bad. Then in the end there is the million dollar winner (or in this case, $100K).
Oh boy, oh boy. Hip hip hooray and a pocket full of bologna.



During the final “crit”, I watched the three artists left on the show. I had a flashback to when I checked out the “Who’s Still Standing” show. I was kind of hoping the floor would give out from under them and they would all disappear. I don’t mean just the artists either. LOL

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Art Blog: BE an ARTIST

I remember a few years ago, I really wanted to finish my Ph.D. in Ed. Technology. I had started doctoral work in 2001, but then after a year I realized I was getting into so much debt, I needed to stop. I loved every minute of this experience. I love learning and taking classes. I excel and that makes me happy. Debt does not make me happy, so I stopped.

A few years later, I decided to try to find a way to make it happen. I would give it a second try. I just needed money. So I called around and made inquiries. I contacted one graduate school financial advisor via email to ask about grants and scholarships. I sent off an email that in condensed form said "HELP ME!" A day or so later, my telephone rang. It was the financial advisor working for the university.

Now before I go on, let me tell those of you who don't know. Financial advisors for universities are almost in the same category as bill collectors or used car salesmen. They are all balls and moxie. They are trained and toned at selling the product and getting you to sign on any dotted line that really isn't in your favor. I answered the phone and started talking to her. She started off by saying "Sheree, I realize you want to find a way to help pay to finish your grad degree, but I saw your artist link on your email. I went there. You are an artist. Why don't you BE AN ARTIST?" There was a very pregnant pause. I could hardly speak or respond. Her statement stunned me. Isn't she supposed to con me into some kind of impossible educational opportunity that will cost me more money than I can make before I die? Instead, words of golden truth came from her mouth. I ended the conversation with a quiet "OK" and left it that.

Flash forward five years: This morning in the shower, I kept coming up with one ART idea after another. I almost jumped out of the shower to grab a pen and paper. I need to write this stuff down! I thought "Wow, I am on fire today! I am experiencing a creative explosion!" The ideas were coming so fast and furious. I realized the cloud of LIFE was lifting. Even though it has only been a few days since I made my U TURN and quit my day job which was sucking the life out of me, the fuzz has already started to turn into crystal. I can see. I am an artist once again.

Now Sheree stands to the plate to drive the point home. For those of you who are artists or have some kind of passion that plays second fiddle to your day job, you have to make it work. I had a dream situation for about 15 years. However, that job changed so dramatically, I lost my artist identity. I brought the day job home. I dreamt about it. I worried about it. It was all consuming. This is not good. In fact, this is not acceptable. So now I have to find another way to support me and my art. I will. Everything will be OK. It will all work out because I have a mind of an artist.




This is my signature painting "Mind of an Artist"
It wasn't planned, it just happened.
I love it so much, I will never sell it.
It represents ME and everything I am.
What is on your MIND?
Click pic for detail

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Art Blog: Our Most Valuable ASSET

Here we go again..........I have a truckload of teaching stuff stashed in one room and then today, I started cleaning out my second studio. Since my first studio is small, I sit and look at the boxes and realize I have too much STUFF. It is time to get rid of some of it or I won't be able to make art. There won't be room.

It feels good to start to gather everything and put it in one place. It is like I am callin in the chips. I want to see it all together and decide what is really important to me. The rest has to go. One thing that I am learning fast is what is really important in my life. We all accumulate objects, stuff, and things constantly. Over time the pile gets bigger and bigger and bigger. We think we NEED this stuff. We really don't. One thing I notice as I sort though the piles are what I consider a priority. I will never get rid of any art supplies or anything I can use to be creative. I notice I get rid of utilitarian items first. I don't need that 4th fan or the 5th bookshelf from the Salvation Army. I don't need tons of jars and zillions of containers in which to CONTAIN things. (I will admit, I have some kind of weird box and container fetish. Shoeboxes, cigar boxes, plastic tubs, pencil cases, wood boxes of any kind, etc.) It is like a sickness. I have EMPTY boxes and butter tubs that I seem to want to hold on to just because I might have something to
put in them one day................DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seeing all this junk in one place makes me realize, see, and be able to touch my assets. Meager, but at least I have accumulated things that represent a life. LOL Yet, as I look at the boxes and piles of stuff, I realize so much of this is meaningless in the true sense of my world. Yes, I have lots of stuff to make art. I have a place to put the stuff. I have a history with all this stuff.

However, none of it means as much to me as ME. I am my truest asset. As long as I can walk, talk, think, and smile, that is the most important thing to me. I can get more or less stuff. ME is a one time deal. WE are our most important asset. I hope you remember this. In the meantime, I have to start to clean and organize once again. Here we go. I have to attack the piles of STUFF....................



I haven't had time to make a new studio mess video. Here is an old one. It is all the same. LOL Click pic to see how I clean up messes!!!!!!!!!! LOL


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Art Blog: Don't Worry, Be Happy



I quit my job yesterday. I quit my job yesterday. I quit my job yesterday. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, be quiet Sheree. Stop it. I am sitting here trying to enjoy the external silence, but my mind is screaming loudly. I can't believe I did this. FINALLY! This has been a long time coming. I just didn't make it happen sooner. I blame myself. I have worked in the same room for over 18 years. One time I did a time study and realized I had spent more time in that one room than anywhere else in my entire life. My last day there will be January 20, 2012. Wow.

Even though this is such a huge risk, I don't care. I had to do this for my own well being. I am not going to go into specifics, but this past year has been a beat down. Seriously, I have felt like I am being tasered on the hour. My nerves are shot. I haven't been able to sleep. I have been getting terrible headaches. I can't really do a great job because of the circumstances. I know myself very well. I am a Type-A, worker bee. I thrive on achievement. If I can't do wonderful work in at least a minimally, appreciative environment then Sheree isn't happy.

So now it is time to get Sheree happy again.

One of the very positive things I noticed this morning is there is an actual ending. I have a specific date when it will be over. I wonder what will happen next? It is almost like I have gotten my future back. Some might say I wrecked my future by quitting. I don't see it that way at all. I see a blank canvas (of life) waiting for me to fill it up with new marks and colors.

I am not in panic mode yet. I might not ever allow myself to get anxious about this life decision. I have been taking care of myself for a very long time. I doubt I would let anything bad happen to me at this point. I saw this "short life" quote on Facebook today. It says exactly what I feel right now. When I am done with my QUIET time, I am going to shout this quote as loud as I can and then smile because it is the truth!



PERFECT!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Art Blog: There is a Season

I remember when I was younger and just starting to make my way into the art world. I was just as puffed up as any beginning artist. I was going to change the world! It is interesting to see how things have panned out in my art life. I am not complaining. I have had a great art life so far.

No, I am not in major museums or showing at Art Basel right now. I am just an artist making art and knowing I should continue to do so. Nobody is celebrating me. There are no high fives or accolades. I am just an artist doing what I am supposed to do. That is: MAKE ART. In other words, I am in the artist’s 99%. I am just like most other artists.

When I was working towards my first art degree, one artist among others Georgia O’Keefe was all the rage. In 1970, the Whitney Museum of American Art exhibited the Georgia O'Keeffe Retrospective Exhibition. This was big news back then and we all heard about it. It was her first major show since 1946. In other words, it took 24 years for her work to be shown in a grand and respectable way. 24 years! Let’s not mention the Stieglitz connection. No. Let’s pretend. Her works were shown at the Whitney just because she was Georgia and her works were brilliant. YES. Let’s think that.

Within just a couple of years, things started to sour for Georgia. She started to lose her eyesight. Enter, Juan Hamilton, the young artist assistant. There was all kinds of drama and speculation with this scenario. I don’t care about any of it. What I always wondered about was the isolation of Ghost Ranch and how she shut the world out during her later years.

Now, I relate. When I first started to learn about Georgia, I just couldn’t get it. I could not understand being all alone in the desert of New Mexico. However, I was young, naïve, and in my twenties. The social aspects of any artist’s life were in full force. I needed the drama and action of every art opening I could attend. I needed those human connections. I needed the praise. I needed the commotion of being an artist in full color. Georgia didn’t need that. I didn’t understand how she could stand to be so isolated back then. I do now.

All that social stuff is meaningless to me now. I sure don’t live on anything near akin to Ghost Ranch. In fact, I live in a neighborhood of a midsize city. However, there have been days when I actually posted signs on my front door saying: “GO AWAY!” I just don’t need any of the attention anymore. I want to be alone art wise. I am over that social hump I guess. Just like everything else in life, there is a season. I am in the season of introspection, self appreciation, creativity, and WHO CARES WHAT OTHERS think. I am not that unusual. I think there are others who might understand. I know for sure Georgia would be giving me a high five right now.




What do you really want out of your art life?
Tell me.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Art Blog: What INSPIRES You?

One of the things that has bothered me in recent years is the lack of true art inspiration. It might just be my own problem. It might be my age (been there, done that). It might be that I have seen so much art, my brain if full now. I don’t know.

In recent months, I have tried in a diligent way to peruse and search for art that makes the hair on my arms stand up. This experience is rare to nil right now. What is going on here? I don’t know. Maybe I am just a stick-in-the-mud curmudgeon. Maybe I am becoming an artistic Andy Rooney or something. I really don’t know.

I remember a time when I would go to New York for the weekend and visit museums. OMG!! Standing in front of Picasso’s
Guernica made me weak in the knees. Seriously, I really felt like I was witnessing a miracle. I might as well been standing in the Lourdes grotto seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary. That is the magnitude of my awe. Could it be that this was an experience felt because I was so young and inexperienced? I long for that feeling again.

I had visceral feelings when I viewed any Antoni Tàpies painting too. I am not even sure why. I know I love the texture and complicated, simplicity of his work. Yet, my own work is so different. Still, I love it and get such a gut reaction when I see it.

I guess what I am talking about is the longing for inspiration in a very deep way. I am not talking about wanting to be inspired to do my own work. I do that regardless. I am really speaking about a yearning to feel the heroic nature of art. I long for the feeling for art on high. It is not just a product you sell on Etsy. It is not something you make to sell under a tent. It isn't even something that is sold at a pretentious art fair to collectors who have more money than true interest in art. It is something so much more than that. It is a spiritual, emotional, and physical phenomenon that takes you to a new and better place.

Yes. I know you can’t take that to the bank. I know times and mind sets have changed. Still, I want that feeling again. Maybe I am an old lady with old ideas. I guess I am uselessly old school. I don’t care. I love seeing art that makes me want to make more art of my own because I want someone, even one person to feel that feeling when they see something I have created.

I will shut up and leave you all with one more inspirational piece. This one might be of great value to my psyche because I have taken the time to learn about the artist and her life. When I see her work, I shake with admiration. I can only wish I could measure up. She lived for her art life, good and bad. There were many other lovers, but the winner was named ART. Alice Neel is one of my art heros.



What art inspires you? What art makes you quiver? Think about it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Art Blog: Having it ALL?

It is hard for me to write right now. So many things are buzzing around my head. I signed the check for my LAST month of studio 2 rent. I am being pulled in every direction. I LOVE my downtown studio, but in many ways I can’t see the point. For economic reasons alone (Suze Orman would kill me!), it isn't a feasible decision to keep it. I can’t get into all the other details, but just like the rest of my art life, it is time for a change.

This is easy in one way. I have two studios. One is my downtown St. Pete Studio 2. The other is my Studio 1. This one is attached to my house. I actually work at my home studio more. It is far more convenient and practical. Yet, there is this little voice inside me that continues to whine. I am ignoring it. I have signed the check and put the note in the envelope saying “I am not renewing my lease.”

It is so weird and ironic. I had this exact studio in 2001. After a year, I left because I bought a house with an attached studio space. I couldn’t afford both. Last December I realized I had the studio at my house, but I have become a hermit of an artist. I did participate in art exhibitions and lived out my art life, but I was not part of any art scene at all. This is why I rented my downtown studio. I wanted to be a part of some kind of art community. I wanted to be a bit more social and be more visual in my St. Pete home. I am not sure my year long experiment was a success. Yes, I have made a few art friends and contacts. Yet, I confirmed that I am not a social creature and that will never change. I love the quiet and loneliness of my home studio. I don’t regret my ArtLofts experience at all. I learned about myself. I am just fine, do quite well, and in some ways do better living my eremite lifestyle.

In fact, this is one of the reasons I decided to ditch studio 2. I am what I am. I like being alone and that is OK. I keep saying I am looking for a new life. Downsizing, looking for a new job, prepping for changes and most importantly, taking care of me is paramount. This little change will help to open the door to new things to come into my art life. This is what makes Sheree healthy and happy.



“Red Cross”
Acrylic on Canvas
10” x 8”
Sheree Rensel
(Click pic for detail)