Monday, February 27, 2012

Art Blog: Do The WORK

“STICK-TO-ITIVENESS”
: dogged perseverance : tenacity


I know for sure I am tenacious. I have been making art a long time. I have never given up. Well……I have had moments of asking myself “What is the point?” That is for sure. In fact, I have had that feeling numerous times lately. However, no matter how difficult being an artist can be, I always hop back up on the horse and keep going. Gitty up!

One thing among many I am working through right now are momentary gaps of confidence. Maybe confidence is the wrong word. I think DISTRACTIONS might be more appropriate. I will be going great guns a blazing on a certain series of work and then something happens or somebody says something that upsets me and I STOP. I don’t give up making art, but I move on to some other series or idea. I have to stop doing this. We all need focus and keep the blinders on our horses as we ride towards the artistic horizon.

Like I mentioned in previous posts, I am spending February “in retreat” so to speak. I have been allowing myself time to reflect, make lists of wants and needs, and give time to understand where I have been and where I want to go artistically. I have also said that many coincidences are happening. One thing that seems to be a reoccurring theme in past weeks is I keep seeing other artist’s new work online. About three times now, photos have stopped me in my tracks. I think “I did something very similar to these ten or twenty years ago!” The odd thing is I stopped doing that kind of work due to one of my “distractions”.

Life is about learning and just like I wrote about intuition this week, it applies here too. It is important for artists to just DO THE WORK. Don’t let things or people or anything get in your way of doing the kind of art you want to do. Be true to your art heart. I have to go now because I need to get busy and take my own advice.



“Children of the Night”
Mixed Media Installation
1989
Sheree Rensel
(Click pic to see detail view)
We are all children of the night.
Don’t sleep, WORK.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Art Blog: INTUITION

I should be scared out of my mind. I am not. WHY??? I mean, when you look in the dictionary my photo could be next to the definition of ANXIETY. At least, it could have been that way over all my years. I must be evolving. There is some kind of weird, bizarre, essence of calm that is draped over me now. Maybe I am “losing it”. I don’t think so. What I truly believe is I am coming to a place in my life in which I realize I am going to be just fine. I won’t let anything (really) bad happen. I have been through too much and like a cat, I always land on my feet. I will again.

I was just talking to someone the other day about authentic self. I have my badge of honor in this realm of self discovery. My goodness! I have been digging a self exploration tunnel for decades. I am finally starting to see the light at the end of that tunnel.

Now, I feel as if I am learning on the hour. Bizarre coincidences are happening daily and serendipity is shining bright. One thing that has really shown its beautiful head is my sense of intuition. Yes I know in our left brain world, things like intuition are in the subjective reality category. It is so “HOOKY SPOOKY”. I believe in things like this though because I have lived and experienced enough situations that have proven to me there is something real about the subjective parts of our lives. I am a right brain girl. I will admit that and I am proud of it. However my sense of intuition is going crazy right now. I know it is on point.

The reason I want to tell all of you to listen to your gut is because I am doing that now. It has been proven to be a solid and obvious point of departure. I am an artist and have always had day jobs. I thought it was for financial reasons. I need money to support my art life. However, I have had a light bulb moment in recent weeks. I need a day job to connect with the world too.

I have been going to job interviews and this has helped me realize my true self, my true needs, and my true wants. It is almost funny. The juxtaposition of one interview compared to another is helping me realize what I want and don’t want in my life. The “vibes” are apparent as soon as I walk into a potential employers door. I can FEEL it. That is my intuition talking and I am listening with both ears. It is a gut feeling. I know for sure, we should all trust our gut. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Know yourself. Make a list of what you want your life to be like and go with that flow. I am doing this and I hope you do too!



“Perspectival Response”
Installation, Mixed Media
Sheree Rensel

Perspectival Response represents the way we all put everything we know into a mind basket of sorts. We have our opinions and perspectives on issues. Our intuition tells us what to think at a primal level. Take heed. This is the best way to move forward in your life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Art Blog: See the Forest



Working, working, working, more, more, more!

I was pushing a cart through the grocery store the other day and there was a little boy and his mom walking in front of me. As we trudged down the aisle, a bottle of orange soda fell out of the woman’s cart. The little boy grabbed it off the floor and started to twist the cap. His mother yelled “Don’t open it!! Don’t open it!” Looking like a potential criminal caught in the act, the little boy put his hands up and surrendered the bottle to his mom. I could see the soda fizzing inside the bottle. I was kind of disappointed because I would have loved to see the pop spray into the air covering the floor and products. I have mischief in me too!

This past week, I forced myself into an internet “blackout”. I went a whole week with very little time on the computer. I cheated a few times. I found it necessary to at least check my email for business purposes. Also, my Facebook addiction grabbed me a couple of times to just peek in to see what’s going on over there. For the most part, I am very proud of myself. I can’t believe I did as well as I did.

In some ways, the little boy and the soda caper is similar to what I am doing right now. I am shaking the bottle up and letting it fizz. However, I am taking the cap off and letting the fluid energy spew all over my art world. I want to shake my life up. Yeah, I might get drenched, but that is the chance I am taking. This blackout idea was a great one. It cleared my mind and let me get organized (mentally and physically). You should try it! In fact, one thing I have noticed is my art anxiety is far less right now. There is a certain calm that has landed around me. The constant stream of visuals and media hype can be wonderful at times, but it can also create a zombie like brain strain for those of us who are visual by nature. Sometimes it is good to look at a blank canvas for a while.

So that is what I did. I looked at almost nothing online this past week. It was a good thing. It gave me time. It was a chance to step back and see the forest for the trees. I spent a lot of time cleaning and rearranging my art house. I purged a whole lot of stuff. I am letting go of the past and making way for the new. I went room to room and rehung my art to see it with fresh eyes.

YES, I am starting to see the forest now.


I am living in my own museum.




Now, it is time to make more, more, more!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Art Blog: Blackout

I made a deal with myself. A week or so ago, I told myself I am not going to post any negative posts on any internet venue. I am trying to be buoyant and optimistic. Right now, things are rough. I am starting to worry and fret about my future. This is being exacerbated by listening to the gloom and doom broadcast on TV and other media sources. I keep telling myself it will be OK. Then, I watch, listen, and read. According to everyone else, my future is bleak. Why I am listening and believing? This is a great question. I can’t answer why I am buying into the predictions of devastation. All I do know is I am starting to believe or at least wonder.

I can’t let this happen.

I need to distance myself and focus. It is difficult to do with the media mania happening around me. I will admit this is my own fault. Ever since 1980 when I sat down at my first CRT and stared at the “green screen”, computers have been my life. When the internet came, I was hooked the first time I listened to that modem whine. Now, techno is my life blood. There isn’t a day when I am not uploading, posting, surfing, prodding, poking, and doing everything internet-errific! It is getting to me right now. Yes, I guess you could say I am CRASHING. I need to step back.

I am not sure I can do this, but I would like to try to go without computers for at least a week. I am not sure I can manage this extreme aspiration. I mean I have been on the computer every day for over fifteen years. However my life right now is an illustration of one definition of insanity: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Right now, there are no different results. However, there is a whole lot of the same thing over and over again. This is why I want to do something outrageous albeit necessary.

I am not sure I will be able to do this. It is like a diet. I might last a day or two or three, but a whole week? One thing is for sure. It will make my life different for a tiny while and maybe (hopefully) I can get a renewed sense of reality. It sure can’t hurt anything! It might be a great thing just to clear my mind and refresh. So I say it now:
I will be offline from Monday, February 6th to Monday February 13th. Think of this as my own REBOOT!
WOW!
This seems like a long time. I can do it or at least, I can try.

Have you ever wanted to trash techno for a while?

Tell me about it!
!



Will I be able to do it? I don’t know. I am thinking of it as a techno vacation to get my things in order and clear the way for a brighter future. I have to do something different and cleansing my mind needs to be part of this endeavor. I just don’t know if this is too drastic. We will see.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Art Blog: New WORLD, New THINKING

Suze Orman says this is the time for Americans to make their own jobs. I totally agree. However, that is easier said, than done. I am like many other Americans who want so much to work for themselves. Artists are familiar with this concept. Likewise, artists are familiar with the reality; it is very difficult.

As I plod along trying to work myself into a feasible, independent, financial situation, I am finding signs this is a fantastic aspiration. It might be doable too. I already see signs of money. I have been offered a few jobs that are digital in orientation, but few of those opportunities offers enough money to even start to survive. I have been told I have skills. We all have SKILLS! We need to use them. However most importantly, we need to be paid reasonably to use them.

Like Orman says, this is a NEW world. I say, we have to have NEW thinking. I am guilty on a huge scope. I think I want to be independent and run my own show, but I keep looking for some kind of systemic type job. Even I, who sees herself as being so innovative and capable of using my talents sans the corporation, am scared to take the full bungee jump. I am still looking for that paycheck every two weeks. This is simply out of fear and indoctrination to the ways of society.

I don’t think I am alone. Many of us think and feel this way. However, it is time for us all to take another look at this tradition.

It is a new world.
Now it is time for new thinking.





“Teckie”
Lost Souls Series
Mixed Media
Sheree Rensel
Click pic for detail view

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Art Blog: FREEDOM

I didn’t anticipate this at all. It is very difficult to explain. Have you ever felt FREE? Let me explain further. At least, I will try.



I was driving into a grocery store parking lot the other day and I had this feeling rush over me. It was a warm and fuzzy feeling of relief. I parked the car and just basked in the emotions and physical feelings of being able to do what I want to do without barriers or stuff to pull me down.

I have had this feeling before but I hadn’t really thought about it. Back when I was a teenager, I rented a studio apartment (basically, it was a room). As I plopped down on my mattress on the floor, I tingled. I loved that feeling of being my own person. Even though it meant I had to have real world responsibilities, I was FREE.

Another time I had this same feeling was when I drove my first truck off the dealership lot. I had wanted a truck so bad for so long. I remember rounding a curve on the road after signing the sales papers. I had that rush of being free to drive wherever I wanted to go. It is so funny because I feel that same way now.

Freedom does come with a price. I have never had total freedom because money always plays a role in what I can and cannot do. Yet like a cat, I seem to always land on my feet. Just like a feline, I care about my own satisfaction and abilities to do what I want, when I want. This sounds selfish, but it is all I know. We are born alone and we die alone. I am living alone, FREE.

A Facebook friend posted a Georgia O’Keefe video today. I watched it numerous times. Some people think she is brusque and rude. I don’t. I am the same way. I say what I feel and what I mean. I am honest. There is absolutely no harm intended. I just say what I think and I believe this is a good thing. There is one part of the video in which the interviewer says something like “It is so nice that Stieglitz let you come visit New Mexico.” I love her response: “He didn’t LET me go, I just went!” I had to laugh and savor this statement. I would have said that exact same thing. I was born with a sense of freedom running in my blood. Nobody has ever been able to tell me what I can or can’t do.

As the video continues she speaks of her arrival in New Mexico. She describes it as “her country”; she felt “at home”; she felt “like herself” again. I understand this with all my heart. Here I am in my little St. Pete art house working on art and occasionally going outside to sit in the Florida sun while thinking of my next art move. Ditto Georgia. DITTO!!!!
We have both experienced FREEDOM.



“Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico”
Click pic to view vid