I like my wilderness tame and my interiors rustic.
My work has been slowly creeping from my work room table to the kitchen table. It seems that when I hit a period of creative blankness I feel that if I have more workspace it will prove that I'm working and trying. Maybe I believe that a new room will bring new vigor into my work (it hasn't). I also seem to feel during these periods of blankness that maybe if I try every idea I've ever thought of or heard of that eventually something will materialize out of the chaos and present itself to me as worthwhile. Currently this desperate (frustrated) grasping at straws means I'm cultivating several types of salt crystals in the kitchen, trying to grow moss on different surfaces and materials outside, attempting to sculpt with silicone caulk, and am avoiding clay in a manner I would typically reserve for vegetables. I seem to think that if I continue to push boundaries in every direction I know that eventually I will have a breakthrough and finally begin making work that is good. There is a fear in the thought that maybe you are only an artist in the act of creation and every moment you are not creating is a moment that you are not an artist. Yet in the frantic scramble to make something good I wonder if I miss the things that could be the impulse of my next work.
Getting ready to move has been forcing me to evaluate each and every belonging I possess. It's a strange process deciding what is necessary and what can, and perhaps should, be done without. In sorting I have come upon a strange (large) pile of objects that is not necessary, but sentimental. These are the items I have avoided going through because in sorting them I must decide what experiences in my life are so important that I wish to continue holding on to the special little knick-knack that visually holds the memory for me. The pile cannot be taken care of quickly because each and every object demands a reliving of the memory it holds. After going through the pile last week, I came to the last object, placing it in the "keep" pile only to realize that the space where the "throw away" pile should be on the floor beside me was empty. I hadn't found a single item I was willing to part with.
Giving up sentimental objects has always been a difficult task for me. It's not that I worry that the memory will be forgotten if the sentimental object is thrown out. My worry is simply that the memory will never again be called to mind if the object is discarded. In saving the pile I feel comforted knowing that eventually a new time in my life will come when I will be forced to forge back into the pile to revisit my memories and make new decisions about what is valuable. I know I won't go through the pile again until this time. I never do. Will I save everything again next time? Perhaps going through the pile is itself an important journey as you remember the experiences that have brought you to this place and carry those things (both physically and internally) with you onto new places.
Messing around with some new textures using sodium silicate. These little forms remind me puffball mushrooms!
I read an article today by Robert Krulwich about the first time he fell in love with a painting. I love his description of what happened to him when he saw the painting, how he felt like he already knew the painting.
Here's all I can think: that when we are born, we are born with a sort of mood in us, a mood that comes to us through our genes, that will be seasoned by experience, but deep down, it's already there, looking for company, for someone to share itself with, and when we happen on the right piece of music, the right person, or, in this case the right artist, then, with a muscle that is as deep as ourselves, with the force of someone grabbing for a life preserver, we attach. --Robert Krulwich