From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

driving Work- personal notes

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Until four days into this month I have been intensely occupied with my work without real pause since the winter holidays.  Every bit of time I had was going into it.   I didn’t do much in the way of self maintenance (everything from dentist visits to maintaining  the bit of purple at the back of my hair).  I barely kept the house from becoming a sort of mad-scientist’s laboratory/studio/campground.   I didn’t see much of my friends or have dates with my husband.  I didn’t do the little non Art creative projects I do for my own amusement- making clothing, personalizing the house, tinkering…  I even had a backlog of medical and dental appointments.  I gave my time almost exclusively  to my daughter and my art.

The result was that my work was becoming more like Work and less like a calling I must answer every day. If it went on any longer the work would suffer.

the rough sketch of the leading lines for my windows

So the past few weeks I have had a little time for myself.   Besides maintenance, I have reclaimed some of those little things that remind me who I am and to play.  To scribble as it were.  I have been painting one of our windows with stained glass paints and I find that it is loosening me up to Paint, and making me eager to get back in the painting studio.  My purple hair and interesting clothing is something that spurs me to take on a more daring role.  It makes me see myself in that creative aspect- the way putting on hiking boots would ready me to climb a mountain, or an evening gown would put me in the mindset for dinner and opera.  Mind you, in the studio I wear paint-splattered ratty old clothes, and they remind me that no holds are barred and that I am IN the studio to my skin.

Oftentimes when I am preparing to launch myself into an activity I deliberately deprive myself of it for a time.  It could be called a vacation and in many ways it is.  It is balance and sanity needed to sustain anyone’s life…  but I take it farther than that.  When I drift towards the thing I am apart from, I hold myself back a bit.  I let a critical amount of pent energy build, and when it is too much to bear, I unleash it into whatever it is I have been holding back from.  Right now, that is Art.  I needed a break, I needed to catch up with other things… but it’s starting to feel almost uncomfortable not to work.  When I do this, the work resulting from the release is the best.  The ideas have had time to mature and are fully backed by my energy and passion for them.

I remember at some point when I was becoming truly content with my life I wondered if I could still create art with the same intensity I did before.  I have heard other artists express the same fear.  Perhaps this is my solution.  Also, there is some work that only comes out of real contentment.

On June 1st I hear whether or not I get a grant for a large sculpture/installation project that is crowding my mind.  If I get it, I’m off into that.  If not, I will find some other way to do it and in the meantime paint a piece that has been waiting the past few months while I did other work that needed to come first because of timing for  shows.  But this sculpture wants to be done.   It will get done at some point, but since it’s 10 feet high, ten feet long and 4 feet deep (and expensive) I need to find the right place and funding before I can realistically do it.  I am crossing my fingers that it comes without too much of a paperwork battle.

Either way, I give myself until the 1st.  Then on the 2nd I fly to NYC and dive back in, grant or no.

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Written by marycoreymarch

May 25, 2011 at 10:01 am

Posted in art, personal, process

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