Sometimes the best words come to the surface so easily when writing. This phenomenon, this “ease” happens with my visual art as well, often. I need some detail, some shape, some twist of an idea, and there it is, thanks to the universe, sitting for sale at the local flea market for a quarter.
When creating this fin wall for the executive ladies’ bathroom at Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC, it was in process along with three crowns, similar to the three on the fin wall but located over three commodes further inside the room. One Saturday at the flea market I found many painted tiles and plates with women’s faces on them. They were perfect for this women’s bathroom, and interfaced wonderfully with what was already finished on the piece. I smashed some of them to partially reconstruct within the piece, and saved some for later use.
The concept for the piece above involved knowing in the beginning that this Midwestern couple liked straight lines. My textile orientation got me thinking about the Midwestern Amish quilts and their bold graphic statements. So I made a quilt out of waste. It sits under a spot, and approximated shadows in the piece were added to relate to that spot, helping it be more visually three dimensional. The red area in the piece is made of old dishes the couple used earlier in the marriage. The flea market provided more for the theme of dishes in the piece. It resides in a conversation area adjacent the kitchen.
I try to finish a post and create the kind of self referential circle needed in a 500 word story, with an image to support it, and BAAMM. First picture in my library that comes up, there is the solution. The picture defines the end of the story, it is left for me only to describe the image, and the finish seems elegantly created. But not by me.
Sometimes a mistake made is what I need: “VET-RUVIAN CAT”? Leading off that word with the VET makes the meaning so much deeper in my last post.
I love when that happens. It happens a lot for me, but I have learned to encourage it. Always doing with what is around, and choosing not to go out and seek more, is a kind of creative limitation. Some people love tools, love materials. They consider their acquisition as part of the artistic journey. Not me. I have always had to make do, it is as simple as that. But one can shake the truth out of something by looking within the set of things which one already owns.
The text used in my college class describes creativity as this, as well as in other ways: an artist is fluent allowing “a readiness to allow a free flow of ideas”, and sensitivity, a “heightened awareness of what one sees, hears, and touches, as well as responsiveness to other people and their feelings” (Getlein, Living with Art, ninth ed., 12-13). These two concepts define my art more than anything else. I get an idea, and then make something to explain it. What is interesting is often I start the making, having no idea what the point is. The piece will tell me by the time it is halfway done, and finishes it itself through me.
Some people might say that my marriage was orchestrated in this same way.