_I normally can't sleep on planes but i found myself being comforted by the noise of the aircraft, i felt so at peace and it was like i was being gently rocked to sleep. Finally leaving Norway after 7 years. Mentally i had released all of my fears about the future and any expectations i had placed on myself and i found so much comfort being just ' in the now'.
I keep saying that it is going to be 'hard' to begin with but i find Dr Wayne Dyer in my head saying you don't attract into your life what you want, you attract into your life 'what you are'. And you are what you think, so you have to be careful what you think because that becomes your reality. He goes on to beat another message into my head ' Don't believe everything you think'. Sounded weird when i first heard him say that, but the more i examined my thoughts and behaviors the more i realised that message to be true. So for example my thoughts on how my last day in Norway would be didn't really playout in reality. I thought it was going to be so difficult but in reality it wasn't as hard as i had thought. Maybe because i had baptised myself in enough tears over the last 3 months and had fully realised it was the 'END' and that my life would never be the same again.
So now whenever i think to myself that starting new isn't going to be easy, i tell myself that it is going to be easy regardless if it is actually true or not because i can choose to think positive or negative and i think positive!
What i am going through is nothing new, so many other people have done or are doing the same thing. I have this mental imagine in my mind and it is me as a boy and i have fallen over and hurt myself, instead of laying there crying i get up as fast as i can and even though my knee is bleeding i continue to walk and i still continue to cry...but i am moving forward. For me i think that is an important message that even if we are hurting and we have pain, we have to keep moving forward, we have to continue on our journey, sure you can cry along the way, but don't stop, don't pity yourself. You just have to get on with it. Maybe that is how i can deal with difficult situations and why i have been called 'so brave' on many occassions. I don't see it as being brave, i just see it as ' getting on with it'. I am reminded once again of a story Dr Wayne Dyer talked about in one of his lectures and it was about a zebra (or some wild animal in Africa) and it had just had its leg chewed off by a lion but it had managed to escape and it was just eating grass and getting on with its life. It wasn't complaining 'poor me or how could this happen to me', it was simply eating grass and getting on with life. Ofcourse we are much more complex and are aware of our mortality but i think that message was an important one for me, to remember to keep going on, to keep moving forward even if you have a huge chunk taken out of you. You have to do otherwise your finished. There is always going to be 'downs' but there are equally going to be 'ups'.
So i finish this entry unsure of my future or what will actuality become my new reality, but i stay positive in my 'unsurity' (if that is such a word) and just have faith to focus on the 'now' and my passion, the rest will playout as is planned and i will continue and walk forward, wounds will heal and a new day dawns.
So as many of you know, i am leaving Norway which has been my home for the past 7 years. It will be sad to say goodbye to my life here but equally I am very excited about the new life i am about to start. I am full of excitment and also a little fear of the unknown.
So before leaving I thought that i would take the opportunity to take some new pictures of my 'power of white' series out in the wilderness. It took me about 30mins to carry 4 paintings up the mountain, if you could have seen how many times i cussed and swore at every tree, stick or branch which hit my paintings, not to mention how exhausted I was on ascent. But i was determined while the weather was good to DO THIS, because the weather this time of year is so unpredictable and one moment it is sunny and the next your getting snowed on or rained on and sometimes all 3 at once. But the weather gods were with me and it stayed very calm, still and erie silent...but i can assure you i made up for it with my cussing, shouting, huffing and puffing LOL Would have made for a hilarious video...next time.
So I got to the top and proceeded to film and make a youtube video (Currently uploading) and then i ran around taking all sorts of different still pictures. I am pretty happy with how they came out considering there was just me doing the shooting, it would have been better to have someone along to help me with the artistic shots..but you can only do what you can.
So the 'Power of white' series will be following me back to Australia. This series has been a labour of love and now that I am actually moving to a real art city (Melbourne) I now have the change and opportunity to really develop this series into something mind blowly fantastic. I have been keeping a journal of all my ideas for future 'white' paintings and I have enough inspiration and ideas to pull together some fantastic paintings....hopefully. You know how it is though, how things translate from what is in your head to actual reality is somewhat dissappointing. But i intend to fine the best gallery I can to show this series and hopefully attract new patrons and supporters of my work. The Power of white series is my strongest body of abstract work to date. I am excited to think that now i can create some seriously large abstract textured paintings now i am in a place where i can get materials and any size canvas I want. I will be bringing in rusty metal sheets into the next several artworks.
I already have several reservations on a couple of the works which is always a good sign your onto something. But only time will tell!
Working with white has to be one of the most difficult colours to use. Several artists have launched their careers on 'white' paintings and others haven't lol.
What makes a successful artist?
So what makes a successful artist? I have to say it isn’t necessarily about talent. There are a handful of things which I believe if you keep in the back of your thoughts, they will help you get to the level of success you so desire and deserve.
Don’t be an ASS
There is nothing worse than meeting an artist who is obnoxious, full of ego and self-importance. Being an asshole might get you attention but in the long run it will only hurt you.
Here is the thing about successful people whether they are like this in their own environments or not, when they are around people they never have a bad attitude. You know you can be critical and fierce but to be the type of person other people want to be around and what I mean by that is don’t be an ass. The way the art world is structured it has so much more to do with relationships than it has to do with true talent. If you can maintain good relationships you are going to be so much better served than being a brilliant asshole.
Successful artists know this and they look for opportunities, they are nice to people they come into contact with. If you want to get a head learn to be nice and mean it. Be genuine, sincere and kind.
Showing up everyday
Nothing magical is ever going to happen by itself, you have to show up every day and work at it. It is that simple! Be committed to your passion and you will be rewarded, maybe not straight away but eventually you will be.
Don’t worry about what everyone else around you is doing
Learn as much as you can from each other and internalise it, then put it in a bag and put it in the cupboard and forget about. Then you need to really access what it is that you are interested in . Don’t paint to please others although there is a fine line and a piece hasn’t fully reached its potential until it has been evaluated by something larger than you in a sense. It is a part of what we do. So just focus on what you are doing and develop your own visual language.
Congratulations to Deborah Petronio
So today I am really excited to announce the winner of the Sardine Can Shrine Challenge.
As you know I had asked Seth Apter to be the guest judge and he certainly had a difficult time deciding on a winner. But in the end he decided on Deborah's shrine.
This is what Seth had to say about Deborah's shrine titled 'Circus Shrine'
He writes ' I was taken by the playfulness of Deborah's Circus Shrine from the first time I saw it. She created it as an ode to her memories of the circus as a child and her shrine really captures its essence: whimsical, colorful, playful and fun. Deborah did a great job in maintaining the integrity of the original sardine can and wings while at the same time integrating it into a wonderfully complex assemblage. There seems to be a great deal of craftsmanship that went into the design, especially through her use of a light and a wind-up mechanism. Seeing the image makes me want to see this piece in person - and to me that is a sign of a successful work of art.
I would like to personally thank everyone who got involved in this challenge and I appreciate the effort you all took in creating very unique and interesting shrines. What this challenge shows is how wonderfully creative and different we all are, and given the same basic shape 'The Sardine can', we all have the ability to transform it into something magical as well as a representation of our individuality and creativity. So thank you once again for your efforts!
I really hope that you all enjoyed this challenge and I definitely look forward to posting a new assemblage challenge in 2012.
Deborah will be recieving the following assemblage box called ' On the inside looking out' and also a written interview to be posted on Loving Mixed Media and also on my youtube channel.
I would like to thank Seth Apter for his assistance in judging this challenge. Seth will be posting his own blog mention about the challenge, so please be sure to visit his blog over the next couple of days to see what he had to say.
Thank you once again to the following artists who entered a completed shrine and if you would like to see their entries click HERE:
Margo Garrisson, Lisa Patencio, Phillip Chwalinski, Gayle George, Lea Scott, Mike Nowlin, Julie Pilgrim, Heather Snow, Jo Pilkington, Katherine Pippin Pauley, John Doherty, Heather Smith, Kathleen Blohm, Pascale Hutt, Lucy Di Lorenzo, Dick Camnitz, Kim Draper, Patti Pfaendtner and Lee Hynes!
Sardine Can Shrine Challenge Update
Well I am pleased to announce the guest judge for the Shrine challenge is non other than New York based artist, Seth Apter!
Many of you know Seth through his popular blog 'The Altered Page' and if you don't, you need to check it out! I have been a big fan of his writings and art for a number of years and so when he said yes to being the guest judge for the challenge, i was thrilled to bits.
So as you know, the challenge was to take an empty Sardine can case which i had prepared, and alter it to create your own Sardine Can Shrine. The only rule was that you were to keep the original shape and form of the shrine as much as possible.
I have to say that I am really impressed with the quality and detail in some of the shrines! They are all so unique and different. Seth certainly has a difficult task of selecting a winner from all of the great entries.
The winner for the shrine challenge will be announced on the 7th of this month and they shall recieve one of my own customised Assemblage boxes as well as an online interview on my social art network 'Loving Mixed Media' and also in a blog to be posted here!
So below is a little bit of information about Seth! Doesn't he look like someone you could take home to mum?
_Seth Apter is a mixed-media artist from New York City focused primarily on works on paper, book arts, and textural assemblages. His work has been exhibited in numerous group shows and published in multiple books, national magazines, and independent zines. He is the host and organizer of a number of international collaborative art projects including The Pulse and The Disintegration Collaboration. His first book, The Pulse of Mixed Media, will be released by North Light Books in March, 2012.
A TRIBUTE TO THE MORTAL GODS OF SOUND
A GROUP SHOW
Opening reception will be February 2nd 2012 in Eugene Oregon at Blunt Graffix, a 2000 sq. ft. artist studio. Doors open at 6pm and the show runs through February 24th. The art will then move to THE WAVE Art Gallery, located in the historic Whitaker district, and remain until late March._
So I was really excited to be contacted by Matt Dye of Blunt Graffix and to be invited to participate in this awesome exhibition.
Being that the theme of the show is Dead Rockstars I had to do Freddy Mercury!! I just think he is awesome, I also like his image and for me it translates well into a stencil. So I am currently cutting out 3 different stencil designs of Freddy and I hope to combine and layer all 3 to create a unique portrait of him...we will see!
To find out more details about the show and to see who else is in it, click on the image. And if your in the area check out the show!!
_Packing, Sorting and Moving
It is amazing how much I have collected over the past 7 years and it isn't until now that i realised how much of a hoarder I really am. It has been really difficut to decide what to take with me to Australia and what to leave behind, because there is so much cool stuff I don't want to part with, YET it is far too expensive to ship to Oz.
So I have 15 days left in Norway and still so much to do and I know i will be running around at the last minute trying to get it all stored, recorded and packed.
On the up side there seems to be no shortages of studio spaces in Melbourne and I have a few leads, so hopefully I will find somewhere to set up my studio and get started on some art again!
Consider this - A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step, take the step, that's it! Don't think about where your going to be. Detach from outcome, forget about where you are going, let yourself be guided.
Think softness, think kindness... softness kindness, they trump ALL of the hardness and all of the struggle.
Find your truth in nature, emulate water. 31 verses of the Tao refer to water. Be like water because you already are. And how does water behave, if you want to experience water, don't grasp it, as soon as you grasp it, it illudes you. The only way to experience water is to emerce yourself in it. Become one with it. Don't try to defeat it.
If you take a rock and let the water roll over the rock, the softness substance on the planet, will take away anything which is hard. It will always triumph. Be soft.
The sea is the strongest force on the planet because it stays low and all of the rivers and all of the streams do their battles 'all the carving they do', but they always come back to the source, to the ocean and the source means to stay low. Practice radical humility and everything will come to you.
As artists it is hard not to get caught up in wanting to prove something to the world, to prove our art and ourselves deserve some sort of respect. We are always constantly seeking approval from others, that validation that what we are doing is of worth. When I began painting 7 years ago i was filled with Ego, filled with 'fight', ready to mark my territory and to claim my spot. I think over the years my growth and attitude has changed dramatically and my once need to prove to the world that my work stands apart has become like water.
I have come such a long way in a short period of time in regards to personal growth and the development of my art, and I put that growth down to being humble and my constant self reflection.
I think a lot of artists spend so much time and energy defending their art when in fact, they should let their art defend them. Create the work, let it speak, it has the power to change lives. If your work is good you will get recognised, doors will open I truly believe that! Focus your energy on building a strong body of work, one which you are proud of, one which shows off your skills and talents to the best of your ability. Be soft be like water!
'Chaos breeds Images'said the famous British painter Francis Bacon. And I can really relate to that because my studio is pretty much in complete chaos 99% of the time, in fact when you look at pictures of Francis's studio it isn't too dissimilar to the state of my own. I mix my colour palette on the wall or the back of the door which is close to my work table. I have canvases, books, magazines and images laying everywhere. I constantly have to move stuff just so I can work, but I wouldn't have it any other way. There is comfort in the chaos because i know that I just have to turn my head, move a box and I will discover or see an image which will excite my interest. Another Bacon quote 'I am inspired by everything and Nothing'.
The Triangle Effect
So this new little series I am working is a bower birds next of images all thrown together in random order. Having said that there is some order in that chaos and because I have created so many of these types of works over the years, I think my subconscious brain 'knows' where to place the images.
Composition is such a complex thing when you really think about it, there is so much to consider, but i believe the more compositions and artworks you create, the better at composition you will become, because in effect you train that part of your brain to recognise good composition. I always tell my students to constantly create new works all the time, the more you do the better you will become. You have to exercise your creative muscle
From 3d into 2d...
'Mofu' started his existence as a ceramic mask but it was evident that he was not destine just to be a 3D creation. A couple of days ago I decided to transform him into a stencil design to be used in my 2d work. I have to say I am really happy with how he turned out. I think he is pretty nice and I decided to give him some reindeer horns. I plan on giving him different attachments and I am looking at developing a line of t-shirt designs based on him and several other characters including my Kitty.
So today I am happy to say that I am working on a clothing line of my designs. My clothing brand is going to be called GREEF and will feature a combination of stencil and hand drawn images. The first lot of designs are in production at the moment and I have a lot of ideas forumating on how i want things to look. So I thought i would show you some of the basic designs i have come up with so far....please note these are not final and all cloths are purely experimental. I am still playing around with design size and placement and I intend to sew and add extra material and other elements to make them 'one offs' and I will be eventually selling them through my etsy site. At the moment I am working on men's t-shirts but i am planning to print onto women and kids clothing!!
Art Fair next weekend 29th and 30th October
So next weekend I have my final art fair in Norway. I have never done well at this particular art fair, mainly because the type of people who attend are quite conservative and my work doesn't fit the conservative mentality. But I don't care, it gets my name out there in the community (not that it matters much anymore since i am leaving). I am selling mainly masks with a few works on paper, won't be going over board as I am in the process of packing and shipping my stuff back to Oz. So fingers crossed for a few sales to help me on my journey.
I am going to end with this latin quote which is my moto:
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam - means "I shall either find a way or make one".
Hope you all have a creative and inspiring weekend/week a head!
I am loving this group of students. They are so creative and the artworks they have produced for this course so far have been fantastic!
I don't want it to end and I know most of them feel the same!
I am looking forward to putting together a little slideshow at the end for everyone to see the amazing works created by this talented bunch of artists. Not one artwork is a like or similar and not only have the students learned a few things, but I have learned a lot from them as well. What I especially like about this group is that there is no pressure to be the best or to create the most works, everyone has been so forthcoming and they have been willing to share their creative ideas with each other. As a result the amount of artworks produced and the quality and diversity of the work has been wonderful.
Plexified is a 4 week online course teaching you the many possible ways to incorporate Plexiglass/Perspex into your art. If you are interested in find out more information about this course, click on the blue link.
Sales this Month on Etsy
It has been a great month of sales on etsy with these 4 works finding new homes. I have to say these are some of my best and newest works to date and I am extremely grateful that what I am creating seems to be sellable. I always have to pinch myself with every sale because it seems hard to believe i get paid for doing something I love. Great feeling and I am always humbled by the generosity and support of 'Gary Reef' collectors/patrons!
180 degree turn
My latest artwork is definitely a new direction for me and I have to say I surprised myself. Being an artist who loves to create lots of layers and textures this minimal approach is a 180 degree turn for me. But I have to say I like it.
They say an artist's career goes through many stages, you start out putting everything into your work and as you mature you begin to take away and simplify everything down...ok i know this is a bit of an overkill and its too early in my career to do minimal but hey what fun.
The story behind the image - One trip to Australia I was at the cemetery and I came across this grave stone with a black and white faded portrait of an old Italian woman. Anyway the grave looked unkept and forgotten and so I decided to photograph the woman and use her image in my own art, as I wanted to give her recognition, a new life and hopefully a place in someone's home to be remembered. And so I called this work 'I matter' because to me she did.
My life upside down up
Just when you think you have everything worked out and planned life kicks you in the guts to remind you of how fragile, harsh and unforgiving she can be.
As cher says
Well, love don't need a reason
She can pick you up
Or leave you bleeding
We all get thrown a curl ball in our life from time to time and non of us are immune to chance, fate and destiny. We can make plans but really most of us don't know the outcome.
Change is scary especially when you have been stuck in a routine for a long time, but change is also freeing, exciting and good for spiritual growth.
One thing i have realised about myself over this past month is that I am a lot stronger emotionally and spiritually than i thought. Things are not easy and i kinda feel a little lost in darkness at the moment but i can see where the light is, and so I am going to take one step at a time until i can see again. I owe it to myself to be happy!
Well you know most of the time I am pretty optimistic about things and to start with I was pretty excited about having an open studio weekend. I organised the advertising which consisted of creating an event page on Facebook, creating and printing up invitation post cards and texting anyone who I thought might be interested in attending etc.
As the weekend loomed i started to get knots in my stomach because according to FB i had 9 people saying they were attending and 14 saying they couldn't. Now you have to know I live in the middle of nowhere, 25mins drive from town and my place isn't the easiest to find. So I guess I wasn't too optimistic come Saturday morning. I converted the lounge room into a gallery space (thank god eirik was away this weekend working because if he saw how many holes i have put in the wall he would have divorced me there and then but now when i tell him how successful the weekend has been he might reconsider).
Below is how I set things out. As you came in the door i had info, cards, fridge magnets, gift certificates and Course Brochures etc (And also when people paid me and while they waited for me to wrap their artworks they had the chance to look at all of this info...smart plan).
Then I had one wall full of smaller works, masks, plexiglass paintings, an assemblage box and a few medium to larger sized canvases. Along the bottom I just layed more canvases. On the back wall I had a coffee table, offering both espresso and normal filtered coffee as well as a selection of cupcakes (which i coated with icing as they browsed the artwork- i think it is good to let people enjoy the work by themselves without you hovering over them).
In the lounge area I had a wooden table where people could sit around with their coffee and cake. In the middle of that table was a bowl full of masks, different shapes and sizes (Some rejects at discounted prices etc).
This is the bowl of masks I had sitting on the table. So as they sat their chatting and drinking their coffee and cupcakes they had the chance to look through the bowl of masks. As you can see by the before and after I sold a few faces. The doll face shaped masks proved to be most popular out of this lot.
Below are 4 of the 7 masks I sold.
So Saturday was a busy day considering I had only 9 attending. First came a group of 5 ladies, most of which I knew personally. They were so much fun, laughing chatting, drinking coffee and eating cakes oh and looking at the art. At that time an Aussie friend showed up and purchased 3 masks. Just as he was leaving another 2 showed up.
Next minutes I am busy wrapping artworks as everyone purchased more than just one item.For one brief moment i had that feeling what it must be like for super famous artists who turn up to their exhibition and completely sell out in a few hours...it was that feeling I had. I know it doesn't last forever and 99% of the year your back to selling your soul..but what a high it was and one i will hang onto for a few days;).
So that was Saturday. Sunday was much quieter with only one person coming...BUT he purchased a lot of art (In fact most of what you see below). He works for this Norwegian art society and they have this annual event. He purchased 3 large works on canvas for this event as well as an assemblage box and small plexiglass artwork for himself. He also wants me to run a workshop later this year teaching some of my techniques. All the items below sold on the Sunday!
But I want to thank the many friends who came and supported me during the weekend with art purchases and more importantly 'believing in me'.So to sum up the weekend I would have to say it has been fantastic. Has it been worth it? Hell yes! Will I do it again? Hell YES! the only thing I would do differently would be to advertise it more) And i think i will change the venue and find some old empty store or shop to host it...just for something different!!
This blog is a bit of a 'Mish Mash' of things. Hit the play button!
Abstract Landscapes Course
So this week I started developing a new abstract course which I am really excited about. It wasn't my intention to start planning a new course but it sort of just happened. I woke up one day last week and just decided it was time to start sorting through the 1000's of images of artwork I have stored on my external hard drive. So I began to sort and put images into folders and all of a sudden I just got excited at looking at some of my abstract landscape creations, I thought "MMMm I need to do this NOW". So I spent the whole day just brainstorming and writing down ideas and before long i had collected enough ideas that I could actually start putting together a new course. Not to give too much away at this early stage but a key component of the class is recycling. So YAY more about that course as it develops, I think it is going to be one of my best yet!
I am inspired by everything and nothing!
So today I was watching James Kalm's latest gallery show report and at 5:15 I saw an artwork which totally inspired me to race down to my studio and create this little artwork (see image). It is amazing how we can just see an image and be totally inspired to create, before that I wasn't even in the mood to make any art. Now I have no clue about how that particular artist created his artwork or what materials he used and in fact I don't want to know, half of the fun in trying to work out how they 'did it' is coming up with your own way of 'doing it'. But I had such fun playing today and experimenting with different effects and techniques that this 'discovery' has inspired a new series of abstracts. I absolutely LOVE pushing my own boundaries and it is nice to work with fabric because it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
Fabric can be manipulated into any shape you desire, it can be twisted and folded into creating something amazing with really no great effort. I am all about techniques and using materials which create 'big' impact. So it will be interesting to see how i can 'marry' the manipulation of fabric with textures. I don't think I 'nailed' it with this piece and while I like the contrast of both sides, I think I have 'over worked' the white side with too much texture. Maybe it would have been more successful if the white side was smooth to balance out the folds and the 'movement' of the fabric. But really I am not too worried, this piece was experimental and so I really wasn't too focused on creating a master piece. When your working a new idea the last thing you want to do is pressure yourself into creating brilliance. Creating beauty takes time, it takes making mistakes and then reflecting. You have to play and explore all options of the medium so you understand the materials you are working with! Only then can you create something great!
Just for fun!
While I was playing around with this techniques I thought there is no reason why it couldn't be adapted to work with my masks. So I have a few ideas of how I can use it to create interesting little sculptures.
Speaking of masks I am pretty happy with the colour scheme of my latest face. I painted it different shades of orange using a combination of yellow and red spray paint, then I wiped it over with that beautiful dark 'Bitumen' and let it dry. Took my citrasolv and then started wiping away the bitumen to reveal the vibrant orange underneath. But I only removed enough bitumen to really emphasize the detail. You can see the mask in the slide show above towards the end!
I am getting really excited about my new Plexiglass course starting on the 5th of next month. In fact I am surprised at how many have actually signed up for the class, considering plexiglass isn't the easiest medium to work with! But there are some great projects and I know the course is going to inspire those artists who take the course. (For full info about the course click HERE)
I can feel a sea change coming, it is rolling in like the tide, seeping into all the cracks and crevasses. Creeping over like a blanket pulled up around me on a cold winters night. There is a thunderstorm brewing outside, gathering its forces, wind chimes tingle in the breeze.
It is nothing new these changes, I have grown to accept them just as the seasons change.
Having a studio jam packed with paintings of all sorts of sizes has become some what of a burden in many ways, it weighs heavy on my mind and I am not sure it is a load I can carry much longer. It is depressing looking at years of work sitting there, doing nothing except reminding me of the countless hours spent alone. I guess that is why I have no trouble burning my paintings, in fact when I do it is a release because it is a sense of 'knowing' that they won't burden me any longer. The physical act of creating, "working in the NOW", that is the ONLY thing which makes me continue to paint. That is the orgasm, noting else. Maybe when I look at the culmination of my work together it brings the realisation of failure.
Painting is lonely and whereas I use to enjoy that loneliness and solitude, I now feel that painting doesn't bring me that same level of comfort and satisfaction. So in saying that maybe it is time to give it a rest for a bit (at least the canvas work), give myself time to reflect, to just contemplate.
So I have my open studio weekend coming up at the end of this month. I received my invitations today and I totally LOVE them, one thing I will give myself credit for is the ability to bring images together in a visually pleasing way. I think I should have been a graphic designer in truth he he he! I mean how can you not look at it and think at least 'This looks interesting, I want to go see'. Having said that, I have now come to realise that what I paint and the images I use are not so popular with a lot of people, especially in Norway (let me rephrase that...Norwegians in my area are more conservative, lots of religious people. So I guess I am not expecting to sell much art). I've been told everything from creepy, freaky, morbid, deathly, weird and bizarre. People don't like to be reminded of death and to be honest I didn't think that skeletons would scare a lot of people, one comment recently on my youtube channel " While I am a huge fan and love your approach to art, these canvases tend to turn me away. Must be because they remind me of the day of the dead art which creeps me out. Still, your techniques are worth watching as long as I don't look too closely at the death overtones ".
Isn't that interesting? Because I have never thought that the Day of the dead was creepy! I think it celebrates life and it is hugely celebrated anyway. I use skeletons in my work to remind us of our mortality and that we should make the most of our time. Is that creepy? I think the problem is understanding the artist and their thought process because if people know me then they would understand where I am coming from.
Growing up in the 80's as a teenager I was exposed to a lot of B grade horror films, because my mum use to work at a drive in cinemas and I would go out on weekends and help out in the projection room etc. I would always get mum to park the car right in the middle of the screen, put a blanket on the car bonnet and lay back on the windscreen with a drink and a hot dog watching these cheesy B grade films. For me there was a sense of comedy about them, the terrible acting, the over dramatisation, the ridiculous situations these people would get themselves into (Oh yes lets walk into an old mental asylum at midnight and see what happens). I mean how funny is that! So in saying that any images I use which could be viewed as creepy are in fact not in my perception.
So where is this blog headed? I guess I better sum it up and pull it together!
I am really keen on making masks at the moment, painting them all sorts of cool colours. I love them because I feel like they are real, they have eyes, meaning and expression in their faces. They all have their own stories and tales to tell and all though they all come from the same couple of moulds, not one is alike. Just by laying the clay into the mould in different directions creates the subtle characteristics which makes them so unique and individual.
They are mischievous, interesting and not perfect in shape or look and I like that! You could really image them being alive and in my world they are.
So I am going to be spending a lot of time making many more, adding unusual fabrics around them, objects, you name it I have a tone of ideas. At the next art fair I attend, I will be mostly selling masks.
It is time to give 'painting' a little rest and focus on my masks, as it is I already have orders piling up... that isn't a bad start!