Tuesday, May 22, 2012

artist in residence

It doesn't matter the art, the process is the same. I played the conga drum, an autoharp, the saxophone (sort of), handmade flutes and whistles. I had a thumbpiano and bought and sold a vibraharp. Don't know why I had to make noise and jazz at that. I still am a jazzy player but not so much with noise anymore. There was opportunity but never the right timing. It is good to explore while you are young and impressionable, able to take instruction. Instruction means you allow a skilled someone to implant the subject matter into your mind while you submit to agonizing muscle memory and sensory training. This requires time, patience and practice. Self discovery on the other hand requires time, practice, practice and more practice. The diff is confidence derived from instructor training is more certain.

If you have a desire, it's not so bad because you season the experience with discovery and if you like it there are all kinds of self satisfaction and challenge and accomplishment. When people around you understand and support your creative drives, you develop at a good pace. If they try to realize their dreams through you, they will probably kill you and your art desire. If they have little regard, the strength of your own efforts are fraught with interruptions and redirections. I was king of the back shelf. I wondered if I would ever get to doing art. My secret has been to figure out how to do art in everything and at any time. I carried notebooks for years, jotting and sketching while caring for the preoccupations of loved ones.  If I did not do art I might have regrets to the point of radical behavior. They think I am radical anyway. Use what you have of both yourself, your skills, the materials at your disposal, the time you have.

What is the aim of your art? It comes from you, what you see, feel, think and what you are able to do. I did very little life drawing, I wish I could be better but I have more desire for decorative stuff and architecture. I have a cousin who does animals very well. He is good at that. I am sculptural and space driven. Some are focused on painting on a flat plane. What is weird is when you can't express an idea till the materials make their appearance in your sight. Or when you draw in pencil only to discover the ink pen makes the idea pop. This happened to me with printing. I was using photo paper, then I tried card stock. It was very startling and exciting.

Take the path in front of you. Traditional art is OK if you go that way. I have had a haphazard, twisted, often misdirected art path. I have learned to appropriate, to glean, to save for later and to reassign the context. Think I am goofy, try telling the sweet Mary had a little lamb story with a raspy crooked voice. Change one element in the tone of delivery, the meter of speaking or the motive of why or to whom it is spoken too. This is how ideas come, I make a note and let it set. Later I see the note in a different light. I try the same idea in a different context. Of course I'm not making spooky movies, I ask if folks can live with my art, will it have a good effect in their living space, add something. We are not wired the same way. Many can't do art or never developed their ability. I appreciate those who don't and who didn't but who appreciate art. I do art for them and for me.

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