The way that we use language shapes our perception. It’s a game of comparison, using nuances and specifics to focus attention to a detail or a set of details and then set them in relation to another.
Does the way art is used fall into this as well? It obviously has the potential to shape perception, but is it a language? I believe so… but it’s a private language. It’s the Blue Chip Art that escapes the confines of a private language, infecting a broad audience with a perception previously inexperienced.
…This isn’t that…
Being yourself by doing more of what interests you is a sieve.
We all come to the arts saying “Surprise me please”. Live up to the challenge! It’s a treasure hunt. Let the sieve do its work. It doesn’t need to be about looking to see who got screened out, let your audience find you. I’m looking for who got screened in.
ps. It takes less energy to be myself and grow than it does to make myself into someone that I’m not.
I’d very much like to hear your thoughts in the comments on how you use your work as a sieve for your audience.
Confession… it feels really good to see my past work pop up on other peoples feeds on Instagram. There’s definitely a chunk inside me that revels in being reminded that objects that I loved into being have been chosen by others and are now treasured objects in their their own lives.
Strange enough, currently I don’t think many people that know me through my work on Instagram know me as a ceramic artist. Hmmmmmmmm….
The face is a landscape. It should be easy to see all the familiar features and note subtitle differences that makes each one different… faces are so familiar, it seems it should be relatively easy and intuitive, but instead it’s much wonderfully more complex than how it seems it should be.
A few months into learning to render peoples features and it’s inadvertently created a problem. Much too often during casual conversations, quizzical looks flash as I catch myself starring, mentally following the lift of a nose, the swelling of the lips, the shadows of the cheeks or depth of the brows…
“Are you starring into my eyes?”
“My apologies, Yes I am.”
“I’ve been learning to draw and I’ve been looking at a lot of faces lately… your face is very striking and quite lovely, my apologies for staring…”
It’s the start of a smile that’s reflected in the eyes.
What is it going to take to land drawings where I want them, and where is it exactly that I want them to land in the first place?
It’s possible that I’m rationalizing the results of what most would call bad drawings as they come off the drawing board, being willfully blind to their short comings and enamored with the bits and pieces that delight me. Would I matte and frame them? No…. a few delightful bits don’t necessitate a need to put work on the wall, but it’s still encouraging to see that the delightful bits are becoming more and more frequent and spaced closer and closer together.
If I could make a wish, it’d be for my colors to stay unmuddied. That the the rendering of the eyes become more skillful and the shadows of the nose become more confident and clear. I would like to develop more patience with my background. I want to land on moody.
On the plus side, I am finding process strategies that are starting work together, I just need to pay attention to what works just as much as what doesn’t.
As the experiments go on, I keep returning to using form as a vehicle for the use of color. I’ll happily take a nieve use of color over a skilled adherence to representational use. I want to feel a drawing from across the room though it’s massing of colors. Engagement through discord, preferably joyous discord.
But I’ll accept what shows up and learn to ask for what I want as I figure out what exactly that could be.
Passing note… The above drawing is an inverted view of a man’s rib cage. Cropping into a section of the figure relives the drawing of a need to maintain recognizability, freeing up the exsercize to just making marks while sticking to the proportions presented.
I need to find a way to lay down some serious white (or any other color) at this stage. Any attempts with the pastels just turns to grey mud.
It’s possible to take the stance that our limitations can become our strengths. It’s choice of perception… What I can’t do shapes the edges of what I can do. What is possible is discovered by freely playing at edges of ability and comfort and then stepping back to see what happens. Not so strangely, like everyone else, as I keep playing, the edges of what I find that I’m capable of doing keeps moving.
As we become more and more familiar with what we can do and what we can’t, we tend to lean towards activities that make our lives more predictable and stable, we leave the edges for the safety of the known and accepted.
What I crave is a sense of feeling outside of myself, when I’m embedded in the flow, I don’t really feel fully in control of what’s happening. I make decisions, take an action, evaluate, and repeat until done. I’m moving towards a result, but I’m not first seeing an end result in my minds eye and then moving towards that vision. Very much the opposite, the results emerge from the interaction of monkey wrenches purposely being regularly thrown into the chain of decisions, (my inability to keep focused on accurately drafting what’s in front of me, (I find that there’s an aesthetic to naive ability that’s easy (and comfortable) to relate to) or the result of an occasional random grab into the colors box, setting off an unexpected chain of decisions in reaction to the misuse of color.) Admittably, I do enjoy surprises and surprisingly, the monkey wrenches work.
Ideally, I don’t want to see reality, reality is already right in front of me. I want to see a reality filtered through an individual. I want to see the art that they make using the filter that they essentially become.
Tell me, which thought makes the corners of your mouth turn up in a smile?
A dog wagging its tail? or A tail wagging its dog?