Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So what did I learn from the show at the University?

Plaster is heavy.

(Yes, I'm using capitals and everything. I even did some yoga when I was there. My body walked differently all day long and I didn't even bother changing out of my overalls; the good clothes I'd so carefully packed sat in the suitcase all day - sit there now, in fact.)

So, I'm concentrating now on taking the bulk of it out. With a pruning saw, mostly, but sometimes the glazier's knife. I treated myself at the hardware store, with a guilty, thrilled bold post-refund spree. This meant I had to ask for and give myself something, which is a difficult thing for me to do sometimes. Anyway. the saw is nice, I can hack off bits or do fine carving with it, and the blade bends some, which is handy now and then - and the glazier's knife I'm enjoying learning how to use, or misuse - but at the store the other day I saw the sweetest little serrated (double!) drywall knife and oh, the lust that sprang into my heart then.

But no one bought anything (I'd hoped, this time, but I wasn't crushed. I just wished I hadn't made such heavy things - or so many of them) and at some point I'm going to have to start making my own money. Not that my husband doesn't support my art, he most definitely does. I think it pleases his masculine pride to do so, but I think I provide a good home, and even as much as I'm battling my own inadequacies I work hard to be a good mother. So I contribute enough to say yes, for the next year - or until the changing economic circumstances make it necessary, whichever comes sooner - I will devote myself to becoming a working artist.

Though I might only consider shows of paper-related art, for the time being. Even better if I can roll it around bamboo, bind it in odd and impromptu designs with wire sure to rust, soak it, wax it, glaze it, and let it paint itself. I've done some preliminary work, models of paintings, in the shed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

alas, the mud pear stayed out in the rain once too often.

but while it lasted, it was quite appreciated. I took photos of it in all sorts of light, here and there, with different things poked in at the top, sticks and incense and stems of various plants, some with leaves and some without.

Friday, March 20, 2009

painting, lately. too cold and damp outside for plaster.

but. I splurged and bought myself two brand new tools from the hardware store: a notched trowel for working cement and a glazier's knife. with the glazier's knife, the plaster chips fly, and the sound is almost like a bell ringing.

(not sure why my pictures are garbled when they upload. have tried a couple of times now. oh well. consider it an incidental sort of collage.)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

an experiment in plaster, paint and paper.

it didn't turn out exactly as I thought (hoped) it would. what I was wanting was to make a paper bowl.

instead, it looks (to me, at least) as if something (perhaps I might carve the something, or find it somewhere) burst out of the plaster and the paper, as if it were a cocoon or an egg.

in any case, it was an interesting experience making it, and making it kept me from bleakness and despair, or at least let me stand back from it a bit.

I still have a desire to make objects from paper, using the molds. I have visions of light beautiful things hanging. many of them, a dozen, a hundred - who knows. but they're filling a space, moving in space. holding little secrets inside. I'm not sure if this particular vision will ever come to pass. I suppose it quite easily could. it all depends on how much energy I choose to attach to the idea. and sometimes just the idea and the vision in my head is enough.

sometimes it's not. so I make something. I've given up (for the most part) trying to justify why all I seem to want to do is make things that are completely - well. maybe not completely. but mostly useless. in some cases (as with the molds) taking something useful and making it into something else, with no apparent purpose or destination in mind other than the experience of making it.

don't worry about the money, says my husband. I just want you to be happy. you're an artist. make some art. if it sells, fine, we can use the money. if it doesn't, fine. we'll manage, we are now.

at some point in your life don't you have to stop resisting who you are and be yourself? the other option is to continue to resist. I'm tired of resisting. it doesn't seem to have served me very well.

I'm working mostly in the garage these days. but at some point I know a studio will become a necessary luxury. there's no room in the budget for it at the moment, so the shed, the back porch and the garage is my studio for now.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

experiencing moments of doubt.

but persisting, nevertheless.

if nothing else, this showing of work is providing opportunities for me to develop better work habits.

and yesterday I broke two of the molds, by dropping them on a nice sharp-edged rock by the shed. I'm carving the bits with a pruning saw, the little saw on my multi-tool, a rusty dull woodcarving knife and a copper wire brush.

then glazing them with latex enamel paint and rainwater. then rubbing them with a sponge and some cloth from the ragbag.

a productive enough day, by my account.

Monday, March 2, 2009

working. sun shining. house tidy enough, laundry half caught up.

and nachos for supper, and a movie after that, once homework's done.

this is the possibility I wish I could contain somehow and then bring out, like oliver, on a day when I'm in need of it.

no one can buy this beautiful morning, but it exists, nonetheless. I have no idea why or how I've been given this moment of balance but I'm very grateful.