Tomas Saraceno & Richard Serra @ SF MOMA

A friend and I decided … okay my friend convinced me to view Tomas Saraceno’s work at SF MOMA.  It was a truly marvelous experience!  I found myself contemplating time and space, perspective, and my place in the world.  This installation brought my attention to the present.  For one thing, I had to be aware of where my feet were landing so I wouldn’t trip and bring down the whole installation … yes, that would happen with me.  On a more esoteric level, the mirrors and the cables and the mirrors reflecting other mirrors should have been disorienting, but it wasn’t.  I felt like the only person in the room, trying to find my place in this visual feast.

We walked to the top floor and we were both captured by the light coming through the skylight.

We ended our visit with Richard Serra which was expansive and solitary.  I felt cut off and a little frightened that the steel walls could tumble in on me.  And then we discovered that we could send one of our voices along the wall and it would reach one ear of the person standing across the chamber.  It was stark and wondrous.

All is all, a perfect day!

Tomas Saraceno

Experimenting with Materials

On January 1st of every year, for the last 5 years, I take an online visual journaling class.  It kicks off my year with something new and focus my attention because I’m usually forced to try new materials.   I don’t offer these for sale because they’re about me learning something new.  AND, I harvest other’s images, knowing that I won’t sell these.  Here are some of the books in my collection:

Mask Book Cover

Flower Song Book Cover

Alligator Diva Cover

The Duchesse – Cover & Drawers

Junk Mail Book

What I Wear – clothing tag book

Metal Book Cover

“Create” Book Cover – Background art on the cover is by Camille Rose Garcia “The Saddest Place on Earth” – a publication of her work.  

“Fun” Book Cover – Background art on the cover is by Camille Rose Garcia “The Saddest Place on Earth” – a publication of her work.

SPRING!

Blooming Spring after a drenched and cold Winter.  I’ve been cleaning out my studio the last few weeks.  Getting rid of uninspiring objects and cleaning.  I found the carcass of a hummingbird in one of my open containers.  I thought I had saved the little bugger last Summer, but alas, he pooped out.  My inner Feng Shui Teacher helped me realize that it’s good to dig into the dark corners on occasion to dig out what has died and dried up.  And to see the truth.  I was living under the illusion the last several months that my scheme to lure the little guy back outside had worked, and he was flying around happy and avoiding garages.

I’m starting to work on new things – a few dioramas, starting to combine paper clay busts and body parts with assemblage.  No great success yet, but the act of experiment is energizing.  I feel like my work is ready for a new direction.  An expanded version of what has been.

Wishing you all a month of clearing out the cobwebs, discovering small truths that shed light on wrong assumptions and always good health and at least one good laugh a day.

Later.

Stretching and Challenge

I’m at that place with my output where I either dive in and take huge risks or remain content with charming sculptures that are “Tim Burton-esque”.  Both are valid choices.  One is more difficult than the other.  I want so much to stretch into larger scale installation pieces and this requires space.  More than my cramped garage can hold.

I woke up about a year ago with an image in my mind … well two of them.  One of them taps into the gestation phase that influences all of my work.

For me, gestation directly speaks to my process.  I let ideas and inspiration “cook” in my mind and spirit for a long time before anything happens in the real world.  Gestation is also something that fascinates me in a real sense.  I was born premature (by a month), apparently anxious to get “out of there”.  The interesting thing for me is that I keep revisiting the womb in various ways.  Some of my earlier pieces were literally baby dolls with magnifying classes in front of them.  I’m still fascinated by those pieces.  I’m compelled to look closer, to magnify, to “get inside” that idea of gestation and birth.

I will continue to work toward the large scale piece that wants to come out.  Maybe if I build it, an opportunity will come to present it.  If I believe it, I will see it.

Now, GO BE CREATIVE!  xoxo

Cirque, Hedda and Ronald 2016

When I start a paper clay bust, I let the process move organically.  My only intention before I started these 3 was “eccentric”.  They all have pine cone caps as head dresses and now I’m addicted to pine cone caps.  Seriously addicted.  They are textural, quirky, organic and whimsical.

These 3 happened at the same time.  I shifted back and forth between them as they were drying and taking form.  I love their eccentricities, out there in the open for all to see.

 

Cirque, 2016

Cirque, 2016

Hedda, 2016

Hedda, 2016

Ronald, Paper Clay, 2016

Ronald, Paper Clay, 2016

Bitsy, 2016

A friend gave me a mink remnant that she found in a bag of goodies and I immediately thought of a socialite from the 1950’s.   I have a book of photographs entitled “Reflections of a Man, The Photographs of Stanley Marcus” (of Neiman Marcus fame).  I have a life long fascination with fashion and a darling friend gave me this book as inspiration and eye candy.  Ms. Bitsy would fit directly into the pages of the book.

Bitsy, 2016

Bitsy, 2016

Heart Centered, 2016

This started with a gift of an old croquette set.  The balls are ideal for heads, so I challenged myself to make a face and go from there.  I have been collecting acorn caps on my walk and one of them seemed perfectly suited for this sculpture.

The arms are fabric from an old pair of pjs, and I painted them to highlight their stripes in keeping with the “old croquette set” feel.

 

Heart Centered, 2016

Heart Centered, 2016

Family Portrait

I found an old box with scribbling inside.  I immediately thought of a little kid and the treasures that must have been kept inside.  So, I decided to channel one of my favorite artists, Cecile Perra, and make a kid-like family portrait.

The metal tags are vintage French plant markers on which I painted little characters.  I made the soft doll out of simple cotton fabric and paint, adding pencil lines for the face.

Although this is not entirely like other work that I’ve done, my fascination with dolls had to come out in this piece.

 

Family Portrait, 2016

Family Portrait, 2016

Renewed Energy

Art Shrine

Art Shrine

I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately.  Okay for about 3 years.  Life got in the way and it felt almost impossible to get back to that creative flow.  I tried sitting in my studio even if I wasn’t working, touching all of the bits to see if something would inspire me, shopping for vintage elements.  Nada.  Nothing.  Then I started talking to other artists and it appears that this happens sometimes.  Now that I’m “back in the flow” what I realize is that I was cooking during that difficult time.  Things were re-arranging themselves in my spirit, psyche, mind, being … whatever you want to call it.  I have a new perspective that seems to want to express itself.  It’s surprising me and I’m going to go with it.

In the end, art (for me at least) seems to be all about curiosity, discovery, bravery (the moment you realize you have to break something in order to get to the good stuff) and listening … trusting.  Art making is, in the end, my spiritual practice and I guess my life lesson is to just accept that.  It doesn’t have to be anything more.  Until it does!  🙂

Wishing you all a creative life!

Susan