Category Archives: Artist’s Blog

Blogging about the process and inspiration

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

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

Parts and Thoughts

Some days, I just like looking at the bits and bobs that I’ve collected for my work.  I arrange them for different perspectives and just stare.   Baldy ended up with a new “do” and became “a still life” (see Gallery for more detailed information about the finished piece).  The boy is in a piece, but I’m not happy with it … must stare and contemplate.

workbench and parts

workbench and parts

 

a still life

a still life

boy, drying in a jar

boy, drying in a jar

“Discardia” exhibit a smashing success!

Well, the “Discardia” exhibit at CK Gallery in Oakland was a hit.  Charlotte Kubiak, the gallery founder and owner, received rave reviews for her selection of artists and works.  And personally, 5 of 9 pieces (four of them are shown below) sold.  I’m so grateful and honored by the pieces that have gone on to live with others.   In order, they are: Dorothy, Gingerbread House, Porcelain Beauty and Carmen.

The Storm, then the Mess, then CREATIVITY

I spent 5 blissful weeks getting ready for the “Discardia” exhibit at CK Gallery in Oakland (you should check out the gallery – super cool).  Then I scooped up my work, 9 pieces in all, and dropped them off.  Exciting, nerve wracking and a relief.  I was really nervous about Carmen and Dorothy because they felt like a departure for me, but they make me grin so I took them anyway.  Charlotte, the gallery owner, accepted them all.  Whew!

Then, I came home and saw my empty studio and I felt like I’d just sent a kid off to college.  Nothing was sitting on my table waiting to be finished, attended to or anything!  It took about 5 days to even get back into my studio.  An artist friend told me to sit my butt down and just do anything, even arrange my table, because the juices would begin to flow again.  “So”, I thought with a tortured mind, “I’ll sit there even if it takes 8 hours for something to happen”.  Thankfully, handling all the bits and bobs left over from my creative tornado had me experimenting again.  Then, someone gave me a paper bag full of cool wooden “stuff” and the process begins again.

Just when I think I’m depleted, inspiration happens.  It didn’t hurt that I attended the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco.  What a talent!  What a WILD talent!  My brain is buzzing and it’s time to start creating once more.

I’m off to my studio!  Stay tuned for something – I never know what!

Flea Market Finds

I absolutely LOVE flea markets!  I never know what I’ll find and the joy is in the discovery.

Over time, I’ve tried to take pictures of my loot as it comes in the door of my studio and before I start to get creative.  Here are some of my favorite hauls …

Antique sand molds – Marshall Elevator Company – late 1800s

Funky Random Bits

Spooky Bad Hair Doll – eventually became “Spice Girl” (see my Portfolio)

Doll Exhibit, ACCI Gallery, March 211

ACCI Gallery, Berkeley, CA Doll Exhibit

I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in the Doll Exhibit at ACCI Gallery, March 2011.   The experience was a new one for me, both exciting and edgy.  To see my work displayed for the first time was surreal!  It was a great learning experience and only urged me forward on my path of doll and assemblage making. 

The exhibit is closed, but my dolls will return by the end of June and will be available for purchase at the Gallery.  Here’s their information:

ACCI Gallery, 1652 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709, (510) 843-2527  www.accigallery.com