Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What I'm currently working on

Recession-era art making, it's a fascinating adventure. Well, long story short, I picked up and moved from California to Brooklyn, New York, only to move back home again 5 months later (that's an entire post in and of itself!) Well while I was living there and paying an exorbitant amount of rent for my cozy apartment and making barely enough at a small health food store to pay my bills, my usual art creation fare--large canvases with oodles of brightly colored acrylic paint--was entirely out of my price range. But one of the things I love about life is adapting to circumstances and learning something new about one's capabilities in the process.
I had 2 huge pads of watercolor paper with me, and I began painting watercolor and gouache faces to cut out. By painting faces rather than entire compositions, I was able to create all sorts of little characters using less paint and paper.
When I returned to California, I came to appreciate the beauty of its abundant natural landscapes even more. I envisioned creating lots of little faces and placing them in natural settings around the Bay Area. As I prepare for this project, I've been studying some of the artists who created "earthworks" in the 1970s. Creating earth-based art is a performance in and of itself, and I'm particularly fascinated by the work of Ana Mendieta. The art she created--carving her silhouette into grass, earth, and rock--was marvelous on its own, but the photographs and video of her creative process are equally inspiring. I'm excited to take my artwork out of a traditional exhibition space, it's something I've never done before.
This country and the world are experiencing extraordinarily hard times right now. So many people are out of work, losing their homes, and having to cut back in all areas of life. It's times like these when we're forced to meet our spirit, our resilience, and reconsider what matters most in our lives. It's a time to go back to basics, and find new ways of living and working. I'm definitely feeling the pinch, but I'm up to the challenge.