Y2 Art Resolutions: #24-The suma in submission

Y2 Art Resolutions is the second year of an evolving resolution to elevate every day by looking at art and creativity as a life’s philosophy.

Over the past few days, I’ve learned that anxiety can open some of the deeper wells of creativity. In trying to stare down what’s locking up my mind at the moment, my brain has no extra juice to be over ambitious in judging or evaluating what I see and imagine. in a way, it’s like a fog has lifted. There is a new freedom and playfulness in what emerges. I am fresh and open minded. I see and enjoy the delight of mental novelty.

Today, I had plans to spend time in Dog-in-the-Hole Studio creating some specific and fun items for Christmas. But on the heels of the geisha, I wanted to see what would come in intuitive drawing, and for 3 hours I found out.

I like the idea of working with Japanese design and aesthetics. After letting my hand go creating the intuitive rendering, I began thinking of all things Japanese. To my amusement,  a suma appeared. I enjoyed seeing a bit of Picasso in the line and interpretation. The work was absolute flow. Periodically, I would laugh out loud and to myself. There were no difficult decisions. Everything seemed to resolve itself.

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Y2 Art Resolutions: #23-The hidden geisha

Y2 Art Resolutions is the second year of an evolving resolution to elevate every day by looking at art and creativity as a life’s philosophy.
In the midst of the arctic blast and waiting on ambiguity to settle, I am seeking solace and escape in the studio. Back to the zen if intuitive drawing. When coloring the original, I thought an abstracted rose was surfacing.


But as I painted, it seemed to disappear. I turned and turned the paper. Finally, a kimono stared back at me. Pattern, rhythm, and an order stepped out from the chaos. Complex but order nonetheless. Her posture speaks to me this morning as much about snow shoveling as it does dancing with a parasol.

And I am not done.

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Y2 Art Resolutions: #22 Tulips

Y2 Art Resolutions is the second year of an evolving resolution to elevate every day by looking at art and creativity as a life’s philosophy.

The first official order for Mt. Muchmore Studio Eco-Art was received about 2 weeks ago. 4 decanters. Two had lilac designs, one had Queen Anne’s Lace and chicory, and this one–tulips. Wasn’t sure how I would translate tulips to this medium, but was surprised by the end product. Reminds me a bit of Merrimekko. At any rate, they are on their way to California.

I have learned that the decanters I have already made are being used for olive oil, salad vinegar, liquor and wine. Perfect. This winter, I will begin casting ceramic bottle stoppers in the Muchmore style. Besides finding a new life for beautiful discarded bottles, the whimsy of the projects and the design challenges are flow makers. Love, love, love working out the challenges. When you have specific limitations in material shapes, textures, sizes, and color, getting to the final product that delights you takes creativity and a certain tenacity. On glass, brushes perform differently. The paint viscosity requires another set of decisions, or at least, considerations. And what about color properties when a translucent paint is applied to a colored surface? All manner of logistics and creative gymnastics come into play.

Although the sole purpose of my work is not the eco-focus, I do love it when an idea comes to fruition and is multi-dimensional in meaning.

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Y2 Art Resolutions: #21-The lilac bottle

Y2 Art Resolutions is the second year of an evolving resolution to elevate every day by looking at art and creativity as a life’s philosophy.

Yes. Today is the 15th of December. At first blush, it would appear that I am rubbish at resolutions. I concede that 21 days of resolving to elevate 365 isn’t impressive. I could, of course, blow lots of smoke and inflate the importance of the 21 I’ve shared but smoking isn’t healthy (in any realm). I could parade a long list of excuses and distractions. (This year has been exceptional, in that regard.) Again, I will not. Because the truth is, I have probably made a healthy dent in the yearly percentage of creative acts/days–but I have not written about them.  And so, though I’ve missed your comments and interactions, suffice it to say “it was just one of those years.”

In the interest of catching up , at least  a bit, I have been working on some commission  pieces. These decanters have been flow invoking and a bit imp-inspiring. This one is inspired by lilacs. Everything organically emerged and grew. I particularly like the chartreuse stems and pale aqua leaves. Among the predominantly lilac blossoms are pale pink and blue petals. I love the bit of whimsy and the tad of modern pattern. For your distraction, I present the Muchmore Studios “LaFox Lilac” decanter–part of the studio’s eco-arts and crafts. Like I said — a bit of whimsy.

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Y2 Art Resolutions: #20-The Sumac Carved

Y2 Art Resolutions is the second year of an evolving resolution to elevate every day by looking at art and creativity as a life’s philosophy.

Study 3: Sumac

Very near the beautiful fenced garden at Moon Lake there are sumac. One of the most dramatic and my favorite midwestern plant/bush/tree. An obvious subject for my “location” carving. The tile demonstrates a bit more control with the tools and imagination in how to approach the decorative elements. For me, there is an African flavor to both the color and design.

I find contemplating the tiles as a series pleases me. Thank you, Judy, for cutting many pieces of pine for me to take back to the Muchmore Studio. Though I am loathe to admit it, I covet her chop saw. Looking forward to more experimentation and honing my skills soon. A reminder that new skills require the brain to more thoroughly engage as well as build new neural pathways–part of the recipe for flow. I encourage you to take up the knife — in the service of art.

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Y2 Art Resolutions: #19-The First Cut is the Deepest

imageY2 Art Resolutions is the second year of an evolving resolution to elevate every day by looking at art and creativity as a life’s philosophy.

Could not resist the homage to Cheryl Crow in today’s title. Actually as I continued carving at Art Camp, I found that the process was very nuanced. The grain of the wood, presence of knots, and type of cut desired requires a patient and thoughtful hand.

My second carving continued the theme of “place.” This time depicting Queen Anne’s Lace and chicory. I found the Dremel tool useful in creating the blossom centers of the QAL. As with the last block, this one was an engrossing exercise in creative problem solving.

 

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Y2 Art Resolutions: #18-Lost in Wood

Y2 Art Resolutions is the second year of an evolving resolution to elevate every day by looking at art and creativity as a life’s philosophy.

Art Retreat. August has historically been Art Camp month. The Muchmore Pie and Art Festival. Last year was the first in six years when the three original participants did not meet. This year, minus one of the originals, Art Camp became an impromptu Art Retreat. After a week and a half helping to close my Mother’s house and prepare it for sale, a retreat was exactly what I needed. I have found art to be therapeutic or, at the least, a healing outlet for other losses or periods of grieving or rebuilding in the past. On the heels of my Mom’s death, I have been creatively prolific. Perhaps I have had a greater need than at other times. Much of the tone, technique, and expression of this creativity has been different and surprising.

Tenants of Art Camp. There are basic “givens” at art camp. There will be fresh pie made and served. There will be wine and other libations (Patron shots are becoming a tradition). There will be deep philosophical conversations and when held at Moon Lake, ther will be long walks in forests seeping with the scent of pine and sand. We will see art and other beautiful inspiring things. And we will create, often sharing new techniques or exploring them together.

Carving. Camp Hostess Judy introduced me to the Dremel rotary hand tool. Ah, power tools. Judy planned to use it in carving blocks for a project. I had no preconceived notions of what I would make. I only knew that I have wanted to carve for a long time. So, I now own a Dremel. In the course of experimentation, I realized I wanted a hand carved look for the designs I was creating. Judy pulled out her hand carving set and I got completely engrossed in learning how to manage both the tool and the wood. I will look into videos and books now that I am home, but the experience reminded me of the joy and exhilaration of experimenting and learning by doing–identifying problems and working through the process of solving them. It is a different kind of knowledge.

Wood Tiles. Clay tiles have been on my mind for some time. I have had bas relief designs just waiting for a medium and wood was at my hands. Having recently watched the “Craft in America” episode on how “place” informs the work of many artists, I have been very focused on drawing design inspiration from places that are important to me. Flora has been top of mind and I have found abstracting natures shapes a pond colors totally absorbing. This was how I came to begin my series of carved tiles beginning with a design inspired by both morning glory and geranium blossoms and plants. When it was complete, I sprayed it with a gloss sealer. The perfect finish to pump up the acrylic surface painting and natural wood grain.

And then, I carved on . . .

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