“If we’re not having fun, we shouldn’t do it,” a dear, well loved friend of mine said ever so many years ago. I’ve kept that as one of the things my inner voice says as I play in the studio. I’ve taken a bit of a right turn lately with both subject matter, with technique, and have been pushing away from being an adult in the studio where art creation is concerned.
Plus, I got a dog.
My dog has nosed her way in, whether I wanted “dog” to be a part of my art vocabulary or not. We’ll see if she makes it into more than the two paintings she’s in now. I tend to focus on people and characters, so I guess now she qualifies. She’s a rescue, a Pomeranian, and is the silliest thing, and sweet and entirely devoted to me. Nothing better.
I’ve focused into two directions. One direction is the fun of collage/painting using some of my own childhood drawings that my mother returned to me after over 50 years. The characters were not in scale, didn’t relate to each other on the page, floated, fell off the edge, were simple and yet have their own style even at 3 years old. That moment combined with a trip to Seattle Art Museum when the Miro exhibit was there, opened up the fun box for my paintings! Boing! A dive into some other modern 20th c. artists: Klee, Chagall, Kandinsky netted some other ways to think about composition, color and form.
The second direction is part scrounging, part creating. I love second hand stores, antique stores and estate sales. Always have. I have a friend who has coined the term TOTHing. The Thrill Of The Hunt. Nice. That’s the initial phase. Then back in the studio, putting the finds together to make characters is a physical engineering challenge, as well as an inner creative conversation that begins with the words, “What if…?” What if he’s short and fat, not tall? Can I give him wheels? Is he shy or forward? What if she’s from Hawaii? Does she need bling or bone beads?
And these two directions and study have given me a new way to think about the purpose of art, or my purpose in making art — to delight! To have fun. I’m not a stand up comedienne by any means in personal speech delivery, but the thing that I admire about performing comedians is that they see life from their own unique perspective and then they share it with us. It’s delightful, it’s fun, and when it sticks in enough minds it becomes a part of our shared culture. When it’s full of humanity, it can be therapeutic and full of insight.
So this is my contribution for now. I’m so glad to share my fun with you!
Life is good.
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