Thursday, October 2, 2014

Waiting for Something to Say

I've been waiting for something to say.  I've been absolutely certain that the work that I've been creating would lead to something to say, but that really hasn't proven to be the case.  I feel like Joseph in the Dangling Man again.  Work has been different.  Studio has felt freer.  While I have in the past spent much of my time in studio with preconceived notions of the pieces that I would create, I have been stuck in a conundrum.  None of the work which I have been creating has any pre-determined answers.  I've finally reached a point where I've freed myself from the necessity of having an answer and that, ultimately, is a good thing, although it does leave me in a bit more of a bind when I'm trying to figure out what kind of shows to prepare and for whom.

When I speak with my good friend Julie, she has everything figured out.  She understands her concepts front and back; the references that might be conjured, and every element of visual fodder that exists within her work.  I don't.  I have no idea.  When I attempt to understand how someone is going to see my work then it merely gets me thinking in a manner which makes me construct things specifically so that people will understand my work.  This seems inherently bad.  And so I wonder if people don't just create from different perspectives much like they view from different perspectives.  This is obvious.  Of course we would, but it seems that when you go to graduate school the intent is to learn how to mold your work with a viewer in mind and how to build multifarious works which speak to several different levels with every piece of work.

I don't know what I'm doing though.  It seems incredibly frustrating.  I am left with images that are burned into my mind, characters that I obsess over, and systems with and without function.

It's also been suggested to me that my artwork should be split up into that which is for commercial work and that which is for fine art.  I have so much trouble with the idea of it.  My illustrative work informs my fine art and my fine art informs my illustrative work.  I've always wanted to make work that functioned in both spheres, not in just one.   Perhaps I'm just confused.  Here's my opportunity to let you all know that I am immensely confused.  I am, however, very pleased with working, being in the work, and feeling the rhythms of creativity that keep me moving.

I've studied a great deal over the past few years, tried to remain present within my work, and mindful of my surroundings, but I still do not seem to have any idea of what I am doing before I make things.  At first I am only attempting to make something that is stuck in my head and I don't know that that accounts for anything to say.

With that all said, here are some of the projects that I have been working on most recently.  I am super stoked about all of them.

The first series that I have been working on is for the All Small show coming up at Sohn's Gallery in Bangor, Me.  I am one of 28 artists producing a total of 84 pieces.  Each piece is six by six.  I chose to create each of these pieces surrounding a plane motif which I discovered while sitting at a local coffee shop looking out there great picture window.  The power lines across the streets framed the landing planes perfectly and I haven't been able to escape the rudimentary plane silhouette since.

 I have been working on a segmented series of vertical patterns and city scape paintings which I most recently have started to combine.  The intention of the segmented piece is to finish it and have it occupy the Space Gallery window.  Every time that I apply for that window space I am told that the gallery is looking for something that says "Maine" more.  I feel like the city scapes automatically say Maine and I am also quite interested in communicating the different spaces within my city in very small segments of the city.  The two seem to make sense with each other.

The last series that I am working on is a stereo train which I am creating on different boards about a foot tall.  The lengths of the boards vary, as do the styles of drawings and painting.  The idea of the trainset is that it will span one small segment of the room near the top much like an actual train set that used to run around the top of the Boxcar, a restaurant where I used to stop with my old friend Kelly after we had hiked at Magnussen Park in Seattle.

I'm pleased to be in the midst of all of this work.  I wish I understood more what I was doing, but I imagine that I will find the meaning somewhere on the other end.  Hopefully at least admitting my lack of intent will help me to find some.


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