Showing posts with label handmade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label handmade. Show all posts

December 29, 2013

the secret life of walter mitty & my year of artwork in review


Walter Mitty is an interesting guy. 

I have to say I loved the movie. I saw it last night. Although I've heard complaints that it's yet another remake of a perfectly good movie, which I'd usually agree with, (I didn't know it was a remake, but in order to give it a proper opinion I found the 1947 Danny Kaye version online and watched it today) in this case I much prefer the remake. Although the original was silly and very entertaining in a 1947 Danny Kaye kind of way, the newer movie had much more depth. Completely subjective, of course, as every movie hits you just at that certain moment of your life. It helped a lot that I have very fond memories of my brother's Stretch Armstrong. We also reference Pony Boy on a daily basis in my house, and my husband and I just had a conversation an hour before about living in the moment which the movie is all about. It was inspiring, made me want to take an airplane someplace.

The reason I mention this here is that it also made me think a lot about my artwork. This past year my artwork has been all about being in the moment. 

I've attempted for the first time to go with the flow and allow the materials to dictate my process as opposed to the other way around. I used to take a lot of time mentally planning what my next painting series would be. I'd gather all my reference pictures that I've been gathering for years. I'd contemplate what worked and what didn't work from the last series and what was I really trying to say, etc.

This past year I scrapped all of that. It's been all about using readily available materials that I find interesting, working on a much smaller scale, making handmade things that literally fit in my hand, using what I'm good at and what I enjoy, fine tuning what interests me visually, going back to the basics of color and line and texture. It's been fun, and a lot like watching Walter Mitty dream about something so much that it becomes a reality.

Being an artist is all about this fine tuning of what you dream about, what your art can be, what you want it to do for you or say about you...


There have been times when I've questioned why some of the artwork I love to look at is so opposite of what I make myself. Part of that has led me to dream bigger dreams, and not get caught up in my own bad habits. If I'm not enjoying my work I can't expect anyone else to and if I'm not totally interested and excited by it no one else will be either.

So, one of my new year's resolutions this year is to see these projects through even if they don't seem like they're going anywhere. Keep on working...until they become something I want them to.

Here's my year of artwork in review:

 mixed media collages and dioramas. some of these you've seen and others you haven't

watercolor collages on handmade paper
some experiments with spray foam and paint. you'll definitely be seeing more of this soon
more mixed media collages

 the beginnings of my newest cross stitcheries

laundry meat rope


inspired by laundry meat rope

one of my favorites from this group

this group of watercolors was a new approach for me; instead of fulfilling the shape, I forced myself to only partially draw each form leaving your eye to fill them in.

although these pieces feel more like an exercise than a finished work, I'm enjoying their cartoony-bodily-function look

once I get back to my large canvases I think these will be a big influence

it's amazing how simple they look but how difficult they were to make because my natural inclination is to neaten and finish every edge. so to leave the shapes open was challenging. in the end the ones I thought were the worst while making them, I like the best now, like these two