Thursday, July 23, 2009

49-54 and Thinking About Art

The Sign Says Yes
pen and ink, Pitt Artist Pen, gold paint pen, 5x8"
This and all following pictures are from my copy of Wreck This Journal, by Keri Smith

This is what my sign says. What I need to hear. What I need to think. No comes too easily to me.

For instance, I keep wanting to not count these Wreck This Journal pages as art. I don't want to count them in my creative challenge because I think I am cheating, but I am not. I keep thinking that all of my creative challenge pieces should be something to sell, but you know what? That's not good for my creativity. It's stifling. Which does not help the YES that I need.Ivy Likes to Paint, Just Not With Her Tongue.
tongue, crayola marker, pitt artist pen

My "no" wants to say that this is not art.

Lollipop Trees Directed by Ivy
Pitt Artist Pen

That this is not good enough or finished enough to be considered part of my creative challenge.

Pitt Artist Pen, hilighter, rollerball pen, diptych

My NO likes to say this a lot. This is one of my NO's favorite phrases. The other being, "I can't."
Time Passes in Moments
Pitt artist pen, diptych

My NO wants to say that this is just hatch marks so it couldn't possible be art, but then my YES (see first picture) reminds me that some of my favorite artists do not use figurative art. Or they use materials that will deteriorate. Or they write with chalk on public sidewalks. Or they factor graphic lines and casual marks into their work on a regular basis. Or repetition functions as a poetic metaphor.

The truth is, that this Wreck This Journal is about breaking out of the boundaries that we all set for ourselves. It is about taking chances and trying new things that we are not comfortable with. It is about experimenting and failing and making messes that we would never make if we were trying to make Art with a capital "A". Art for commerce. Art that other people will look at and say, now that's Art.
Night and Day
Pitt Artist Pen, Pen, Watercolor, Gel Pen, shower scrubbie. Diptych

Take a look at how I have squooshed all these pieces into one post, although there is something to say about each and every one. There is something to use in my "real" art. This is the mind working, the subconscious, happenstance, experimentations.

This is what art is about, not always about creating a perfect picture or something on canvas or something with masterful technique and craft.

Where is it going? That is the question, here. What path would this piece take me down? What can I utilize here in the next piece I do. Also, it serves as a survey, almost.

What is here in me? What are my thoughts? What are the marks I keep coming back to? What are the colors? What images, what themes, pull me again and again, and why do they?

This is about the exploration of the self, I believe, at least for me.

I don't know if I will ever do anything again with any of these pieces. they could stay stuck in my Wreck This Journal forever, mouldering away, for all I know, after visiting the book club.

But then again, they could lead to my next breakthrough. They could become the new connection. They could tell me what I should be doing with my life.

They've already gotten me thinking.

What about you? What is your current work saying to you about you? How can you break out of your comfort zone and travel to somewhere new?


Beverley Baird said...

Yes to so much that you say Rowena.
I was feeling bad a while back that I was not producing an art piece a day. I had joined your challenge and I believe in it. But then I realized that I was being creative every day, that I was thinking about or planning ways to be creative.
The WTJ club has really impacted me - as I am sure it has everyone else - in many ways. I have started mini projects, I am taking on challenges and doing the Artist's Way.
So thank you for your help in all this.
And yes - it is all art and I love your work.

Jamie Ridler said...

Yes! What a beautiful word. What beautiful art from beautiful you. WTJ is a great NO-buster!

magpie said...

I love this post - wonderful pages... especially time passing...

gemma said...

Great sign!

Anonymous said...

Totally awesome artwork!!
I especially love your NO-page. What a great idea!!
Keep wrecking!!

Melinda said...

wow..I love your artwork...the YES sign page is beautiful! LOTS of good thoughts has definitely got me thinking a lot as well!

Lawendula said...

The YES page is exactly what I'm dreaming of as a swap page! :)

Michelle | When I Grow Up Coach said...

First off, I want to take your "Yes" page and make it the cover of my book. The strong word & the gold would certainly make me pick it up much more often! It looks just beautiful.

It was interesting for me to read about what you considered "counting" & "not counting" as art. I don't consider myself an artist at all, so this whole book is a masterpiece to me!

WrightStuff said...

The yes page is so beautiful. I kept returning to look at it - even showed by boyfriend! Have found the same as you that wrecking is teaching me to not worry about how good the page is, it doesn't have to be something to frame or sell. It just has to be enjoyable and make you want to look at it again some time!

Kim said...

Really wonderful post. Good questions, interesting thoughts, I found myself nodding in agrement. Greta pages. I especially like YES!and time passing.

judi said...

YES YES YES !! super page

I still am lusting for one of your Travel pages..please let me know if you sell them?

Grammy said...

You have to look at this as a creative adventure that can be redone at any time. Glue Yes over all the no's when you change your mind. paint and repaint. Just enjoy your life and all the fun of wrecking.

Barbara Martin (@Reptitude) said...

So happy to see you lead with that glorious word YES! Yes to everything here, even the negative thoughts, the hard parts, it's all part of the process of making art and making your way again and again to that YES place. Every tiny step forward counts, paying attention to it counts, doing it counts. Sharing it counts! It ALL counts! Keep on saying yes and keep on wrecking!!!!!

Hybrid J said...

Beautiful pages and fantastic questions to ponder on ... Well Done!

Sharon said...

Wow! You have a lot of thought and art in this post! I'm not an artist - so seeing posts like this of 'real' artists is amazing to me!

Kavindra said...

Yes. And not just yes, but a big, exuberant, joyful, all out YES!

Yes to all your art, but esp yes to lollipop trees. Can you send me some seeds?

Cheryl said...

Now I'm regretting my decision to get the other book by Kerri Smith. Wreck This Journal is certainly on my list of must haves! Thanks for sharing.

Leah said...

Oh, I know that "No" voice too well. But I'm voting for your "Yes" voice with all my heart.

Kirby3131 said...

I love the header on your blog - I loved it so much that I totally copied it. I'm going to post the picture in my post for tomorrow, our last week. I want to thank you for being a part of WTJ because I have truly enjoyed your journal, your artwork and your blog.

Kristin - The Goat

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