Today I had a lot of “shoulds” swimming around my head as I tried to figure out how to tackle my to do list and opted to go for a walk after I had breakfast to help clear my head. It didn’t take long for me to come home with a renewed sense of spirit.
While I haven’t been as productive doing art as I would have like, I would catch myself over the past few months doing some sketch journaling during some of my meanderings as the winter turned to spring in the Bay Area. Though I haven’t been posting them here. It made me think of the old saying of if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear, does it make a noise? Is an artist still an artist is she doesn’t share what she has been doing on a blog?
I have been spending the past few weeks doing a lot of reflecting as well as organizing my creative space better as I gear up for 2013. I felt a little concerned that maybe art-wise I am losing some of the momentum I created last year in doing art, yet I am reminded that sometimes it’s good to take a break and refill the creative well. I did go on a few art dates (a term coined by Julia Cameron who wrote the Artist’s Way) last week that helped reinforce this.
Last Sunday, I went to the Oakland Museum to check out the we/customize collaboration project that celebrates the maker culture, especially those that take what is mass produced and add their own creative spin to it.
The day I went, they were showcasing Scraper Bikes with Tyrone Stevenson, Jr. of the Original Scraper Bike Team. I didn’t know what a Scraper Bike was, but learned they are personally tricked up bikes that use spray paint, foil, colorful tape and even old candy wrappers to decorate the bike frame and rims and found inspiration from Scraper cars.
It was definitely hands on as we were encouraged to decorate the rims they had provided as well as design our own scraper bikes by adding color to templates. Some brought their own bikes to work on as well.
In addition, I enjoyed hanging out in the café enjoying live jazz where I got inspired by the group at the next table sketching. I didn’t bring my sketch book, but it reminded me that, gee I could do that!
I also got to soak in the wide variety of exhibits from Native American craftsmanship to Modern art.
Then on Thursday night at the California Academy of Sciences, where from 6-9 pm they open their doors for “music, creatures and cocktails,” I volunteered with Radical Mycology at the How-to NightLife.
There was a wide variety of DIY opportunities from learning how to DJ, metal stamping, silk-screening, knitting and with Radical Mycology, how to cultivate your own edible mushrooms. I helped participants inoculate prepared straw with oyster mushroom spores and create kits to take home to grow their own oyster mushrooms.
During breaks, I explored the museum and got inspired by fellow DIYers as well as the many exhibits there. It was interesting to see people walking around a science museum with cocktails. Wandering around the aquarium hearing ambient music and observing people chilling with the sea creatures added an element of surrealism to the evening.
Ever since I began this blog with Shadow Play, I found myself over the past few months taking pictures of shadows as they played around the wall or on my journal. It seemed to be a fitting way to start the year as the days get longer.
Happy New Year!
During the past week I added to the collage intermittently in between last minute holiday shopping and celebrations. Seemed that each step I took lead me to another:
I added another layer of red, yellow and blue paint after the initial collaged layer.
Then I cut up small squares of tissue paper onto which I drew 20 random doodles. The only consistency was that the drawings began and exited halfway on all four sides.
Afterwards, I randomly pieced together the squares and created one huge doodle. Think it’s the biggest one I’ve done. I then thickened the lines. Now am pondering what to do next.
I must confess that I am having a challenge keeping up with the momentum I started in November when I did art everday and posted about it.
This is the time of year when I do a review and reflection of the year and tend to want to do some hibernating. More of a time of being than doing.
But while I was going through some old art I found a base painting I did in primary colors and realized that I could add collage to it. I added a layer of texture and forgot how relaxing allowing myself to play with the materials without having an end result in mind can be. It also helped me get out of my head!
On Saturday I decided to take a lino cut workshop with Betsy Cordes of February 13 Creative at the Makeshift Society. It was also a good opportunity for me to check out the cool co-working space in Hayes Valley, that caters to creatives.
After showing us the basics, Betsy encouraged us to work at our own pace and learn from each other as we all had different skill levels. It was set up more as a quilting bee or rather like a “lino bee” than a class as you can see on Betsy’s February 13 Creative Blog.
I had done some lino cuts as a teenager, but it had been a while since I played around with it. While I did come prepared with a drawing and I started carving it out on the linoleum on Saturday, I didn’t get it finished until today. I found myself wanting to take my time with the carving. Seems when I would try and go faster, I could feel the carving tool slip and try to cause an unwanted gash. A good lesson around learning to be patient with myself and the creative process.