Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Western NY Landscape 4 Ceramic Relief 2 1/2x3 1/2_2009
Western NY Landscape 6 Ceramic Relief 3 1/2x5_2009
If someone every finds my pottery shard or better yet, one of my reliefs intact, I want them to see color. Color is what I want to show someone in the future. I put color into my time capsule. Color is what gives me hope, colored light. This is the function of stained glass in churches. The pictures are my kaleidoscopes but the colors aren't randomly thrown down like pick-up sticks. They are attached to things; they infuse things. They are purposeful. They say, "I hope you find beauty around you, too. Here is some in case you don't."
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Western NY Landscape 1_Ceramic Relief_3 1/2 x 5 1/2_2009
Western NY Landscape 2 Ceramic Relief 3 1/2x5 1/2_2009
Western NY Landscape 3 Ceramic Relief 3 1/2x6_2009
I'm really loving making these ceramic reliefs. The layers provide a new way for handling space that is literal as well as perceptual. The clay is physically in different points in space and the glazing and overall reading of the image work like painting. I think I'm hooked. I like the shape and edges of the clay slabs, my "canvas", to be irregular. They feel natural like a stone worn by water. I don't want a machine edge because landscape imagery is about the earth.
Ana Medieta (1948-1985) is an artist whom I greatly admire. She worked with nature in a more physical way than I. Exiled from Cuba living in America from the age of thirteen onward, she felt the loss of her homeland and had a keen sense of identity and personal connection with land. This as well as gender became the content of her art, performances and photographs in which she interacted with nature by making body prints, for example, often nude. For any of you readers who think this is silly and anyone can do it, you are missing the point. She created poignant metaphors by doing things that were physical, real, and dreamlike enough to dramatically convey her feelings. The art goes beyond a narrative to convey experiences that are powerfully wordless.
I'm involved with nature and the nonverbal and I look at her work and think that maybe I should make something like that because I intensely identify with it. The thing is that I love to paint/make things that I see around me. It doesn't matter how abstract they end up being, the impulse starts with something I see. I notice light, color, space, scale throughout the day but certain situations strike me and become the impetus for work. I might use a particular situation and go directly from that but also it is the accumulated perceptions in my visual memory that are called upon AS I work. Combine these visual memories with what is happening on the canvas/slab of clay/whatever medium, and art happens. It is kind of like cooking a favorite recipe you know by heart. The particular freshness of the ingredients on hand, the cooking utensils, and sometimes humidity like with bread, can effect the outcome. You remember the seasonings and look to create the same smell, taste, and texture you remember. There is a lot going on. This isn't Hamburger Helper I'm talking about. Then there sometimes is the frustration that the thing you are making doesn't resemble what you remember. Take the Twinkie. Stay with me here; I'm not digressing. I recently had a Twinkie for the first time since I was a kid, i.e. a LONG time ago. It was not the fluffy, fresh, amazing cream filled cake I remember. It tasted like it was from a factory, a plastic packing-peanut excuse for cake. That is like what happens on canvas when the art magic isn't happening. I can only hope I am getting a little magic into these baked paintings. I love Ana Mendieta but I also love my EASY-BAKE-Oven, my kiln. May chocolate seven-layer cakes, not Twinkies come out.