Thursday, July 29, 2010

Places Everyone!

What is it about a place that makes it interesting?  Why do we go back again and again; whether physically or in our thoughts?  What makes that place stick out in our minds?  These images are of a few places that I have frequently visited in my life time and I keep coming back to.  They hold a place marker in my mind without any good reason.  They are just there. 

Another theme that has been in my thought pattern- Placement.  How is the decision of placement come upon?  On all levels.  It is a concept that, as an artist, is very important.  The structure should serve some purpose whether aesthetic or functional.  The decision was made, but why?  No good answers; only conjecture and suppositions on the part of the viewer.  Is it my place to tell or is it better left unsaid? 
Who can tell?

No artist desires to prove anything.
                                                                  Oscar Wilde

The Human Effect

One of the themes that I am looking at with my work is the concept of the interaction between human made objects and nature.  It is not only the effect that humans have on their natural surroundings but how the natural surroundings effect humans and their creations.  We use natural materials to create structures that are both necessary and convenient.  Mulch to create pathways and keep our gardens free of weeds; steel taken from the ground and refined to make the container that holds kitchen grease (from animal fat) behind a restaurant; sand, gravel and water that make the brick pavers to build the retention wall that keeps erosion from taking away the land that a new home will sit on.  We are truly industrious creatures.  I find the processes fascinating.  I find the places we use the processes and the processed materials fascinating.  The more I see, the more I want to learn; the more I learn, the more I want to know.

Reading List-

Hard Times- Charles Dickens

Picked up-
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and other stories- Robert Louis Stevenson
The Picture of Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde
The Spy- James Fennimore Cooper

The Picture of Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Creating Images and The Next Step

Create images that challenge the senses as well as the intellect.

I have decided to go back to school and get my masters degree.  I went to school to become an artist... I went to school after that to teach art hoping that it would pay the bills and afford me time to keep immersed in my work while I shared my experiences as an artist with new artists.  Due to the rough weather in the economy and my clear lack of being able to get past a first interview- close to 30 first interviews by now; I have decided that it must not be the right time to be a teacher.  Being an artist has been the most challenging and fulfilling thing I have undertaken.  I need that constant challenge that I get in school.  I need to take my work to the next level.  This time next year I will be gearing up for the next challenge.... just a question of where now.


It is important to say something with the work (otherwise, why do it?).  There are various themes that have been running through my head.  I hope by putting them into written form I can gain a little more perspective. 

Effect/impact that man and man-made structure has on the natural environment; also, the natural environments effect on man and man-made structure.

Placement- where we locate and why.  What effect does location have? 

Processes- natural processes, patterns, cycles, forces, etc.; man-made processes, patterns, cycles, forces, etc.

Values- generational values; why do we want?  What do we want?  Is what we want something that we need?  Does it make us better people?  Or, does it make us better than other people?

"To distinguish between the beautiful and the sublime... To distinguish between moral beauty and material beauty and to inquire what kind of beauty is proper to each of the various arts.  These are some interesting points we might take up."
James Joyce
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In Process

I have been considering the idea of a place that is in the midst of a process; a change; a transformation.  As artists we are in a constant state of transformation; change is just a part of what we do.  I feel that natural changes and alterations made by people are significant in the work I am attempting to make. 

Hard Times- Charles Dickens

"It wouldn't hurt them, Sir.  They wouldn't crush and wither, if you please, Sir.  They would be the pictures of what was very pretty and pleasant, and I would fancy..."
Sissy Jupe- Hard Times

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wild Raspberries

"I will tell you what I will do and will not do.  I will not serve that in which I no longer believe; whether it call itself my home, my fatherland or my church: And I will try to express myself in some mode of life or arts as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use, silence, exile and cunning."
James Joyce
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Reading List-

Finished Reading-
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man- James Joyce

On Hold-
The Dubliners- James Joyce

Hard Times- Charles Dickens

Environmental Interaction

I am fascinated by our natural surroundings.  The reality of existence is interesting to me.  I feel that interaction between living things and environment needs to be explored.  I find the interaction between humans and our surroundings especially interesting.  I like how we work to make sense of our environment; our attempts to control it when in the end it seems like it controls us.  It is a fragile coexistence. 

I have tried to be focused on specifics in my work over the last few years and there is a place for that within the larger picture of what I want my career as an artist to be.  Right now I am seeing a larger direction or angle to my work.  I have been very narrow in the past and have not been able to look beyond the work and what I thought it should be.  Maybe it is time to let the work be what It is and focus more on the long term ideas... what do I find interesting about our existence and how do I translate that through a visual image?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

When you go somewhere what do you do to the place?  How do you interact with it?  What is left behind by your presence?  Is there a place that has not felt the physical touch of man? 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Found This Place.....


.....and I feel the need to keep going back.  It is like every time I go I find something new and more interesting than the last time I visited.  I am satisfied with the images from this place but I feel that there is more to it than what I am coming up with.  This might take some time.

Reading List-

Was Reading-
How the Other Half Lives- Jacob Riis
I put it down for a while because I just didn't find it that interesting right now.  I feel like I am not in a place mentally to read non-fiction at this time.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and The Dubliners- James Joyce

Picked Up-
A collection of titles by Charles Dickens;
Oliver Twist
Great Expectations
Bleak House
Nicholas Nickleby
Hard Times
A Christmas Carol, The Chimes and A Cricket on the Hearth
David Copperfield

Monday, July 5, 2010

Where Are We? Why Are We?

Patterns, shapes, lines, form; placement, format, representation, relationships.  Where we put things.  We build, shape and form our surroundings to fit our needs.  External forces act upon our creations.  We react to the forces to preserve our creation.  The forces can be natural- out of our control; not of our making as human beings.  The forces can be synthetic- of our own doing; man made.  The places in this series represent man altered land forms; places of our own creation that survive because we do.  We make them and preserve them for our own purposes.   

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Where Are We?

Another location.  The relationship between man made structure and natural forces.  How do the changes we make impact our surroundings?  How are the changes we make effected by our surroundings? 

The place was there before we were.  When we got there we decided that this place could be used for this purpose.  We went in and made changes to the place.  We dug; we filled in; we built; we tore down; we rebuilt; we laid roads, railroads, etc.... the original place still exists and it can be seen if we look closely.
Change happens but, why does it happen?  How is the decision come to for a specific place to be changed?  What goes into that decision?  What is taken into consideration when the decision is made?  Why was that put there and not somewhere else?
The way our places are laid out is an interesting puzzle.  The thought process is interesting and I want to find out more.  It deserves investigation.

Reading List-

Reading Now-
How the Other Half Lives- Jacob Riis