I did my best to scout the neighborhood when I was sixteen, finding a quick route versus a scenic one. I dream often of the downhill slope from my childhood house. I moved thirty miles north a few years later, and had to approach the same city from a different perspective. I fought to keep my old routes, though it would take me twice as long to get anywhere in my old neighborhood. Months passed, and I finally began venturing. I asked the map for directions. I took the highway through the middle of the city, and not the one that cradles.
I bought a new book as a reward for purchasing materials and tools for my workshop last month. It sat in my bookbag for over three weeks until I cracked it open yesterday afternoon. Two and a half articles deep, and this anthology suggests that the next tangible leap for art-as-research is within the realm of art therapy. The linear quality of such thinking makes me wonder if anything has changed since the book’s 2013 publication date. I spend another ten minutes looking at the same fifteen schools that offer PhD programs for studio practice.
Earlier that morning, I moved my loom aside and cleared a space on the wall for another magazine collage project. I took a National Geographic, tore off the first page and slathered smaller bites all over the canvas. I made it halfway through that page when I met a new visual research project. Quick, three thoughts -
What happens when the linear form of previewing time is flattened into the same plane of reference.
A simple collage project using a single magazine turns into an entire research enquiry on time travel…
A stop motion video of each page used in chronology! A time lapse of the overall picture field changing!
And a final, fourth thought: what does it mean to catalog the spaces in between?
What does it mean for one to dream of a wrecked car being towed away? And the follow up: what does it mean when said person wakes to a fresh perspective? Hard anger leaves little room for improvement or perspective. It clouds everything out and perpetual movement forward does little to let. It is easy to believe there is nobody else. However, rest and good food and drinking water all lend to a healthy habit of letting. Stretching for a few minutes each morning couldn’t hurt.
Funny how “let” and the Arabic word for “no” sound so similar with my Midwestern accent.
The slow descent into warmer days has begun and I’m sweating it out in studio. Transitioning from a blocked creative into a confident one, thanks to The Artist’s Way . I’m currently on week eleven out of twelve, and it’s been a journey. I’ve pored over many creative self-help books and podcasts these last few years. Moving through The Artist’s Way has helped me shift my grinding gears. Doing my best to merge the self I knew in college and the one I’ve grown in to, here in sunny SoCal. Balance is the hard think.
The other day I hooked up my electric ‘62 Singer sewing machine from a thrift store, and tried it out for the first time. There was rust and grit and dust in the gears and the belt. Pressing down on the foot, the machine whined and limped and fought me. I squeezed sewing machine oil on everything I could see, which helped a bit. I tried wiping everything down to clean it. Still, the machine bucked and refused. It’s probably been neglected for years - I myself have had it over two years and just used it this week! What powerful imagery. Grinding and fighting and needing a deep clean but skeptical of help and movement forward.