Monday, December 31, 2012

Ending 2012 doing something scary and difficult....

This fearful situation was inevitable.
I have a submission to make and it requires an 

To date my favorite artist's statement was penned by Krista Wells:

I'm  short,
I hate brussel sprouts.
I make neat stuff.

Who can read that and not laugh and appreciate Krista's sense of humour, creativity and courageous non conformist attitude? She's got spunk! I read a lot of artists, statements over the last few days and many are breathtakingly poetic. Others are, to be polite, absolute overly pretentious rubbish.

Facebook friends were wonderful when I sent a grumpy pre-writing post  bemoaning my status. Cindy Mersky directed me to a well named website at Artybollocks where you can generate hilariously overblown artists statements for t-shirts. Christine Dumont directed me to a terrific post on How to Write an Artists Statement that Doesn't Suck. This was much appreciated as I debated how many adjectives to include or delete.

I find it enormously difficult to take something like art making which to me is like breathing or eating- a basic reflex, and devise a complicated explanation explaining why I do it. I decided to use the basic rule suggested for anyone facing a writing project- write what you know. My work does not have an intent to prophesise doom or "juxtapose latent considerations of the differentations between inverted reflective philosophies of benign consciousness  or any other indecipherable intent. It explores texture, simple forms and connections in construction. It is influenced by my environment in its components and theme. If people say it makes them feel happy then all is well. If they say they could make something similar- let them try. I do admit that lately I've been  trying very hard to make pieces that won't be called whimsical or much worse- cute. Absolutely foremost in my objective was to avoid being pretentious or attempt to make my work appear to be designed to have any earth shattering philosophy behind it. If someone thinks it does they can tell me all about it! 
' My favourite artists statements included a consideration of their life experience and made associations from childhood up to the present and I decided to use that opening format My friend Georgia Ferrell stepped up as a real time editor via skype and gave feedback as I worked. Here are some of the the suggestions that she gave that made me appreciate her help-and humour!

"you don't really want to sound like you should have been a psychologist
 or a Jungian
maybe you do..."


just remember it isn't what you know you mean, but what the reader understands"

Iggy and I
It was a fascinating project. The stipulations on the organisation requesting the statement threw me a bit of a curve when I realized that they required information that had previously been in a long biography requested by a different group so I ended up doing a lot of re-writing one some things and starting fresh on much more. I actually ended up with two statements- one pared down and zen like that will work wonderfully on cards and labels- the second which is more detailed will be used for proposals.

What a good way to end the year! 

Stay tuned for the final reveal and- 
I wish you all a VERY HAPPY 2013!!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Gift for Winter Solstice

As we are battered by bitter winter winds that power penetrating rain with streaks of slushy snow I have a gentle offering penned by Vancouver Island poet Leanne Boschman.  I found this in the Times Colonist a few years ago and as years went by I meant to post it here to celebrate the Solstice but managed to remember too late. I filed the clipping properly this time around and somehow it seems particularily appropriate this year to be able to offer poetic comfort in these hurtful days as we draw ourselves closer to home and those we love and let the season draw to its cold conclusion.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Salt Spring Island Basketry Guild Window Display

 If you are lucky enough to be on Salt Spring Island through the holiday season take a stroll up to the vacated Marks Work Warehouse window to see the stunning display of the Salt Spring Basketry Guild. It was put together on short notice and features the work of Donna Cochran, Joan Carrigan, Heather Martin McNab, Susan Brown, Melanie Thompson, Debbie Magnusson and Judy Goodman .

The Guild is on track for a Guild Show in 2013 - if this is what this guild can do on short notice, the Show is going to be remarkable.

 The Salt Spring Guild generously welcomes new members such as myself from "off-island".

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Polymer Clay and Kelp... continued

Things have been moving slowly here post-Oz. This week I FINALLY got the kelp soaking and made a few baskets. I used polymer clay bead accents in this wall hanging basket. 
I have to say that I especially love making baskets that go on the wall- they are more decorative than functional but there's something about using a wall as a space to accentuate the lines and the use of gravity to affect the composition that tweaks my imagination.