Delighted to be back at The Curated Fridge for the Spring show, curated by Jessica Roscio. So many great pops of color and artists to discover. Check out the show. The Curated Fridge.
“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I see, and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” — Joan Didion
Ah, winter. I putter around waiting for winter’s end, which in New England, feels like against grey chilled days composed around soup and tea making with intermittent bursts of toddler led cookie making. The days are filled with short writing bursts with the hope that a collection of short stories will turn into a book and find the light of day at winter’s end. Yes, there are many things to look forward to this spring. Travel adventures, new photo work, less soup and more picnics. Less theory, more action, including more stories, book projects, and classes to teach and share. To arrive though, through the colds and flus, I’ve been making time to not only nourish our bodies but also fill my mind with words, images, and sounds that have filled the creative well.
I want to share all the inspiration I’ve noted over the past few months. Maybe you need a boost or would like to share your creative antidotes for winter.
Your Inner Critic Is A Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative by Danielle Krysa
“You must be willing to get in there every day and just try things, while being totally open to imperfection. Not every idea will become a masterpiece, and that’s fine. Your studio is a safe place to play. No one needs to know about projects that don’t go anywhere, and remember, all projects go somewhere. They all lead to the next piece, either by teaching us something good, or something not so good. The top corner of your collage may be brilliant, even if the rest of it sucks; so, tomorrow, start there. Your short story may be rough around the edges, but that third sentence is a real beauty and could be the beginning of your award-winning novel. Create new starting points for yourself every day. Experiments. Make mistakes. Play some more. This is the path to genius!”
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
“If all the Saturdays of 1982 can be thought of as one day, I met Tracey at ten a.m. on that Saturday, walking through the sandy gravel of a churchyard, each holding our mother’s hand. There were many other girls present but for obvious reasons we noticed each other, the similarities and the differences, as girls will. Our shade of brown was exactly the same—as if one piece of tan material had been cut to make us both—and our freckles gathered in the same areas, we were the same height. But my face was ponderous and melancholy, with a long, serious nose, and my eyes turned down, as did my mouth.”
More brilliant writing from Smith in her latest novel, which starts off with rich character descriptions that trace lines, outside in.
On Landscapes, Interiors, and the Nude by Todd Hido
“I don’t analyze my photographs like this while I’m shooting. Making and anazlyzing are completely different processes. You do have to examine things a little bit when you’re making—there is some conscious recognition in wanting to take a picture—but as much as you can you should just make. See, respond, click. And the more you click, probably the better.”
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin. I listened to the audiobook while washing dishes and folding laundry. Rubin’s practical advice on overcoming failures and creating regular habits based on understanding oneself makes good sense and can be applied to those unfinished creative projects.
My Creative Life podcast with conversations about creatives and makers. My favorite, to date with photographer Michael Ash Smith.
Filmmaking Classes on Skillshare. Everyone is jumping on the video bandwagon so it’s a good time to brush up on your skills or learn a new art form…
Postcard Art by yours truly. Because postcards are cool and timeless, plus they keep us connected and put art into the world. Win win.
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” — Andy Warhol
Your turn. What’s feeding your creative inspiration these days?
Well, here we are folks, into the new year and these strange days that feel more like dystopian fiction than reality. This isn’t how I imagined the start of 2017 by any means. I’ve found comfort in my family, small acts of resistance (in the streets and on the mat), and a few rolls of film wandering around in the darkness of night, these Cinematic Nights. These images hint at a fictional reality that erases identity, place, time. Silhouettes in motion, blurred frames, light streaks. The dark in the light, light in the dark. It’s a start anyway.
Cheers to all the goodness you can make and gather! Fill up and Happy New Year!
The Curated Fridge is the brainchild of Yorgos Efthymiadis. I came across the site several months ago and was inspired by the concept and caliber of fine art photography shown. Immediately, I wanted to be involved and am thrilled to report that I made it in the Dec 2016/Jan 2017 show. You can read Elin Spring’s take on curating the show on her photography blog as well as check it out the 24 square feet gallery at The Curated Fridge.
Brothers 2016 | Pacemaker Crown Graphic | Atomic-X
On a windy Saturday morning in November, I caught the wild ones on 4×5 film. This took some doing after the teepee they built blew over several times before we found a way to wedge and hammer branches into the hard ground. After several minutes of camera set-up behind the dark cloth checking focus and waiting for passing cars, I caught this moment with one in slight motion and the other stick still. These two steal my heart every single time.
Hello, there! I’ve been out photographing several restaurants and a farm to table dinner recently. I can’t wait to share the images with you once they hit the magazine stands.
Until then, here are a few rolls of film I shot back in August in Rhode Island at Second Beach aka Surfer’s End.
I remember going to see a museum exhibit of collagist and correspondence artist Ray’s Johnson’s work when I was a graduate student. The exhibit showed I was struck by his humor and the way he used visual and contextual symbols, like the bunny logo, words, and a series of images of Elvis collaged with other imagery to create a series of intimate layered portraits about his life.
Throughout his life, Johnson sent thousands of artworks through the mail. His humble pieces set the framework for a future generation of artists who would later distribute zines or web pages during the early internet days.
Regardless of the media he worked in, be it painting, photography, collage, or mixed, the language he used was coded. Johnson contributed to a number of art movements — Pop, Performance, and Conceptual Art, before he founded a mail art network known as the New York Correspondence School. Mail art (aka postal art and correspondence art) is an art movement based on sending small scale artworks through the postal service, like collage postcards.
After seeing Johnson’s exhibit, I was inspired to work with collage again and grew interested in layering them with image transfers that I studied in a printmaking class. I’ve always liked combining media and using both printmaking and photographic techniques to achieve a unique aesthetic to my art. Recently, I revisited Johnson’s correspondence artworks which led me to thinking about Marcel Duchamp’s, Robert Rauschenberg’s, and Jasper John’s collage art and the similarities/differences between their works.
I decided to turn my inspiration into a class on how to make mail art using basic collage techniques along with a simple image transfer technique using clear packing tape and vintage magazines (photocopies of photographs and illustrations work well too!). I recently launched the class on Skillshare (a global learning community to create, connect, and collaborate with students around the globe), which you can sign up for here if you like.
Earlier this morning, I discovered this cool mail art project between artists, Stefanie Posavec and Giorgia Lupi. Posavec lives in London; Lupi resides in New York. After meeting twice and discovering a mutual fascination with each other’s work, they started a year-long analog data-drawing collaboration project called Dear Data.
According to their Dear Data website, this is how the project works: “Each week, and for a year, we collected and measured a particular type of data about our lives, used this data to make a drawing on a postcard-sized sheet of paper, and then dropped the postcard in an English ‘postbox’ (Stefanie) or an American ‘mailbox’ (Giorgia)! Eventually, the postcard arrived at the other person’s address with all the scuff marks of its journey over the ocean: a type of ‘slow data’ transmission.”
Anyway, I’d love to see you in class and if you know other artsy types who might like to join you, spread the word and let’s make some mail art!
Until next time…