Thursday, October 28, 2010
Back in the studio at last...
Fall here has been amazing, with mild weather still continuing, the color spectacular, and many of the trees still in full leaf! The coming week continues with showers and highs in the 50's and lows in the mid 40's, which gives the fall garden longer to grow and the tomatoes more time to ripen. Despite garden failures this year in some other areas, it has been a great year for tomatoes.
After time away from the studio, which the ever-so-short-seeming month of October has required, I find myself filled with a certain anxiety that tells me I need to get back to creating.
At times like this, my process involves going back and digging through my collection of "stuff" and pulling out the things that appeal to me. These will probably be the starting point for new pieces. I also look through boxes and boards that will serve as backgrounds and pull out the ones that call out to me.
The first step is always to determine the orientation of the background (vertical or horizontal) without having any idea what kind of piece I am going to do, and to put screw eyes and a hanging wire on the back. Having also freed up some wall space by this time, I hang the empty boxes on my working wall and begin placing the pieces I selected into each one just following my gut about what goes where. Of course some things will not be used.
Normally I work on 3-7 pieces at one time, bouncing between them on any given day. As soon as I can't figure out the next step on a piece, I move to another allowing my subconscious to work on the previous piece. During this whole process, I have no idea where any of them are going. The "stuff" seems to create its own connections, and it is my job to simply listen.
Sometimes I'll just look down or on my desk, and a piece will literally jump out at me as the perfect piece for an assemblage I am working on. Often two ideas sitting side by side will suggest a combination that should be used.
Starting with a theme means sudden death. The piece will be contrived and dull, at least in my eyes, and will possess none of the mystery and surprise that I love to feel when I look at this type of work.
(Room #5 by Diane Lou, 8"x4"x1")