Sunday, March 17, 2013

Creating Modern Day Artifacts

Machias Women's Forum presents
Spirituality in Women's Art
Presenters: Sherry Ashby Cunningham, Elizabeth Ostrander, and Shanna Wheelock
Thursday, March 21, 2013
in the meeting room at Helen's Restaurant, Machias
Dinner from the menu at 5:30 p.m., presentation at 6:30 p.m.
Although this is the Women's Forum, men are encouraged to attend this special event!
Art Workshops
With Instructor Shanna Wheelock
Lubec, Maine
Clay Goddess: April 17
Introduction to Encaustic Painting: July 10
For more info, send an inquiry here.
 The corner of my drawing table.
Note the old Grumbacher box.
This is the same box that years ago held my mom's drawing charcoal.
"The Nook"
 I have been spending most of my time here lately
 working out ideas, sketching, reading, researching, and designing workshop fliers.
I completed nine ink drawings in the "Factory C"series and have now begun to transcribe them onto clay. 
Some things to keep in mind....
So many things happen in a week that it is hard to keep track of it all. I am in a mad flurry of art activity as the obsession with Factory C grows. I have felt an urgency to get the ideas down and this week that all began to make sense. I heard a tidbit of news that the dilapidated remains may, in part, be removed. Though I understand the safety issues with a building in such a state, I am saddened at the thought of anything changing by the hands of humans. Until now, the building's condition has been at the whim of the natural elements and the result has been one that exudes a silent and powerful sense of reverence. As my work unfolds over the next few months, I hope to capture some of that feeling in ink, clay, and wax, not only for my own creative self-indulgence, but also to serve as some sort of historical modern-day artifact.
This past week's agenda contained a sprinkling of business, health, spiritual, and art meetings along with a talk that Elizabeth Ostrander and I presented at The Eastport Arts Center.  I am always a bit  nervous before speaking in public. Even with more than thirteen years teaching under my belt this feeling has never gone away. I was comforted by the peaceful ambiance of the center and the presence of a few familiar and friendly faces in the crowd. For my portion of the presentation I had created a slide show of some of the key women in my life who have somehow contributed to my development as an artist. Though I focused on only a handful of women, there are in fact so many more who deserve mention. Listening to Elizabeth's account of her art experiences and journey that has sustained her through seventy years of art-making, I realized that my forty-three years on this planet has been eased and benefited by all the women who came before me, who fought for their place in what has traditionally been a "man's world." I am fortunate to have men in my life, as well, who have supported my journey, men who have broken through the traditional roles and stereotypes to value women's contributions to the art world and life in general.
The next few days I will prepare for my MFA seventh semester's residency, spend time with creative friends, and work on another "talk". Along with two other artists, Sherry Ashby Cunningham and Elizabeth Ostrander, I will present at the Machias Women's Forum on March 21. The topic is spirituality in women's art. I am still gathering my thoughts for this presentation as it will differ from last week's talk in Eastport. Right now the thought is that I will focus primarily on my fiber works. But we'll see. A lot can change in my mind over the course of four days.
No doubt some are singing Irish folk songs, eating boiled cabbage, and drinking green beer by the time they read this blog entry, being St. Patty's Day and all. My Celtic roots are strong but I will most likely be found in the studio with hands steeped in gritty mud. My internal clock, still adjusting to the time change, finds me in bed an hour longer than usual most days but burning the midnight oil to get the work done. Though the temps dipped again this week, there is a feeling of spring in the air. Foolish to think such thoughts perhaps. The calendar suggests that Spring Equinox arrives soon, but local meteorology threatens snow. Several inches. Plowable.

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