Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Words in Art

I'm I the only one who is captivated by words in art? Not just Words AS art, but also IN art. And, do you need to be able to read them if they are there or can they be there just obviously enough to see that they are words, but not decipherable? I met Lisa Tornack, a great Calgary artist, this past weekend at a show we did together, and I was instantly fascinated by the work she is currently doing.

In fact I am now the proud owner of this piece of hers. While obviously a landscape, what I was enamored with the most was the tangle of words that run throughout the horizon. Thankful that she was there to ask, I inquired about what was there and a bit about the process. As I understand it, this series grew out of an artist's residency she did in Spain last year and particularly from the prolific journal writing she did while over seas. What I learned about myself was that while I didn't necessarily need to know what was exactly being said in these words, I did want to understand where she was at, perhaps what she was thinking when creating this. And, of most importance was the energy behind the words. In this case she told me the word "friends" was there as well as another phrase which I can't remember now, but the gist of it was positive.....I interpreted it as "words with a good vibe". And, maybe the place she was at wasn't particularly "good"...I don't know that, but I felt the intent was "good or positive"...or maybe just genuine, heartfelt and honest. Perhaps she was just simply in the midst of her own journey exploring her own soul while in a strange land. It was odd in a way to observe my own reaction and to see what was important and not important to me in a piece of work. Had I not had this experience, I would have guessed that it was absolutely necessary for me to read the exact words - I'm just that darned curious....I want to KNOW everything. But, in this case, I surprised myself - I didn't need to know everything - each word. I am just content and feel blessed to now be sharing a glimpse into another artist's life - a small piece out of her journey through this earthly experience. A piece of her story is in there...somewhere. And that's really cool.
How do you feel about words in art?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where Did My Art Come From - 2

I have long had a fascination with the written word and with beautiful lettering. So, much so that in my teens I began collecting and saving poems and quotes for using later in calligraphic work. And, before I ever owned a proper calligraphic pen, I was attempting to create a poster from a poem I loved with lovely script lettering....all with a regular felt pen. After that experience, I actually spent three entire days in a library going through back issues of Readers Digest looking for the "Quotable Quotes" page and copying the whole thing by hand. I'm still a quote junkie now. My Dad, who is not known for doing his own gift shopping, noticed my fascination and orchestrated the purchase of a calligraphy pen and paper set while I was still in high school, and I went on to create the program and place cards for over 300 people who attended our graduation. I still can't believe I never opted for a single art class in high school! Crazy. Of course, eventually I did take several calligraphy courses from a number of artists who belong to the Bow Valley Calligraphy Guild in Calgary.

While I don't really do much calligraphy anymore, words and beautiful letters do manage to creep in to my work on occasion whether it be a painting or a piece of jewelry. (This piece to the left is part of a larger wall hanging collaborative project I did with a group of people.)

Perhaps I just always feel like I have something to say, (those who know me certainly wouldn't argue with that!),,,,a soap box to get on, or a deep desire to inspire in some way, or to provoke reflection. I'm not sure, but I do know I love words in art and have been recently inspired by others to look at incorporating that more in the future.
More on that tomorrow.....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Where Did My Art Come From - 1

My good friend, Michelle has been writing a great series in her blog about where her art came from. I have enjoyed reading about her journey so much that I thought I might just be a copycat, although I doubt whether I will be as thorough as her in telling the story. However, the occasional post or two reflecting on this topic I thought might be just as enjoyable and certainly meaningful for me as perhaps for the occasional reader.
This is my Dad, working away on a piece at the last Emma Collaborative. I've been following him about and hanging out with him since I was old enough to do so. And, consequently I ended up trying most of the crafty things he did. It started with cutting and polishing stones, then a silversmithing class, then painting the signs on his stock car, and then blacksmithing. I've tried wood turning a time or two which is one of his loves. If nothing else I managed to pick up his, "jump-in-and-dig-your-way-out" attitude when it comes to attempting a new thing....which is probably how I've come to enjoy so many different creative mediums. I'll try anything once!....which, come to think of it, is probably a line I heard from him too.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A New Home

A favorite piece of mine, found a new home this past weekend.  I realize that for me, this is one of the greatest blessings of selling my work - knowing that it goes to just the "right" person.  I don't always get to see where they go or to whom they are for, but I do believe that every piece is made for someone in particular, and sometimes it takes awhile for that person and the piece to find one another.  Once it does happen though, the connection seems quite obvious to me.  A dear friend bought this necklace for a family member that has had a really rough year and is in the process of re-centering and re-defining herself and a fresh new life.  I know my friend chose this with such care and deep love, and as I watched her make her choice, I knew just how much this was meant for her loved one.  This piece is is all about finding a place of peace in the center of one's being.  It includes semi-precious stones, and of course silver and glass.  In particular there is a circle - symbol of perfection and completeness or wholeness, and a heart for perfect and unconditional love.  Knowing the story of my friend and her family member, I am both thrilled that this is the new home it is going to and it makes perfect sense to me now that this is whom the piece was made for.  I just love when that happens.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Here's Another "What The Hell Was I Thinking" Moment...

We got an invitation to a wedding in the mail last Friday (a week ago).  The wedding was this past the Pony Express mail must have had it stuck under the saddle for some time.  Anyway....the invite was a postcard with  an Owl and Pussycat and the words "O let us be married! too long we have tarried" - a line from the children's poem.  The details of the wedding were on a website.
So, I prowl through the website and figure that this poem must have some significance for them, and I get this bright idea that I will do a painting for them as a wedding gift....rather than a boring old frying pan or something like that.  Ya, that's right - me, who takes MONTHS to complete a painting.  Oh yes.....all this while I have  jewelry pieces I need to complete for a show this coming weekend.  Rolling your eyeballs and shaking your head yet?

I started it on Monday, did a bit more for a couple of hours each day this week, and this morning I had it all complete except for the line work.  I finished it this afternoon.....two days early!!  Miracles abound!

Cute, eh?

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