Tag Archives: artistic process

Today in the studio

31 Jan

Working on this painting (below),  listening to this,  headed to Mass at 12:15. This afternoon I’ll finish some custom pieces, and maybe post photos of how the painting is progressing.  Maybe, blogosphere.  I promise you nothing.

I’ve temporarily given up on the last painting (here, here, and here… see the problem?).

Sometimes a painting flies out of me (figuratively not literally, because that would really hurt.  In fact, if paintings literally flew out of me then I’d probably stop painting, because ew. ).  Sometimes a piece deserves abandoning: once you get started it just does not pull together, and the concept or idea is weak and not worth pursuing.  And sometimes–like this time– the concept is deeply compelling, yet the piece is really hard to get.

The newly abandoned painting was a progression of the one I did for Vinnie.

One night, Vinnie and I were talking about the nature of the universe, and I said that trying to understand the universe made me want to cry.  It was too much, too big, too complex, too indefinable.  Vinnie said that understanding the nature of the universe through string theory made sense to him, and that he found it quite reassuring and beautiful.  Curious, I set out to understand string theory.  And because I am me, I felt the need to process this concept visually.

“But you can’t draw string theory,” said Vinnie. “It’s a concept.

Oh Vinnie, concepts are meant to be drawn, painted, sculpted.  That’s what art is: visual communication where words fail.

Vinnie’s painting, then, was about connectedness; about emotional string theory.  It was about the almost spiritual feeling of being gently connected to another entity within endless planes and dimensions within endless time and space.   To paraphrase Rick in Casablanca,   “of all the gin joints in all the world…”  What are the odds of that connection? What an amazing thing, and yes, how very reassuring and beautiful.

In the second painting  I wanted to explore the multi-planed individual components of Vinnie’s painting further, but……  but I can’t f***ing make it work, blogosphere!    Honestly,  I think the subject is just too emotionally loaded for me at the moment; my feelings about it change day-to-day and moment-to-moment, and so I can’t find clarity in either my head OR this work.  Confused and yet compelled to clarify my thoughts and the work,  I’ve gone at the painting from every direction, and to no avail.

And so……  that painting is out–placed out of sight and out of my mind– and this one is in.  Interestingly,  today’s painting is one I abandoned in frustration once before.  Perhaps there is something for me to learn here:  understanding and resolution will come when they will, and not a moment sooner.

I hate life lessons.

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Mojo concerns

10 Sep

Grrr!  Argh!   RRRRRRRRGH! 

It’ll never work.  Never, never, never, never, never.   IT. WON’T. WORK.

Blogosphere, it’s not  *#!*&%$  working.

And I have to get it to work. And get it to work beautifully.  How many times do I have to attempt this; how many different ways?  There is nothing I haven’t tried, but there has to be a way…..There has to, because this is possible.  And once I get it to work?  I’m going to put it in the middle of the floor and dance around it.

But here’s the thing.  You want to know the thing?  I really, really feel strongly about maintaining a peaceful state of mind while I’m working.  I don’t want to put negative energy into the jewelry I make;   I believe that if I feel anger or resentment or frustration while I’m working on a piece, then I send a piece out into the world that has anger or resentment or frustration mojo worked into it, and that’s not fair to the person who wears it.  While handforged jewelry might never be a totally clean slate, mojo-wise, I want any mojo it carries out of my studio to be good mojo.

You dig, blogosphere?

Thank you for listening, I feel nicer now. 

Cup of tea, and back into the studio I go.

And you’ll like it

27 Apr
My very cool idea

My very cool idea

Years ago I was at a cocktail party when a man and his date came in and were introduced all around.  A few minutes later they approached me, and he asked me if I was Irish.  I told him I was Irish on my mother’s side.

“You look Irish, ” he said.

“He loves Irish people,” his date said.

“I love them,” he agreed, “they’re so funny.”  And then they looked at me.  And waited, expectantly.

Huh.

“Um, I’m only half Irish, but I’m really American.  I guess I’m only a little funny. Maybe slightly less than half an Irishman worth.”

He slapped his knee and howled with laughter.  Laughter far beyond what my answer deserved, until his date broke in with, “Hold old do you think I am?”

“She loves asking people to guess her age,” he said.

I told them I was really bad with ages, and then after much cajoling I guessed that she was ….maybe? …..forty?  Ish?   Both their faces fell, and I was no longer beloved and Irish and funny.  Now I was just a bitch, and off they wandered to pick on some other nationality.

I wonder if they were drunk when they arrived, or if this was just typical sober behavior for them.  Maybe they arrived late because my host was trying to hide the party from them.

But, that’s how I feel sometimes.  Not that you all are drunk, although if you want to read me drunk you just go ahead, and have one for me, too.  But I’m talking about the pressure to be funny.  I have had over 13,000 views since I started this blog in mid-March, and I did not expect that.

I know I’m funny sometimes, and often I don’t even mean to be.  Perhaps I just view life with a sense of humor, amused by and engaged in its absurdity.  I take many things very seriously, but I think one can take things seriously and still find the humor in them.  I’ve never understood why serious and humorless are synonymous.  A reader wrote to tell me how funny I was when I was discussing getting injured.  Blogosphere,  I did not mean to be funny that day.  Yesterday someone told me I was funny whilst talking about faux-cannibalism.  Hmm.  You’re an odd bunch.

I started this blog to complement my jewelry site, to let people get to know me, to demystify the artistic process and assure people that they have a place in that process, even when they’d swear on their granny’s fanny that they don’t have a creative bone in their body.  I wanted to let you know that while I’m making your jewelry I’m alternately falling in love with each piece, and yelling “Damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it!”  And I say it four times, every time.

Handmade is so much more interesting than mass-produced, and understanding the processes behind it makes it even more so.  I really enjoy listening to artists explain their work (unless they drone on, ad nauseam, and it becomes verbal masturbation), and I hope you do, too.

I absolutely love creating beautiful things,  it’s an honor to know that my pieces are being worn and loved, and I take that honor seriously.  I really hope that comes through in my writing.

So, not always funny, and you’ll like it.  Got it?

OK, so!  I dreamed the design at the top of this post last night…..What if I took small stripes of gold and silver, alternated them, and soldered them together to create a striped, wide band?  How cool would that be?  Pretty cool, let me tell you. I’d oxidize it so it would be a very dark slate colored silver, alternating with a  gold.

Thoughts, my readers?

www.vakadesign.com

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