Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Visit to Somewhere

This past weekend I went to Atlanta to visit an L.A. based cousin who happens to be staying there this summer. It was amazing to see Joan and her husband and catch up on all the family happenings. One of the first things we did (after having lunch) was visit a wonderful craft gallery called Signature, and it formed the tone for the rest of my stay. There I discovered a wonderful sculptor named Kirsten Stingle whose figurative work is at once thought provoking and whimsical, vaguely disturbing (depending on your point of view) and engaging. Kirsten uses mixed media objects to bring her beautiful sculptures to life, including an antique riveting machine that she found at the Nashville "American Picker's" Antique Archeology store, a bottle washing rack, vintage millinery feathers, Ostrich eggs, and other interesting rusty bits and bobs. Right up my trash collecting alley!

When I got back to the hotel, I started stalking her online (better watch out what you post!), going to her website, then to her blog where I learned that she was preparing for her first museum show, then to a link to the gallery I had just visited that featured the work that would be included in the show - complete with a buy it now button. So I did! Buy something that is. The piece is in the show, so I won't actually receive it until after December 15 when the show closes. Ahh... sweet anticipation.

Character Block by Kirsten Stingle

Reading Kirsten's blog all the way back to the beginning (it's relatively new) was just as inspirational and thought provoking as her work is. Earlier posts were matter of fact observations of daily happenings, but soon she began to focus on this show and the preparation that was going in to it. She documents the building, finishing, decoration (glazing), and construction of each figure. The way Kirsten incorporates found objects into her character's narratives is so beautifully handled that a viewer/reader can't help but be struck by the thought and planning that she obviously puts into the design of her pieces right from conception. I'd love to look through a window into her brain - or even into her sketchbook, so I could observe each decision and choice. (Does that sound a little scary? I told you I was a stalker.) 

Kirsten is sharing the museum show spotlight with an encaustic artist named Lorraine Glessner whose work is equally engaging. If you're in the Atlanta area I encourage you to take a trip to see their work in person. I wish I could.

Reading Kirsten's blog has also reinvigorated my own creative proclivities. Although I'm not necessarily preparing for anything - no shows or sales in my near future, the urge to create (other than teaching samples) has been re awakened, and I'm itching to get into the studio.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Eye Candy

From my 'Hands' pin board

It's been another blog drought and the truth of the matter is that my hands have felt bound, wooden, uninspired, and lazy. And so has my brain for that matter. One of the 'benefits' of MS is the lovely side effect of fatigue. Which affects almost everything I'm discovering. Body, mind, will, and spirit.

Now I'm a very lucky girl as far as multiple sclerosis goes. I have full bodily function, live on my own terms, 'suffer' only very slight symptoms, and feel very grateful for my mobility. And the fatigue I feel is really not debilitating, as it is with other sufferers. It's just enough to bug the hell out of me. And make me long for days gone by when I actually had a creative idea in my head! Or more accurately the days when I had more creative ideas than I could produce.

I don't think my muse is gone forever, and I know there are things I can do to entice her back. But sometimes "Just Do It", just doesn't work. I'm taking life one day at a time. Today I'm in the studio, working on an Exploded Lentil sample (it's in the kiln or I'd show you), writing this blog, and prepping for my first day time class at The Visual Arts Center. Six weeks starting Thursday morning from 10:00 to 1:00 if you're in the area.

I've taught individual 8 hour daytime workshops, but this is a month and a half, 3 hour format that mirrors my evening classes. I've just never been sure that anyone would commit to a long term daytime class. I'm really excited that 5 people have signed up! So today is a good day. I'm looking forward, feeling the creative impulse, and am really happy to be here with you.