Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ups and Downs

Valentines day has been permeating my art lately. I find that kind of amusing considering how much I used to hate Valentines day. If you want to experience emotional misery, step into the shoes of a fat college girl on Valentines day....but that is a whole other will have to wait for the book.

Anyhow, I have several Valentine themed items on eBay.

I think they are fabulous of course. I have been working for several weeks on a valentine themed mini paper bag book. I hope to have it finished and listed by next week.

I have been struggling with my muse recently, and strangely, I think that success has sort of smothered her. I had a commission last week from a lady who saw my collages in a local gallery. She wanted one as a birthday gift for her son. I was, of course, elated. But now, I can't seem to get my mojo back. I am particularly stumped by some small canvases I bought recently. What I see in my head is not translating for me. I thin that having received a commission has me focusing too much on what would be saleable. Isn't that a trap we can all fall into? I want to sell my art, but I don't thrive on making art for the purpose of selling it. I thrive on making what makes my heart beat faster, and what tells a story about me. Will i sell? I don't know. But what is the point of just making art that will appeal to someone else? I think I'd just as soon go to work at Wal-Mart.

So perhaps when I go out to the studio this morning, I will just start paiting with no though of how it might look to someone else. Phew, hard to do!

What is appealing to me recently i things that are hightly layered and patterened. The heart at left is an example. It is watercolor paper which I painted, then stenciled the dots on, then stamped the repeating 2 toned spiral pattern on. I love this effect. It is almost dizzying.

Layer, texture, pattern, color- these are the things that make my socks go up and down.

Thank you for sticking with my ramblings!


ro said...

hi amy
i recently found myself swept up in the energy that seems to power nervousness.
somewhere in all my lurking and trying to understand what you people are all about i experienced a major crash. all my enthusiasm for everything seems to have been sucked into a black hole.
tonight i decided to "pick' one of you to communicate with to see if i could get a grip on this not uncommon problem.

i imagine you are wondering 'why me'? well, you seem very active in all this and also friendly. i followed some links, arrived at your blog and enjoyed your art. when i read your post for today about your commission i thought maybe by talking to you about your problem i might also provide insight into mine.
because we (artists) work alone, we rely on our own personal "AHA!" which is what i think of that moment when we KNOW we have made something wonderful. the next step, taking it out and introducing it to the world is perhaps a little scary, so we first show it to our fans who adore us and love everything we make. next, the gallery, or fine arts show or shop. ooh, things get a bit dicey here.
but there's nothing quite as daunting as a commission.
well, by now you must have figured out that she likes your stuff and is excited about having a brand new origional piece of your stuff.
god it's taken me a long time to say the obvious.
anyway, this is what i would do.
sometimes when i'm stuck, i try and make some really bad art. a series.
glaringly bad color choices, bad proportion, cliche, whatever you think is bad.
uh oh. my daughter wants her computer back. i'm afraid to send this -- i'll never figure out where you are again. btw -- i'm in rural eastern nc.
ok amy, for better or worse i'm sending this out into blogland.
ro miller

Tammy said...

Amy -

wonderful Blog!! I love your artwork (Just placed a bid at Ebay!) I'm inspired by your commitment to non-negotiable art time. I need to start scheduling that as well.


altered_tome said...

Ah yes, the dreaded deadline/I'm selling it/I'm doing this on demand/I'm doing it for someone else/I hope they like it/What if they don't?/Oh my gosh, where is my inspiration?/Oh crap, I can't do this...etc, etc. Phew, it kinda makes me understand what Jesus went through when folks asked him to perform a miracle on cue....maybe Jesus stressed like artist's do, so that's why he got so cranky about it. BTW, I'm not really a Christian, but the two things just kinda popped together in my head. But, making art, creating something out of nothing, something that speaks to the soul, is a miracle really. Maybe that's why Jesus was up on the rest of us, because he had such a direct connection with the "source", you know? He could tune out the roar, focus on the Divine, and poof! Water is now wine. So, in thinking all of this, I'm wondering if a little down-time with the Divine could help you to refill the well, dim the roar in your head, so that your soul can get down to business. As I'm typing this, I'm thinking "Yeah, hello, physician, heal thyself!". My biggest issue is creating on a deadline. I love to do things for myself, on my own time, but the moment I volunteer for something (like a swap), I freeze a bit, and feel like my creativity packs it's bags and goes on vacation. I guess I'm saying that your blog touched me, because I have the same problem in a different way. And I was thinking that if you are working on something that you really love, something that really fills up the well, then perhaps it will be easier for you to conquer your project for the mother's son. Or morning collages...a little practice collage before you tackle the big projects...kinda like a warm-up that athletes use. Wow, I'm full of metaphors tonight, huh?

BTW, I'm a part of the ArtellaVision Yahoo group, which is how I came over here. I love your little sparrow...I never would have guessed that it was a first for you. It makes sense that both a finer brush and a new sense of confidence in your tools could produce such a beautiful bird. It must have been nice to have your brush do what your hand and brain were telling it to do, without it leaving little hairs behind. :) I'm still on cheap craft brushes, because there's nothing in the budget for art supplies (oh, the horror, I've been cut off from my supply). Have fun with your new toys!