Monday, July 29, 2019

Week 17

Week 17 July 22nd -28th
A slow week with a few skipped days. The heat wasn’t even oppressive, but still, I managed to knock myself down by pruning roses all day as well as thinning out the trees over the walkways along the street. I have 12 healthy, mature, and unprunes Chinese Pistash that are now very much worked through as far as my pole saw can reach as well as 120 roses that are pruned and weeded.
Jess and I moved the small updraft gas kiln over to the Hatch Space. Once it’s up and plumbed in, we’ll start burning it and test firing it.
I keep daydreaming about color and paint. I daydream about setting up still lifes with a figure. I daydream about starting and finishing drawings and painting and all the marks in between.
Found a new podcast, “Art Grind”. Not sure how I missed this one. It’s a conversation podcast with 2D artists sharing their insights into a world of thought and actionthat’s, quite frankly, elements currently missing from American Acidemic Ceramics. I’m still bothered by what I’m seeing or by what I’m not seeing. I believe it has more to do with where I’m standing than what is actually there, but I rarely run across potters musing about the psychological effects of color, have any real insight into from, or even any interest in knowing themselves.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Masking Up Value

Today after work, Nico looked over my shoulder as I was pulling the tape off Of one of tonight's drawings and mentioned that the work was starting to look less like someone trying to draw something and more like someone drawing something, (the difference being the "trying"). When asked "what do you mean?" she answered while her finger, traced out the clean boarder around the drawing. "With all that white around it, it looks like a picture on a gallery wall. It looks like art is supposed to look."

earlier in the week, I had started working the practice of masking the edges of the drawings with tape. "You draw all messy, but it looks like it's supposed to be that way. Good job dad..."

In the past, the assumption was that work needed a plinth or a frame to be considered finished for presentation. With the drawings, I didn't see them as worthy candidates for presentation. Even though the pastels had been set down, when I looked at them, they didn't feel finished. Strangely, when I looked as what I posted on Instagram, they had a different feeling. The hunch was that the frame that Instagram provided

Now what I'm suspecting is that the work simply needs to be able to claim the space around it to be considered a presentable candidate. The juxtaposition of a simple drawing on a piece of paper with a clean boarder can make for a compelling object in itself.

In the past, a notorious test of an objects base value has been that if taken out of context of implied value, the object is found inexplicably on the ground, would the person that found it choose to put it in the garbage or keep it...

Time to start public posting.

First Day of Kindergarten

This is a unposted draft from October of 2017. Originally it was just 2 pictures waiting for text to give it some context. It’ been 9 months since they were uploaded and life have given them some of the context that I was needing. Too much context for just two pictures. There’s been a directional change that’s moved through our studio and I’m grabbing and oar and seeing where it can go. 
It’s already just 3 months shy of a year since the first night of figure drawing, and looking back, it had the feeling of heading off for kindergarten all over again, I had noidea what was happening, how this was supposed to work, who anyone was, and so much to learn. Like a toddler, I knew that my curiosity could change how I experienced the world around me.

It was an experience that I’ve secretly wanted to participate in for decades and didn’t know how to ask or who to ask. It's a bit tricky when there’s no one to ask though. We had no local drawing sessions open to the public. Everything that’s avalible is organized behind academic walls. So partnering up with Jess, we helped push to start our own group at the neighborhood Art League. A small group of us meet 3 times a month for 3 hour sessions at a time with a model. 

My original goals were to become competent and confident enough to sit down oncommand and be able to skillfully draw a convincing portrait. Admittedly, I’m not quite there yet... but like the first year of kindergarten, I can see a host of changes in my world that lay behind the drawings on the pages.  I can truthfully say that I am more confident. If someone asked me to sit down and draw them, I definitely would. Would it be good? Mmmmm, I don’t know, but I’d do it. I’ve made lots of new friends, and now I’m setting up new opportunities for group sessions as an advocate and organizer.

So the first two pictures are from the first session, the last is from one of the most recent sessions. All three are of the lovely Miss Brie. Without her collaboration, none of this would have ever gotten off the ground. So this post is pretty much a heads up. From here on out, there’s going to be a lot more talk about media other than just ceramics. There’s more to life that bread and butter, a whole lot more...

PS  I’d really like to thank my partner Jess for encouraging and helping facilitate this project. There are superhero’s all around us, she’s definitely one of them. Thanks Jess :)