Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Getting back to work!

I finally got my downstairs painted last night. I am almost sick of Ben Moore's Bennington Gray now! I ran out of paint as I was standing on a ledge waiting trying to paint the sloped walls over my stairwell. My girls came home from Irish dancing at this time and almost freaked out with mom hanging precariously over the precipice. Now I'll have to tredge up the Ace hardware and hope that the new gallon of paint matches the old one--but not now, Now I have to get back to the studio and paint with more color.

I'm also in the middle of the proposal for another NEW line with CI. Very exciting stuff and I hope it all goes through. I look forward to getting feedback from you all when I can finally announce it! Anywho, its gonna take some paper engineering, color theory and some good ole fun painting and collage before it is all said and done.

Today will also be fun because, I, as a collage artist, get to go in to a collage class and show my work and talk about my process. How is that "fun" you may ask??? Because its a collage class of elementary school kiddos! They signed up for an afterschool class to learn collage and I've been looking forward to sharing with them for months! I hope I can answer all their questions! I'll try to have pictures to share tomorrow.

Lastly I wanted to suggest a new book that I picked up at the book store the other day and read this morning. Its called Altered Curiosities by Jane Ann Wynn. I don't often buy art books because I try desperately not to be overly influenced by other artist's styles--I think it happens even subliminally. What I enjoyed about Jane's book was that it was wordy--in a good way. What I, as an artist who works alone in her studio, most desire is to know how other artists are working. Do they struggle? Do they too find inspiration in weird places? Etc. Is this the be all and end all of assemblage books. Nah...I can tell you as an author of 6 books, (I know you haven't seen books 5 and 6 yet but they're coming, they're written, they're on the slow boat to and from china), you don't get to write the book you want. Time, editors, sales, publishers, they all slightly influence the book that you write and turn it into something else. This is OK with me. Jane even talks about starting with a sketch and then finding out the finished project usually doesn't look anything like the sketch. How can we help but change or morph into something else. We're like artistic pin ball machines, when our little silver ball hits the bright blinking rail, we adjust.

Jane's book is beautifully shot and wonderfully designs--that credit goes to the art director, designers and photographers. When we get paired with good ones--its GREAT.
What I find most interesting when reading books like Jane's and Michael de Meng's Secrets of Rusty Things, is how differently we all work. Jane, it's obvious likes epoxy. She uses it everywhere, in every project. Places where I'd use gorilla glue, gem tac or more than likely gel medium, she mixes up a batch of epoxy and goes for it. Michael is a lover of liquid nails. I like to nail things on... (see my upcoming article for CPS this spring or summer on ways I attach items to my work), Jane likes to add nails everywhere. I like to paint my surface, Michael paints the finished project and Jane does something near the middle. I have no intentions of changing the way I work but now I have more ideas for those times I can't get what I know to work--I have more tools in my arsenal because I spent time with Michael and Jane.

Alright, enough introspection--enjoy the day!

WRITING IT DOWN (a new section I'm adding to the blog to write down my children's funny quips)
earlier in the day with Matt...
me: Matt, Abby filled a striped bag with a ceramic mug she painted, a baby doll blanket, Colorado (her stuffed horse), and her Gillies (Irish Dancing shoes). Why do you think she did that?
Matt: I don't know, the secret is to find the common element in each of those items. Did you ask her?
me: no.

me: Abby, what are all those things you put in the striped bag on the floor of your bedroom?

Abby: Oh that's incase we lose our house.

me: WHAT!?!?!

Abby: You know, incase we lose our house... In case the government comes to Brookline and says, "Hey everybody, there are too many people living here and we have to take some houses and make more room."

me: So how do the things in the bag help? Are they what you would want to bring with you?

Abby: No, the gillies are so I could dance in the streets and people could give me money. The mug is so they'd have somewhere to PUT the money when I dance. I thought I could wrap the blanket around me and people would think, "She must be GOOD!"

me: And your horse Colorado???

Abby: After all that dancing I was thinking I might want to cuddle.

me: Ya know Abby, we aren't going to lose our house, right?

Abby: Mom, it's unpredictable.


Libby said...

Hi! Abby's story is priceless. You sound great - looks like you have found a terrific balance in the work/life/home juggling act. I'm thrilled for you that your new products/book are getting such great reviews. Nothing made me happier than to arrive in Mexico and unwrap my two Jenn Mason masterpieces. They have a place of honor in our home and are reminder of happy USA memories. Miss you!

Diane Ditullio said...

Thank you for the book recommendation! I also try not to read other books/magazines too much as I don't want to be influenced. It was great to meet you for a short time at CHA! Good luck with your new proposal.