Saturday, January 29, 2011

Studio Space - finally!

Let it snow! Time stops. Everything is quiet. The usual activities are cancelled. I can retreat into my new studio and hunker down.

I just hung up my Alaskan mukluks on the studio wall. Dating from my old Vista Volunteer days in an Eskimo village, they are forty plus years old. With caribou skin legs and seal skin soles, the trim at the top is plain denim - the everyday work boots that the village people themselves wore - not the fancy designs made for tourists. The message to myself: get to work!

O.K., I admit I'm ready for less snow and warmer weather, but I'll retreat to my studio regardless of the weather!

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Practice of Practice

"Technique itself springs from play, because we can acquire technique only by the practice of practice, by persistently experimenting and playing with our tools and testing their limits and resistances. Creative work is play; it is free speculation using the materials of one's chosen form." (from Free Play, by Stephen Nachmanovitch)

It is both exciting and scary to be exploring and expanding my tools and materials as an artist. If I can keep discovering anew the mindset that Nachmanovitch is pointing to, then it's all good. Easier said than done. The "practice of practice" helps.

The carefree playfulness of the girl in in the center of my mixed-media monoprint "If the Shoe Fits" is heightened by her context. May I learn from my own image!

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Nachmanovitch Nuggets

I first read Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art, by Stephen Nachmanovitch, in 1991. It is an amazing treat to be re-reading it now, with new eyes. Here are some of my favorite nuggets:

"Creativity becomes everything we do and perceive."

"If life is full of joy, joy feeds the creative process. If life is full of grief, grief feeds the creative process."

"...there is no ultimate breakthrough; what we find in the development of a creative life is an open-ended series of provisional breakthroughs. In this journey there is no endpoint, because it is the journey into the soul."

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

If the Shoe Fits... Take the Leap

It has to be postmarked by January 15th to meet The Sketchbook Project 2011 Tour deadline. Mine will be finished in time, including the on-line profile. I am one of 28834 artists from 94 countries who are participating... very humbling and exciting at the same time. Everyone picked a theme. Mine is "If You Lived Here". The title is If the Shoe Fits... Take the Leap.

Along with an assemblage using an antique wooden bird cage I got in a thrift shop, this sketchbook is the first work done in the new studio. I'll post it as soon as I scan it.

Starting February 2011 the sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums across the country. Digitized versions will be on the Brooklyn Art Library website,

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