Saturday, August 19, 2006

Leaf Miner Art stress

What can I say? I am moth-eaten...

No, really. I am just very stressed out about the upcoming exhibit in which I'll show a series of six multimedia drawing/paintings I've made specifically based on research of Phyllocnistis populiella, the Aspen Leaf Miner Moth. The work is due at the museum in just a couple of weeks. The art is done, the slides have been shot, I'm in the midst of framing them all and....and...I still have to get the presentation together. Luckily, I have no problem speaking in front of's just that I'm very worried about how to get this speech to sound good. Yikes! It's a big deal. I have to get it right. I have to sound intelligent and...and...get across the artistic interpretations I made via this research. I am good at making the work and thinking about the work, but I suck at talking about the work!
I am beginning to realize that this is one of the prime dilemnas in being an artist...for me, anyway. The more art I make (good) means the more time I spend alone in my studio (mostly good) which means the more time I spend in my head (good, but some bad with a little weird mixed in) leading to discomfort around people (bad) and inability to convey my thoughts with any easy discourse (very bad and frustrating).
So...let me practice...
What did I do with the whole leaf miner idea, as an artist?
Well, I thought those little caterpillars searching around in the slurpy, spongy leaf mesophyll were pretty dang neat and focused most of my image-making attention on them. I thought of them alot, out there in the trees by the millions, chomping away and generally inhibiting the Aspens of some dearly needed photosynthesis. Those wee leaf miner moth larvae were chowing down for all they were worth, eating random patterns in the leaves, trying to get to where they needed to go, which was a soft, warm cocoon and waking up with wings. I started to think, "Well, hey...I know a species that is just like that, symbolically speaking!" I began to really think about how we humans go through our lives the same way---searching for food, sustanance and eventual (?) maturity and success. I began to think seriously about how each decision in an individual's life causes the pattern of their life to shift direction, whether dramatically or subtly, and how the overall pattern or line of that life could be drawn. How much could it resemble the work of the wee Phyllocnistis populiella larvae? How can I get this idea across in images?
Also, I thought rather sadly of the insignificance of our miniscule movements in our own private microcosm (leaf) but how as a species, this same activity has overwhelming biological effects on our macrocosm (tree.) i.e., we humans are chewing through our resources with flagrant abandon and the ecosystems of the Earth are showing a similar stress in view of deforestation, global warming, water pollution, air pollution....


No, I won't go that far in my art presentation. I'll stick to Leaf Miners and art. I have 15 minutes of fame coming up in just a few weeks. Wish me luck. Posted by Picasa


cochabamba said...

i always think its silly that people expect visual artists to talk about their work. if this was something that could be expressed in words, you would be talking or writing. but youre not. you are painting. which is futile to exlplain or express in words. so dont worry about it. you could try diversions, which is what i do when people want me to talk about my work. tell stories. you can waste a lot of time telling stories without saying much of anything. works for me. good luck with the talk.


Eero said...

Thanks! The most stressful thing is that I'll be talking to international scientists here for the Arctic Science Conference....yikes.