Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Hard work at Art Camp

Halloween at the Studio School! Not a lot of costumes, but the ones that arrived were good. This is Jason, pro wrestler artist. I helped him find the knitted ski mask---pro wrestling Vermont style!

A new exhibit in the gallery by my fellow resident Sookoon who is from Singapore. You can see her work at www.sookoonang.com. These brooms are made with hair and have careful braiding at the binding. Really evocative, story-teller, fantastic stuff!

I've been working with chalk pastels for the past week and a half. Running out of a few colors I brought with me, I went to the art store here and bought a few of these. Holy roller....they have changed my life, I think. I have NEVER used such smooth, soft pastels. They make the chalks I brought with me feel like crumbly rocks! These Mount Vision pastels have dense color and layer and blend....oooohhhhh......safer than sex and better than drugs, lemme tell ya.

My ideas are becoming more and more narrative. Perhaps I've described this already, but my project while I'm here is to do a drawing or painting a day. Instead of laboriously sketching and planning out an artwork and making sure it links up closely to other artworks in a series, I am getting a good idea and just going with it. I don't prepare or analyze or plan. It's turned out to be remarkably fun and satisfying! I feel like I'm getting back to something I had lost, honestly. Working with pastels has a good immediacy for this: no tools, brushes, thinners, canvas, etc., etc., etc. It's just my hand and a stick of color. Talk about gratifying. Here at the VSC, residents ask each other over mealtimes, "How is your work going?" I always say, "So far, so good!" It's the most honest appraisal I can give.
Above: a life drawing sketch for a drawing I finished yesterday. The model was very accomodating to my requests for particular poses. She'd ask what the figure was really doing in the picuture and I would describe. "Well, there's a woman talking to a severed head oracle in a speaking circle." She and I and the other artists in the life drawing room would have a little laugh, and we'd all get down to work. Gotta say, I love this place.

Here is the face of the woman---a close-up. The title of the drawing is, "The Speaking Circle (Asking the Oracle)." Funny thing, she turned out to be happy to talk to this oracle....her facial expression happened on it's own. This is what I am getting from not planning everything out: great surprises.....a feeling that the artwork is leading me, rather than me directing it through something like a cattle chute. Haha!

Walking by the river the other day, I found these fish washed up on the gravel bar. I think they're Junk Fish. Not very good eating...


Lili said...

I love reading about your work at VT. You're having fun, being productive, and learning stuff all at the same time! What a great feeling that must be!

Anonymous said...

Are the "fish" made with rubbish? They are a neat find. Sort of commando art. But with fish. Missing you here. We seem to be losing light rapidly (we are).