I’m really excited about the piece I just finished. I’m calling it “The Visit,” and it’s another piece in the series I’m creating for the Monroe County History Center’s Garden Walk Show. I think that it’s a piece that nicely conveys the inspiration for the piece, so I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I had been thinking a lot about two ideas that fit together in my mind.
The fence blocking the path and some of the flowers captures that essential part of ‘The Visit” for me. The other aspect is the feeling you get when you visit a friend and leave pieces of yourself outside and step into their world.
I tried to capture that with the abandoned bicycle at the fence, leading you to the conclusion that you’ve stepped through the gateway and into the yard beyond, something you couldn’t see clearly from outside the fence. I really enjoy visiting with my friends, both in the physical sense of being with them and because I can step out of my world to get an idea about how they experience life.
I had two wonderful experiences this week that helped me bring those ideas together. Early in the week I went with my friend Dawn Adams to the SOFA gallery at IU to see the current BFA show. It’s a completely different experience from my usual routine, and I learn a lot by paying close attention to the art – what works and what doesn’t. One of our memorable conversations was about the concept of large areas of open space in artwork, really pushing the amount of negative space in a piece. I tried to incorporated that concept in ‘The Visit’ through the amount of green space off in the distance and balance it with an abundance of information in the foreground.
The other terrific experience I had this week was a visit to Jill Bolte-Taylor’s studio. She invited me to play in her sandbox, working with stained glass, which is a medium I’ve never explored. Her studio is a welcoming place—it’s well organized and brightly lit and she has power tools! My standard choice for composition when I’m exploring a new medium is to create a tree. Jill is going to fuse it for me, but for now it’s already laid out, foil wrapped and ready to assemble. She’s really an amazing person—caring and generous, and just fun to sit and chitty-chat with. I’m glad she makes Bloomington her home.
This week we had what I expect is our last snow day of the year. I could tell you we had lots of snow, but the reality is that two inches of wet snow closes the schools in Bloomington. It was very pretty to see. The wet, sticky snow attached to all the branches and gave a nice patina to my yin-yang piece hanging at the carport. I made it as an installation piece, where the yin and yang are the arts and sciences. I thought it was pretty with the branches covered in snow. I was ready to take it down earlier this year, but now I think it’s OK to stay up a little longer. And the really big news of the week—I got a raspberry pie! Jim ‘discovered’ frozen farmer’s market raspberryies he had squirreled away in the freezer and forgot about. It was under the frozen Girl Scout cookies. Anyway, the flavor was awesome! And spring is almost here! The birds building nests and chirping happily outside, so I know it must be true.
Until next week,