Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thoughts of warmer weather…

We’re back in the icebox in southern Indiana after a nice warm-up last week. While my frozen toes understand reality, my mind is off in warmer places. I finished my seashell piece, but with a twist that took even me by surprise. I had very carefully laid out a pattern for the large shells, designed to create clear movement as you visually took in the piece. Then my inner child quickly surveyed the piece and clearly demanded: MORE SHELLS! I watched as she grabbed a handful from my ‘shells with holes’ bag and proceeded to dump them on the piece. I gave her a healthy snack to settle her down a little, and while she was eating I arranged the shells a little. I loved the idea of having a little chaos in the front, and yet if you look carefully you can still see the underlying pattern and flow. Now there’s a metaphor for my life with kids! Or maybe the feel of the piece just captures that little depression in the beach you find where all the shells collect at low tide. There’s usually a cute little beat-up seastar that didn’t handle the surf well. That’s the metaphor for my husband.

A lot of other new or commissioned art is also coming together in my studio, and some of it will unexpectedly be on display around town this month. I got word from Jean Kautt at Bloomingfoods (she organizes the Blooming Arts Series) that the February artist had a family emergency and couldn’t hang a show. I have a few new birch pieces (birches, beaches—I’ve got to branch out), plus a few ‘previously shown’ pieces that I’ll hang at both Bloomingfoods locations. The show will be called “Thoughts of Warmer Weather: Water and Sunshine”. The east side store will feature ‘Water’ and the west side will be ‘Sunshine’ in case you’re wondering. I won’t show my new ‘Home Grown Tomatoes’ commission piece, but after adding the last little cluster of tomatoes it looks warm, happy and yummy. This weekend I’ll complete the attaching and call it done. I’ll also be at Wonderlab this Friday as part of their “The Science of Color Series”, doing a kid- and adult-friendly community art project. We’re going to build a large Eastern Tiger Swallowtail mosaic out of wine corks that volunteers have been painting for the project. Stop on by and share in the fun!

Finishing pieces also means new beginnings, and at the moment I’m struggling to decide which piece to launch into next. I have several ideas swirling around in my head, and basically I’ll just wait to see what the weather is like Monday to decide which color palate I need to work with. The first piece will present a chameleon, sitting on a fernlike compound leaf. The second will feature a sand crab on a beach pocked with crab holes. Keeping the sand out of their living room carpets must be quite a task—I’m sure there’s a great market for rugged sand crab vacuum cleaners. The third piece hits a little closer to home, to be called something like ‘The Transplant’. It will show a section of earth with a freshly dug hole, ready to receive a geranium with a severely overgrown root ball. If you’ve ever bought a flower that’s spent a little too much time at the greenhouse with abundant light and fertilizer you know what I mean. It’s going to be a little painful (for everyone involved) to break up the root ball and get started in a new environment, but you know it’s both necessary and the right thing to do. I think about my own transplantations that way, whether it was my move from Ontario to Bloomington, or whether it was my move from world of science into the art community. I owe a lot to the gardeners along the way, and I know that with a little light, water and fertile ground, anyone can blossom!

Until next week…

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful recent pieces. Love the gowns and tomatos and seashells.