Thursday, August 05, 2010

Welcome Back to New York - Part #2

Of course the main point of taking this trip to the US was to take part in the WSW Summer Arts Institute. From the level of instruction to the fabulous meals provided by WSW, the entire experience was a really valuable and constructive one.

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Tatana Kellner and Cynthia Winika are both very patient and attentive instructors as well as being really powerful artists in their own right. Having the opportunity to work with them came when I most needed it. Their level of mastery and enthusiasm for their chosen mediums was absolutely contagious. Their idea kept all of the workshop participants going on their individual projects and helped us all keep our minds off the fact that were were working with hot wax in the middle of a heat wave.

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Nothing loosens up my brain better than learning a new skill as a debutante. When I’m not expected to be an expert there is a level of play and willingness to take risks that doesn’t usually happen when I am working in a media that I call my own.

The entire experience was about learning to make art, yet not once did I feel the need to actually…make art. I was so focused on the technical aspects that honestly, I wasn’t too concerned with coming home with finished works. And since we were learning 3 techniques in just 4 days, it struck me as a bit arrogant to think that I could even accomplish such a thing.
The second day I was upstate, I went to the local goodwill to look for old books or any printed material I could incorporate as collage elements into my work. I ended up finding two very interesting, although incredibly racist books, on 'The Wild West' published in the 1920’s and 30’s. Under the influence of vocabularly such as "savages", "destiny", and "massacre", I let the text and images in the books guide me into new territory so to speak. I just responded to what was written in the books. New stuff happened.

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Oddly enough however, the 3 pieces I did actually work on look strangely like my normal work in a lot of ways. I always hope that a new medium will suddenly transform my imagery or the way I work, when in reality, no matter what I do end up looking like I made it. Whether I’m making cupcakes or paintings. Clearly I’m always me.

In other news: New stuff happening in the studio…I’ve been mixing concrete in my garage….more coming soon!


'Drea said...

It's good that you are always you and that you have a unique, artistic voice.

Personally, I love it when I'm playful enough to take risks. I wish that I could capture that mood more often.

Sounds like your workshop was definitely worth the sojourn...

Shanster said...

how cool is that? whatever you make looks like you made it - even when you are in unchartered territory. I really like that thought.... that we carry ourselves onward in all that we do.

So glad you had such a good, productive trip!