Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

My Art Lair desk.

The Art Lair Magic Cupboard.

Christmas has come and gone, allowing Betty Sager and I to find the time to chat with each other about our upcoming show at the WKP Kennedy Gallery and Thames Art Gallery. We decided that we liked the theme 'Life and Death'. We haven't decided on a title just yet, but I'm thinking "A Matter of Life and Death" might be a good choice.

Both Betty and I create found object art shadowboxes which I am gradually learning is a somewhat unique niche in art. I am quite excited about working with her, as I have never met another shadowbox artist. I'm sure we will have a lot to talk about.

In September, when the afterburners cooled off and The Exhibitchin' at ARTspace was behind me, I have to admit that I was ready to quit shadowboxing and work in found object sculpture.

I wanted to work outside the box.

Unfortunately, my frustration with trying to figure out how to attach larger items together overwhelmed me. In a shadowbox, I can take a bit of glue and make just about anything stick to anything. Minimal physical effort. But attaching a vanity table leg to a drawer to suggest a Furniture Woman, as I was planning, had me confused. I just don't work with items that big and stability is a huge factor. I had nightmares of my fabulous Furniture Women collapsing on unsuspecting art patrons in North Bay. I came to the conclusion that working with unfamiliar ingredients and preparing new (and probably precarious) sculpture pieces for an exhibition is NOT the time to experiment with drills, carpenter's glue, and sweating. Plus I would need a willing assistant, as I can't hold a drill.

So, my motto for 2012 is "Go with what you know". My artwork this year will be the same media (shadowboxes, photos, printmaking) but I am going to try and do it all a little differently.

In terms of the upcoming exhibition, Betty is choosing life. I am choosing death- as a theme, that is. I am going to create pieces that push the macabre theme I've been subtly sliding into for a few years now (an example is the photo "The Nightmare of Suzie-Q"). I'm gonna let it fly, and not care if people start avoiding me in public places. For 2012, I am going to let loose my inner Goth Warrior Queen.

Happy New Year to all my friends and Lone Wolves out there. We are all connected and are merely channelling some larger creative force.

Let's open our minds and let it fly.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Juried Show 2011

And here I am, posing with my piece "In the Crosshairs"

at the Thames Art Gallery Juried Show 2011.

I think many people found my tryptic disturbing. I just want to explain that I have been featuring a doll named Muffy in my artwork for a few years now, and about three months ago, I decided I didn't want to utilize her image for awhile. Maybe never again.

"In the Crosshairs" is my way of 'killing her off', so to speak.

I am now embarking on my quest to create work for a show at the WKP Kennedy Gallery in North Bay and the Mezzanine Gallery in the Thames Art Gallery here in Chatham. And I do not want to use Muffy in any of my work. I think I have evolved somewhat. This is not to say that I will discard all doll images completely (they're always good for a laugh!) but I think I've reached a point where I can say what I need to say without using doll parts.

I think. Besides, I think I was getting type-cast.

Regardless, I was pleased to be selected for the Juried Show. It is my first 'paid' show as an artist, and being chosen gave me a real boost. It is especially interesting that I was selected, as I wasn't even going to enter. I ended up being one of only two artists selected from Chatham!

So there's today's lesson- you can't win if you don't participate. And apparently you can do just about anything you want if you present it right.

RIP Muffy. For now.