Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sad but True...

Another news story has inspired me to make some art...   the latest, a story about a young bear that gets hooked on people food...  "Bear falls through skylight, eats cupcakes."  Of course it ends badly for the bear as is often the case when people and wild life cross paths.

Previously (in 2012) I made this piece inspired by another animal tragedy "Alligator bites hand off of tour boat guide" .  The insult to injury in that story is eventually the guide is charged with having fed the gators for the benefit of his business.
 I doubt people will ever be satisfied with their urge to sprawl and consume every parcel of land for their own use leaving nowhere for wildlife to be wild. Encroachment and using animals for entertainment are serious concerns.  Maybe someday we'll all learn to coexist. Until then I guess I'll keep immortalizing these stories in images.  Long live Cupcake.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How Long?

So...  recently I've been struggling (again) with the idea of how long should one keep trying at this artist business.  When do you call it a day and go back to a regular life with a 40 hour job and give up this idiocy of creativity and just be normal and have a retirement plan.  How long do you keep trying?  Then I realized that it is your whole life.  You can't quit even if you want to. Because you are what you are.  Then today I saw this video and it made me feel better.  While not on the same topic it is related and it talks about the long years before discovery that some great people (i.e. Davinci) endured just working on their 'thing'...  I would offer the perspective that these people kept working because that was who they were... when you are on your proper path that is where you walk. You can't help but keep making art or doing experiments when it is your calling because the choice of giving up in those years and doing anything else is even worse than struggling on. At least there is apparently a shred of hope that those years pay off.... and if not you were at least true to yourself and gave it a shot....   right?

One last thought to ponder: Yes people today want immediate gratification BUT also we aren't taught to do much by way of self exploration we're taught to earn a living and a lot of people want to rush success maybe to get to the end goal of being rich and famous (that is what we want in America right?!) because then they can finally DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO.  So your choice is spend your life doing what you love and struggling with a small chance of "making it" or spend your life waiting for the day when you can get started on your passion.  Maybe I want immediate gratification too because I am not willing to wait until I'm 62 to follow my dreams I want to do that now.  (bringing us full circle to the struggle, and repeat!)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

a shadowy future?

I checked out a book on shadow puppets from the library recently (YES ANOTHER ONE) anyway...  for a long long time I've thought my block prints would translate well into shadow puppets...  I've never done this type of thing really (except for the usual bunny ears during that elementary school film strip and if you don't know what a film strip is you need to time travel back to the previous century! ding! now turn the page!)

Anyway I've had numerous close calls with puppet projects but nothing ever REALLY my orbit is back in that galaxy AGAIN... and not sure if I'll be crash landing into a new planet or not... we'll see!

Meanwhile you can travel with me and have some summer fun using a flashlight and make shadow puppets with your hands (check out this cool reproduction of advertising for a chocolate company for some ideas!!) or cut them out of paper and make a puppet theater! (after reading this blog post i'm totally tempted to make one from a cereal box)

If you want a sample of some artistry check out the work of a real legend, German artist Lotte Reiniger (google her!) thanks to the internet we can enjoy a shadow play right now this very minute!

It is summer, time for late nights and sleep overs and forts and fun, sure creepy things MIGHT lurk in the why not join in the fun?!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

exploring by way of a series

sometimes you dont know where you're going until you get there...
the past few days i've been exploring ritual masks of various cultural groups--
african, mexican, american -- first nations...  and thinking about the transformative power
of something hand made that took a dancer or shaman and assisted them in transcending
from the day to day world to a more magical spiritual realm...  i hope to capture a taste
of that ritual magic in my work and bring it back to our day to day lives.

images here of recent carved block and silk screen images in progress

sometimes i wonder how many little blocks will i have to carve before i am done with a topic.
sometimes you're never done and you revisit that imagery over and over for years not realizing the deeper theme but just following where the inspiration leads you.
sometimes exploring art is really you exploring yourself.
sometimes it is just fun to make things that look really dang cool.

just keep working, you'll know when you get there.