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Posts Tagged ‘Art’

"Flawed" by Asja CroatiaThere is a site I’ve become aware of that’s kind of fun. It is called Illustration Friday. If you join you get an email each Friday of the theme for that week. You then create an illustration that highlights your interpretation of that theme. Those in charge of the site then choose an illustration to feature. As a member you can choose to enter your own ideas for a theme too. I have yet to find the time to actually enter myself, but I do enjoy getting the weekly theme and seeing what others have done to interpret it. The featured illustration here was the artist, Asja Croatia’s interpretation of the theme “Flawed”. This week’s theme is “celebrate”.

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Although I have no picture to post I will write anyways since it has been awhile. The political conventions came and went as has the summer. Being a teacher is enjoyable, but at times difficult since I miss most of September while submerged in the piles of work that surround the beginnings of a new school year. Everyone is trying so hard with their renewed attitudes and new class rosters of shiny faces and possibilities. Each year we’re asked to set professional goals. Mine are always the same and why shouldn’t they be? I am always working on the same things….to raise awareness in the community for art and to help my students become accomplished artists able to communicate their thoughts and feelings.  This is challenging for any educator, but has become especially difficult in the times we live in.  The money in my budget hasn’t grown much in recent years, but the prices for supplies to support the program have increased substantially.  It is troublesome to try to deliver a quality program on a shoestring budget.  It is also difficult to teach, identify grants, fund raise etc.  Sometimes there is so much that gets in the way of just doing the thing I set out to do…make art, teach art, love art.

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It is an exciting time right now, the Olympics will be followed by the spectacle of the Democratic and Republican conventions.  As an artist I often look at these events and wonder what they have to do with me?  What can I do to make a difference to be heard?  Does our society value the artist or care about art?  It feels like art is invisible, on the fringe…not really making a difference or mattering to the greater good of society and the world.  With this in mind I was interested in the community of Minneapolis/St. Paul and their take on the upcoming political machine about to roll into town.  I consider the Twin Cities a place where art is intrinsically part of the fabric of the cityscape and is valued by its people.  The article in the New York Times discusses the reaction and actions that both Minneapolis/St. Paul and Denver intend to take to celebrate the conventions from an arts point of view.  The Unconvention is a clever way to look at the process of politics and not really try to make people be for or against Obama or McCain. It is artists taking action to call attention to the political process.  The Denver version called Dialog:City will feature many things including a political karaoke  created by Daniel Peltz.  This will allow citizens to re-perform the speeches of John McCain and Barack Obama.  Both arts related events make me wish I could visit the cities and participate.  You can take part in some of the events.  There is a YouTube component to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Unconvention where you can record a brief video and have it be part of the I approve this message project.  I watched a few of these and they are fabulous examples of the freedom of speech.  I especially like the one woman’s sarcasm as she discusses the minions whose lives will be interrupted for four days because of the traffic jams that the conventions will cause.

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So I finally have begun making new art work, that actually feels like art. I have been taking the class at MIAD all week and have finished two video works this week. They are posted here . Hopefully, you can view them. I’m pretty psyched about the results. We had specific directions as to what we could and couldn’t do. Considering I knew nothing at the start of the week this is pretty cool. Let me know what you think.


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It seems lately I’ve noticed a trend on my part.  I am getting increasingly frustrated with myself for not making any new artwork this summer.  Summer is usually my creative time, being a teacher I am finally free and able to do what I want, although this summer I am teaching summer school.  I’ve done a few photos, but nothing really all that serious.  It seems I’m doing very well with looking at books and websites and blogs of other creative types and spending all of my free time doing just this…LOOKING.  Is this artistic laziness? 

I can rationalize that I am “filling my cup”, getting ideas and inspiration, but the reality is I am avoiding making my own art.  I know that sometimes you need to stop and take a break and do your research and get inspired, but lately this is ridiculous.  I also make excuses like, well I am knitting and making a sweater and learning that, but it is not the same as making art.  I am also working in the garden a lot and I can somehow rationalize and see this as creative too.  It is, but again it still doesn’t mean that there is new artwork flowing from my brush, scissors, printer or whatever.  I have ideas… creative fantasies almost of what I want to do.  So as Nike says:  Just do it!!! 

I think I need to just disappear for awhile and make something.  Maybe a collage or a little sketch.  Maybe I should just doodle in the little moleskine book in my purse.  That would be better than nothing.  Today when I get home from work I will disappear into the studio.  I actually have one!!! Even though the floods made half of it disappear and get messed up.  That’s also been my excuse.  Everything is disorganized in the studio.  Ok I’m back to this post and I did go into the studio and I seriously couldn’t find anything because it is all over the basement after the flood.  I spent 5 hours sorting and cleaning and organizing instead of making art!  I am really sick of this!!! I want to create.  So why don’t I do it right now?  Anyone else feel this ever?  It’s the delicious pause of procrastination, the wonderful fantasy of all the unmade art that I could produce.  It is so much better before I’ve made it isn’t it?  

So what have I been doing instead of art?  Some of the stuff that I have been looking at includes of course my flickr.com page.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/bellafiore/  
 I also have been reading: Spilling Open by:Sabrina Ward Harrison  http://www.sabrinawardharrison.com/ee/index.php/sabstudio/collect/ and also looking at the site of SARK, the creative writer/artist who did so many fun books.  http://www.planetsark.com/ .  Check these out yourself especially if you’re in an art making rut.  Maybe just maybe you’ll get out.  I hope I do!

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