January 2011
My art making process is very intuitive. The things I observe, the connections I make with them, and the process I choose to use are all dependent on my intuition. My subconscious intuitively stitches together seemingly unrelated aspects of my life and works it’s way into my artwork when I least expect it. The understandings I glean from my immediate environment are absorbed, forgotten, and then reemerge linked together with other knowledge. I combine these observations (this knowledge?) with my personal thoughts, feelings and emotions to form working ideas for my pieces. Additionally, I mix multiple materials with a dash of chance and a handful of guidance.
I need to create with my hands and I love experimenting with materials. I find pleasure in the simple process of making. I enjoy putting shredded paper and water into a blender and pureeing them together to form a pulpy mixture. I love to stick my hands into this mash and just touch and feel the goop even before I create anything with it.
I use this tactile process to let my personal voice escape. I initially began by using the tactile process formally, allowing myself to simplify and concentrate on the process of making. In what I call “My Formals”, the process and the meaning are inseparable. I have an interaction with my art and, if I allow it, a conversation with the materials I am using. Both the love of tactility and the process of making are vital to all areas of my life and especially to my art.
I discovered that part of this process of making is combining what I see and experience with the surprising complexities and ironic opposites of life. When the complicated photos of people in the Mag Blocks are contrasted against the simple, whimsical outline of my pictogram girl, the people in the magazine pictures seem cold and less human in comparison. The generic quality of the girl was given her humanity, and thus complexity, by hand-drawing her. In Mag Blocks the complicated magazine pages are simplified, suggesting the complexities in the simple girl. The pictogram girl simplifies the complicated and reveals complexities.
My intuitive process helped see that in many ways life is like algebra. Algebra is about processes and outcomes called equations. As I was sitting in algebra class one day, my mind began to wander. As often happens, my thoughts ran through my different pieces of art. As I came to my pictogram girl, I suddenly saw her in the algebra problems on the board in front of me. I mentally replaced the numbers with my girl. I did not see her as a number, but rather in the position of one. This helped me see that each of us has equations in our lives. Something I had seen before suddenly popped into my mind and combined with what I saw before me. The Chalkboard Pieces show how I use my intuition, my inspiration, and my experimentation with my materials to come up with ideas for new work.
I discovered that ultimately, Life ≠ Algebra. Life’s equations are not always parallel to those of algebra. With algebra, you can write down all the variables, do the math correctly, and get predictable results. But life is full of unpredictable results and each person’s life equations are different. One of my Life Equations is: ? = X or Y (man or woman is happy). One of my Life Equations is not: ?= { } (no one/nothing is happy). Of course another of my life’s equations is that sometimes you cannot make sense of life OR algebra, no matter how many times it is explained! I continue to discover my life equations.
I look forward to furthering my discoveries by expanding my education so that I can better understand my own and life’s complexities, learn my life equations, and further develop my decision making and art making processes.
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