What is Quartz Inversion?
No, it’s not a quart of milk standing on its head. It’s the point at which silica crystals in clay change their molecular structure during the rise and fall of temperatures in the kiln. Heat serves as a catalyst for permanent change. Very cool idea. I think of it as a metaphor for most things in life. The transformational power of art can change us at the very core. Our actions change the earth every day, for better or worse. The choices we make, the thoughts we have, and the words we say change us in every way at every moment--from the inside out. I like to think that I go through a quartz inversion on a regular basis....and once quartz inversion occurs, there is no going back.
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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The things that can work for or against me......

These are the things I struggle to keep at bay when I am working:
1. Becoming derivative of rather than inspired by
2. Being influenced by other peoples praise or criticism
3. Rushing too quickly to judge a new piece
4. Frustration, discouragement, lethargy

I have to remember it is best to live with a new piece for a while before deciding whether it is worthy of keeping, re-working, or discarding. I have decided to let this piece live.....

Work keeps coming.....

I'm not sure how I feel about this new triptych. I'm still experimenting with the material and with the different ways it can be used, but I feel like these three small panels are a bit too "designed" and thought out. They came more from my head than my gut, which is where I always try to work from. The head is the worst place to start. Once you start thinking, the intuition is smothered, and for me, the creative process is more about letting the intuition speak and keeping the brain quiet.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

More Christmas Creativity...

Christmas weekend was very productive. I'm experimenting a lot with different encaustic techniques and trying to find my voice with this medium. The possibilities are endless, but so is the risk of being derivative of all the other encaustic art that is out there. Although it's a very versatile medium, it's difficult to find originality and make your work look different from everything that has been done with it before. There's a lot of juggling the challenges of the medium itself with the challenge of developing one's own voice. I think I am getting there, slowly but surely......One must repeat, repeat, repeat until the breakthrough comes.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Time is Here!

In keeping with my annual tradition of spending Christmas Day in my studio, I had a very productive day. I really can't think of anywhere else I would have preferred to be....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Giovanni's Notebooks......

My new muse is my grandfathers notebooks.~~ beautiful yellowing sheets covered in fancy, floral, old-world script that looks like a cross between ancient palimpsests and Cy Twombly drawings.

Every Sunday after lunch my grandfather would retreat to his club chair, pencil in hand, and write for hours on end. No one ever bothered to ask what he was writing, and when he died the notebooks remained in a pile on the TV stand along with his dictionaries, newspaper clippings, and crossword puzzles. I have recently begun to translate the notebooks with the help of various Italian-speaking friends and to my utter surprise they are filled with the most amazing musings on politics, religion, and philosophy. Some pages contain quotes by Dostoyevsky, Thoreau, and Churchill. Others are drafts of letters to his beloved sister Corradina in Pozzallo, Sicily.

My grandfather was a simple, quiet man, a blue collar laborer, an immigrant who became a patriotic American, yet remained steadfastly loyal and devoted to his homeland and it's traditions. I am now discovering that there was another, more complicated side to him. The notebooks are a window into the person who was my grandfather, a man who I adored, a man I am still getting to know.......

Saturday, December 5, 2009

To Make...or Bake....

I spent the day simultaneously BAKING cookies, and MAKING art. FYI, it's more fun to make art. The 'baking' part, which was supposed cookies made from scratch, is for a party in which 6 or 7 women bake cookies and exchange recipes. My recipe is pretty basic: Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookies mix, one egg, water, and vegetable oil. OK, I did embellish with some frosting and sprinkles, but that was just about as complicated as I was willing to get.

The 'making' part was going on while I was checking the cookies in the oven. Somehow, the art-making was much more of a cooking experience than the baking was. Working in encaustic or clay (my two favorite mediums) is a wonderful combination of mixing, stirring, forming, combining, and heating. You finish with something that looks good enough to eat. If that's not cooking, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mario Giacomelli....my new Italian boyfriend

I've been meaning to post info about this amazing Italian artist I discovered while I was in Italy: Mario Giacomelli. I had never heard of him before, and Wikipedia has only a few words to say about him:
'Giacomelli was a self-taught photographer. At 13, he left high school, began working as a typesetter and spent his weekends painting. After the horrors of World War II, he turned to the more immediate medium of photography. He wandered the streets and fields of post-war Italy, inspired by the gritty Neo-Realist films of Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini.'
This is a photographer worth checking out. His aerial landscapes in particular, blew me away. If I could make ONE piece of work in my life that inspires in someone what his photos inspire in me, I would die a happy and fulfilled woman.