Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
The body of work for the “Real and the Imagined” is inspired by and comes from my time volunteering at the Newport Animal Shelter in Newport, TN. While there, I witnessed so many pets brought in and the vast amount of energy the workers and volunteers exuded to save them. I felt the best way that I could make a difference was to make art about what I saw. I was not a bystander and instead rolled up my sleeves and worked as hard as the rest. While there, I was even fortunate enough to be able to take a vanload of dogs to safety in New York through a rolling rescue program. The work is very personal since I was a part of it.
My original intent was to stay with the shelter for a year and to make portraits to honor the dogs and cats that were not lucky enough to be on the transport to safety or to find homes. Unfortunately, I was only able to be there a short time after my Mother became very ill and I needed to move back to Iowa. The project changed from mere portraits as I suddenly found myself working with the information I had gathered during my time there and having to move states away. While working on this project I dealt with the loss of my Grandmother, my Mother, my Grandfather, and I have recently been diagnosed with cancer. The work is not solely about the portraits at all now and has become something much deeper and meaningful to me.
The 2-room gallery at Simpson has afforded me an opportunity to change the work in an even different direction. In one room I have the “real” which consists of the photos I took of the living and the dead I encountered at the shelter… in the other room is the “imagined” which relates to how my imagination has removed the animals from their bars. In some of the work in the “imagined” I have included an image I found of my Mom that I found after her death – she is a young dancer…. And this carries great importance because prior to her death she could not walk anymore- she too had fallen into a cage like the animals I met. While she was dying she talked about seeing past pets who my family had loved, but had lost to death– so I believe she is there with all them…
The work you see is not the end of my project- it is really just the start.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
I finally got some plywood and am working on some mixed media pieces.... just taking a break while things dry.... I am using the photos I took and mixing them with some old photos ... I won't explain much more till I have some images to put on here.. funny how things work.. while readying images for the mixed media pieces I had an idea for an installation piece and am excited to get that going as well... although none of it will happen if I can't get the flippin saw to work - I received a miter saw as a gift, but it is stuck in the down position and locked.. it says to unlock it to use it, but I can't figure out how! ugh.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Maybe I mentioned that I was reworking all of the photos before? (maybe I should read my own blog- ha ha). I haven't been on the drawings as much lately. My intention at this point is to have a variety of media in the show - but they all carry related images with the subject matter.
I have stepped back into the cubicle life. I need some sort of steady income and my artwork is just not supporting me at all. So, I work all day and hit the art when I get home. I am tired. But, a lot of us have a day job.... I wish though it was something cool like dolphin training or professional macaroni taster.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I have been thinking about this project a lot and about this blog. When I began the blog as a part of the work, I thought it would be interesting to document the process and the hurdles I would come across during it. I have always been interested in how an artist got to the point when they painted their works . It has always interested me in how the time a person lives in affects their work as well as their relationships, their living conditions, economic status, etc. When I began this blog, I wasn't thinking about all of those things - I was thinking about solely how the project would go - but I am realizing that so many of those things have really affected the project. It's as if each drawing and painting I do has a million little invisible strings attached to it.. strings that carry the issues in my life that affect that work of art even though I would not have ever thought they had an influence. So, this blog is making me take all of this in and understand more in depth for myself those seemingly invisible influences that, in fact, have as much influence in this work as the actual animals at the shelter have.
One thing I also wanted to document, was how things change.. how art to me is a very organic process and with shifts in the environment the work adapts and changes. One major change recently is an opportunity and a loss I have come across.
First the opportunity - next September, I have my first and so far only, show with this work. It will be at a college gallery and the gallery actually is two rooms.. two rooms separated by a hallway. So, I had some thinking to do about how the work will appear placed in two rooms - this provides me with an opportunity - what if within the work - there were too different directions?
And now the loss - as I sat at the bedside of my dying Mom for over two months, I became a spectator to the dying process. Now, this process was new to me in that I have seen death before. Only when this project began had I encountered it. Prior to coming to the shelter, I came across a dog who had been hit on the road- that dog looked at me with glassy eyes wagged its tail and died. A short time later, I had the unfortunate experience of seeing a terrible car accident and saw a man dying as he was pinned against a tree.. it was a violent and terrible thing. And then, of course, I have seen the euthanasia. The euthanized animals had fear in their eyes and I could have sworn they "knew" - they knew. But, their deaths were quick and peaceful.
My Mom's death was different - it took time. I witnessed her for so many weeks talking to others in the room that I could not see. Some people might say there were ghosts or angels.. I don't know,, but many things led me to believe they were real. She talked about things before they happened - one day she excitedly told "them" I had just sold a piece of art - I had not for some time - yet two days later I did. There were other things. She also talked about seeing the pets of the past.. Toby my childhood dog was one she "saw"one day and was very excited. She talked about a beautiful place and said it was warm all the time there - she even asked "them" one day if I could come along. And then one day she turned to me out of the blue and said "Tinkerbell died of old age". Tinkerbell was a cat I loved as a child who was taken from me and taken to the pound by my parents... I had always wondered about her... it was upsetting to me.. but I never really talked to my Mom about it - so it was astonishing that on her deathbed my Mom told me that. She told me she lived with her new family until she died of old age. So, it got me thinking.. according to my Mom - the animals could be seen after death- where did they go?
So I have decided that in one gallery I will have the "real" the images - drawings, paintings, photos of the animals I have met and who have gone. In the second gallery will be the "imagined" - the images of them in what might be their next stop. According to my Mom the next stop is a beautiful place - it is warm - there is swimming :) - and no one seems to be alone.. so I would like to include this as part of the project. I have a lot of work to do.