I made this assemblage while at The Barn. It includes a wasp nest I found in a double decker bus, tubing from maple syrup collection, pink foam, sticks, mini moss trees, etc. I went on many walks to look for "treasures" and then used them to make sculpture. I'm very excited to continue working in this larger scale, transforming the materials and the space I work in.
This is a diptych-in-progress I made. Each painting is 12"x 12". I started them by looking at images of dead men. I was thinking about the Buddhist practice of sitting with corpses in order to fully face the impermanence of life and in turn be able to live life more fully. They look and feel much different than most of my work previous. In fact my work made a huge shift in Vermont.
During my residency I was able to spend a lot of time asking myself questions like: what is meaningful to me? How am I making meaning with my work? What is my work telling me already? I learned a lot about myself and my process. In a bigger sense here is a very important thing I learned through a studio visit I had at The Barn:
We were looking at my many paintings I made with bear heads in them (one of which is the large painting I mentioned above in my studio shot). I was also working on a collaborative sculpture with a bear head in it that Mikel made (part of which is also in the image above). The visitor asked me how my work with bears fits in with all the other bear/animal art that is being made right now (apparently there is a current of nature nostalgia going on in the art world). At first I really tried to answer that questions for myself but then I realized that the question is moot. For me, my art is more like looking at dreams. The more appropriate questions becomes: What do bears mean to me? and What kind of bears am I painting?
Here are some of my discoveries: I've been painting impotent bears. Bears are naturally strong, powerful, and full of productive rage. My bears are the opposite: wimpy, powerless. The important questions for me are: what part of me is an impotent bear? Who are the impotent bears in my life? And the meaning-making goes on...
This piece has a super duper awesome title but I wrote it down in my other sketchbook that is now at my house and not here at Orwell Cafe with me. It is the sculpture that will be part of Firehouse Gallery's traveling Human=Landscape exhibition. I finished it while in VT. I imagine that if Florida and Vermont had a love affair, this is what their child might look like. As the climate warms, Vermont may have to have it's own tropical arranged marriage, if not love affair.
Finally, some business:
My etsy shops are back in action!
Also, I have an art opening on October 1, 7:00-10:00 at Better Than Jam in Bushwick. Better Than Jam is an awesome shop and art venue. I will be October's artist of the month and today I will be hopefully purchasing a wallet there due to mine being stolen yesterday. Bummer in some ways but also awesome because I needed a new wallet anyway! I also got a much cooler phone out of the deal. Thanks thief! :-)
Have a great weekend everyone!