Sunday, February 15, 2009

Week 6

Week 6
All week I felt nickle and dimed with the little things that had to get done. All I wanted was to be in the studio. Being super sore and exhausted from working out also took took away from making art. After 5 weeks of going to the gym for 4 hours a week, that pace was no big deal. Then on Sunday, meeting with my personal trainer made me realized that I need to work harder to reach my goals. This week I clocked 8.5 hours at the gym most of which was yoga. For the first time ever I can touch one of my heels to the ground when doing the downward facing dog! Making progress like this is super encouraging and makes me want to do yoga constantly. I consider my health super important, because without it, I couldn't make art.

What did get done this week? Let's start with the miscellaneous items.


Detail of The Pooh Wall. Worked on it from ages 11-14. It took so many years because most of the time I was living in Colorado. This left holidays in Sacramento to paint the wall.
  • freelance design for a promotional postcard for a tea and a retreat
  • started reading a photography book to improve my skill and demystify a few things
  • I missed 2nd Saturday!! It's just like 1st Thursdays in San Francisco and 1st Fridays in Oakland, where the galleries are open late and have receptions for the new artwork. It's great for networking, scoping out which galleries would be a good fit for your art and seeing what is being made. The event has been on my calendar, but I completely spaced it. Next month I am going for sure!
  • Designed a room make-over for my cousin K for her 13th birthday. It's going to involve magnetic paint and board games!
  • boxed up Ozolinsh blue-footed-boobie and gave it to Tim on Sunday for his birthday. He had the biggest grin. I burned him a cd of the boobie in progress.
  • social networking:
-joined two carnivals called Menu Plan Monday and Works-for-me-Wednesday to network and increase traffic to the blog. (Tip- I wrote all of the posts for these carnivals for the entire month and saved them as drafts. This way if I fall behind I don't have to skip a week. All I have to do is repost the draft so it have the current date and hit publish.)
-created new content for blog to entice readers to revisit the site.
- asked friends to swap recommendations on LinkedIn (as one of my teachers liked to call it, "Facebook for old people." LinkedIn is for increasing business relations to find jobs.)

Cactus Lights

  • painted bedroom walls teal
  • made hardware for hanging lights
  • installed a group for the first time
  • took photos of lights over bed
  • bought tons more lamp shades
  • knit 8 feet
  • photographed Kandinsky Cactus Light during the day and at night (Tip- In school it was stressed that art doesn't exist until it's photographed. Often artwork is judged by a photo instead of being experienced in person. Just like you are viewing my art. A photo also documents ephemeral art, which is art that lasts a short time. Andy Goldsworthy's arrangements of icicles are a great example of the necessity of photographs. This is why I am learning to use my camera and in the past I have also hired photographers.)

Record Cover Plates

As a thank you to the artist that gave me 2 boxes of records, I cut her a cover plate with a record of her choice. I had planned on playing around with melting them this week, but other things took precedence. Hopefully this week there will be some heating, melting and forming!

For more photos of this week's creations click here.

Biggest Challenge
This week was freckled with frustration. When doing something for the first time I often forget that obtaining perfection and peak efficiency is not a realistic goal. Over the last seven days there were a lot of new experiences, so the frustration tagged along. Everything was taking longer than I wanted, putting me more and more behind.

Two summers ago when first learning to throw on the potter's wheel, I would frustrate myself so much that tears would well up. I’d get tense and sometimes have to take breaks out of agitation. The trick to throwing on the wheel is being relaxed. Knowing this made me more annoyed at myself for getting frustrated.

All I wanted was to make a pot in less than a couple of minutes. To remind myself that there is a learning curve I stamped a number on the bottom of each pot, denoting how many were made to date. When making my first identical set of mugs I berated myself for taking 15 minutes to throw each cup. A production potter would do it so much faster. Then when I stamped it with the numbers 7-10, a voice went off in my head and told me, "Hey! Cut yourself some slack! You have only thrown, trimmed and glazed 10 pots ever. These are a good weight, uniform and have a fairly even wall thickness. You mixed the glaze, and loaded the kiln. You controlled the glaze that is notorious for dripping. 15 minutes per cup is good."

Here's the photos of my first 6 months throwing on the wheel.

I mention the wheel throwing story because it reflects the mindset I had on Thursday. I was installing the family of Cactus Lights over my bed. The point was to illustrate various ways of hanging the lights for potential customers. The frustration was from the installation taking longer than I wanted and because my neck hurt from looking up for hours. It didn’t help that the quality of the photos reflected my rushed mood. The only thing I was happy with was the questionable green cup that ended up glowing way better than expected. I fell asleep with the cris crossed shadows and glowing cups over head.

In the morning lying in bed, swinging the lights full tilt, I made a mental list of what was learned from going through the painful first installation. The list had 11 things I hadn't know before. That surprised me because my mind was obsessing on what wasn’t accomplished. Without doing this "failed install" it would of been slow progress to refine the Cactus Lights. Feeling better about the time spent on the first install, that afternoon I went shopping for more lampshades. Later that day I was knitting with the dog on my lamp while watching on youtube Terry Pratchett's "The Color of Magic." I am back to being excited about the project and eager to tackle it again.


Week 7 HITS
Week 5 HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)

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