April 24, 2011

I will just say...

I am inspired.
That is all for now.

April 20, 2011

Well? Well.

You don't know unless you try.
As you all know...
That's what I got out of the XFACTOR "experience".
Well, about a month ago, I submitted tea bowl photos for the
2011 Tea Bowl National at The Kansas City Clay Guild .
LO and BEHOLD. This blue puppy got in!

The KCCG is planning to give a portion of their percentage to the Earthquake/Tsunami relief in Japan. I am so pleased, I will give my entire portion to that relief effort.

In the mean time... I have been revamping My Etsy Shop .
I have decided the gradiated grey background with all of the knicks and scratches that occur, as well as the lack of pureness is on my nerves. So, I went white.
The work seems to pop. There is nothing else to focus on. I think it feels more current.
I am thinking if I need the other background for submissions and such, I will switch only then. I liked the burlap background but it seemed to distract more than I cared for. I am thinking if I do sales and shows, fresh white paper or other white material is the way I'd like to go.
So I changed my avatar too:

AND I took all new photos of my existing listings:

I have a bunch of work in the bisque kiln right now.

I have decided to focus on clays that do not have MANGANESE in them as everyone is FREAKING me out about the continued throwing of my speckled and chocolate brown clays.
SO... I am working with some red,the speckled tan without speckles and my white cone 6 porcelain(I still battle with that name). I am going to try to use the other stuff as slip as needed and be very careful mixing and with clean up and wear masks...etc...

A little background:
I have been really focused on the action painters and therefore, the abstract expressionists of the 40''s to 60's. This has been in my repertoire of interest after I left fashion behind and embarked on my own "self-study", continuing my art history education. I really focused on that time and the work. The life style and the war was interesting to me as well. I poured over books in the library at the time and then I read the 930 page book "Jackson Pollock:An American Saga". (To be fair, the book really ends on page 801...but I digress)The book sends you off on to "historical" tangents about any one and everyone who touched his life... including his ancestors, his parents, his teachers, the other artists right before and during his time... and of course his wife: Lee Krasner. Well... I have been reading about her NOW ,as I have always been intrigued by her and the "supporting role" that she played. She was a very "relevant" artist in her own right and it is very interesting how the times and society did and still does have a profound affect on women vs. men in the art world(actually in all professions). But again, I digress.
Well, not really.

My general focus with my work now is gesture and statement.

I am most interested in working with certain textures and layering but I don't want to be gratuitous.
You know?
I don't want to add "STUFF" just to add "STUFF".
Sometimes as I am working, I am carving or glazing and I just get what is like a writer's "run on sentence"...
This blog is an example of this sort of writing.
Sometimes that works for people.
In my art, it does not work for me.
I like layering and development of surface but it needs cohesion.
You know?
It can only be busy-busy if all of the busy-ness creates a depth instead of dizziness...
This is really important to me in my work.
It is hard at times to be happy with the end result.

These are my deeper issues with my art.
This is the struggle I have and will likely continue to have.
I have these issues within me whether I am creating a mug or a sculptural wall piece. Sometimes I have to let go and move to the next piece.
Sometimes I am satisfied and sometimes I am not.
Sometimes I can reach a more comfortable place with a piece I was not entirely comfortable with by choosing glazes and glaze applications that morph the piece into something I am happier with.
Sometimes I cannot.
Sometimes I am most happy at the leather hard to bone dry stage and I cringe at the future of the piece because I know I will lose how I feel about it in that moment.
So fleeting.
So hard.
But I continue.
Because I really can't stop....
I have to twist and turn and ponder and discuss and fret and frustrate and love and lose.
I often think I wish I did not have this.
This inner struggle.
This outer struggle.
And then I secretly(?) thank goodness this is who I am.
I do believe I need it as much as need air and water.
It is a conundrum.
I work hard to be present and focused and in the moment.
I will continue to attempt to have that as well as this.

Carry on.

April 14, 2011

Inspired By My Son (AKA XFactor HELL.)

Ok... I will link this to Ceramics.
I swear.
So, I have spent the past 48 hours in XFactor HELL with my dear 14 1/2 year old son Jake!
He is pictured here with his 15 year old friend Bree at the XFactor auditions in Newark NJ this AM.
It is probably 7am in this photo.

Let me back track.
Jake has been writing and performing music with his keyboard for years...
He has some songs recorded last year on itunes HERE.
He played at The Stone Pony with his buddy, Matt Callahan in early March.... Not great video work but it gives you an IDEA.

So he caught wind of the new Simon Cowell XFactor show that was coming to America and decided he HAD to give it a try.
I TRIED for MONTHS to tell him and plead my case s to why I felt this particular venue wasn't a good fit for him... but he persisted(like mother, like son)
My final PLEA (when we arrived at 11:30 PM Tuesday night to "camp out" for the HOLY wristband needed for the audition in TORRENTIAL RAIN and temperatures in the 40s...) was that because the chances of winning were better if we played the lottery, I was willing to buy ONE THOUSAND lottery tickets instead.

He passed.


Well,it was wet. This is a DRY photo. In between bouts... 4am perhaps. FROZEN and SOAKED.

We made it inside at 6:15am and and hit the road home with our wristbands at 6:30 am.

OK... well the really hard part was yet to come...
I felt like I was going to toss my cookies when we arrived at 5:15 this AM to get in line again... the nervousness in me was really the strongest right before his 20 second audition. These are the 36+"booths" with 2 judges in each... they pulled you along and away you went... He performed well,a soulful... albeit,mellow version of Albert King's I'll Play the Blues for You ... accapella. It was different...
and NICE. The judges were a bit clueless...
He tried and he was passed over.

THERE were 15-20000 people auditioning.
He stayed strong and did it.
He will move forward.
So what does he say as we are walking out?
"So, is the 1000 lottery tickets offer still available?"
I said, sadly, "Sorry Jake, I think not."
And we drove home.
We have had many conversations since the 11:45am car ride from Newark to home.
I believe Jake's talent lies in the fact that he is a whole AWESOME package...
He's into writing and producing as well as performing and I am drawn to that creative ability. Academically he's rockin' too...
He is wise while still being young.
I am proud to be his mom and I expect the future will be very interesting.

NOW... how does this relate to CERAMICS????
Well, I am always "waiting for the next one"...
I really don't put my work out there for competitions much....
Because...I always fell like the next piece will be better; The work isn't mature enough yet; etc.
I may be right... BUT...
I am clearly afraid of rejection.
This is not a way to live.
I have learned from my young son with the old soul to go ahead and try.
So... that's my plan.
But be patient.
I've got a lot on my PLATE.
Pun intended.