Entry 69. [the process]
I’m working on new art tonight.
It’s part of my new, easy-does-it schedule approach to making art; devoting a set amount of time each and every day to creating NEW work. (It’s amazing how many things I can create to distract myself from that which I love doing the most…)
My work tends to come in spurts - and these spurts are not so good for me. I’ll go a few weeks just collecting photographs, collecting ideas, writing stories and poetry but not creating much of anything - and then suddenly lock myself away for days and days at a time to finish a new piece. That’s binge creating. (Much like binge drinking. No no no, I don’t do that…not anymore) Binge creating is how I made the last piece, “The World is as You Are”, and the one before that, and the one before that…
So, step one, is to make something new every day. Even if it’s a new brush stroke.
Aside from this binge creation work habit, I have come to notice some things about my process that I’d like to share with you.
But first, a little story to help it along.
I went on a trip last weekend. A beautiful 5 days in the wild - slept in a dome (or was it a yurt?) sleeping bag, flashlight, food in a cooler…ya know, roughing it. Yeah, I know very little about camping, and I know this wasn’t exactly roughing it, but it was close. For me. I carelessly packed for this trip, throwing everything in the suitcase (yes a suitcase to camp) at the last minute. I get to the site and what do I realize? What did I forget to bring? Pajama bottoms. Yup. I slept in jeans for 4 nights. Tight jeans. It was fine, I made do, but unfortunately, that’s what I tend to do with my work, too. Forget something that would make a huge difference in my level of comfort.
The truth is that when I set off to make a new piece, I am hugely unprepared. I have an idea, of course. But that’s about all I have. A core idea, that when the piece has declared itself finished will be plain as day - and until the piece is finished, the core idea might be a little hidden at times. That’s when I’ve learned I have to have faith. Or pretend I have faith.
(I only need enough faith to get to the end…)
Despite the fact that I have hundreds of thousands of photographs of what I call firewood (firewood are the details in my photomontages) at the ready, I still have to go out and shoot specifically for each piece. Each piece is a fickle being with its own drama, its own point of view, its own, destiny, if you will.
I’ll be working on a piece and suddenly t hink, “ooh, I need to add wings, how about bat wings?” And then I have to figure out where I can go to photograph bat wings. That’s what I meant when I said this was an action and reaction process.
But I love it. Deeply.
Starting new work tonight, I was going through my antique photos.
As is always the case this early in the game I am impatient, excited, and a little obsessed.
This piece is one that has been incubating in my sketchbook for a long time. At least a year. (I should really date those sketches, eh?) It is a piece inspired by Barber’s Adagio, an old friend, an old dream, an old crush, and the hope that lives at the bottom of all those things.
So what am I doing writing this photoblog???
There was a time where I’d write these silly little photoblogs about my day, and I’d write them each and every day. I’d include quick iphone images from the day and insights I gleamed along the way. That was a year ago, maybe more. Writing these photoblogs is something that has been on my to-do list each and every day since. (How sad is that?!?! Procrastinate much?)
I rather enjoyed writing them, hopefully I can be disciplined enough to write at least a couple times a week. We’ll see!