Thursday, September 23, 2010
I thought I would mix it up a bit and focus on ceramics today or more particularly, the work of Cameron Crawford. During my undergrad studies at CSU Chico, Cameron was a teacher in the ceramics department. Recently while cleaning out my closet, I came across a post card promoting one of his past gallery shows. On the front was a picture of one of his pieces - I had forgotten how beautiful they were.
While he has a large body of work, many which are brightly colored, I am particularly drawn to the pieces that have soft neutral tones. To me, these are the most reminiscent of old buildings in a state of decay. They evoke the same reaction in me that I once had in an old abandoned theater. It was both hauntingly beautiful and strangely sad to look at. The theater was filled with gorgeous, ornate details in the architecture and furnishings. Unfortunately, years of neglect had taken their toll. Drapes were torn and disintegrating, plaster was crumbling and the balcony was falling apart. Despite such advanced decay, it was not hard to picture what it must have looked like at the peak of its time. In some ways, it's faded beauty was even more striking now, made prominent in the rubble. What was left had stood the test of time. It was quite moving. Needless to say, Cameron's pieces always remind me of that theatre and I wanted to share them today.
Friday, September 17, 2010
I have recently started getting back into assemblage and I have to say, it has been incredibly rewarding. Day after day I wake up inspired and ready to work. It's as if the pieces just come pouring out of me. And collecting the materials is just as fun. Whether it be beach combing for driftwood, creek walking for stones, or yard-saling it up for discarded "junk," I always seem to end up with something special. I work with found objects, which personally makes it more interesting and engaging for me. I'm particularly fascinated by old scrap wood and hardware. It leaves me wondering where each object has been. Was it once shiny, new and loved? Was it part of someones home? If so, who lived there? It's interesting to speculate on its past and on the trajectory that brought it to it's current state of decay.
The last few days have ended in excellent treasures. Yesterday I was able to nab some ornate table legs, broken statue feet and various other interesting tidbits, after responding to an ad for free scrap wood on Craigslist. Today I explored an old abandoned shack in the middle of the woods, and was able to find all sorts of old rusty hardware and interesting pieces of wood laying buried amongst the ruble. I now have enough supplies to keep creating for several weeks. Just thinking about it makes me happy. Above is a piece I finished this afternoon. I'd like to think i've used these discarded parts to create an intimate little piece of architecture all in its own. I'd be very interested to hear other peoples thoughts or reactions to the above piece.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
This year has brought about many changes in my life, which has inspired me to bring about even more change. Particularly, I have been focusing on what I can do to create more happiness and meaning in my life. As a first step, I have decided to start taking more risks (in a good way) and not letting myself be held back by fears and "what-ifs". In the spirit of this new and exciting time of branching out and exploring the world in new ways, I created this collage. It's a friendly reminder that taking chances in life doesn't have to be a scary thing. Infact, many times it can be quite a fun adventure. ...And away we go!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Talk about the find of the day. I stumbled across these illustrations by biologist, philosopher and artist Ernst Haeckel, and immediately fell in love with his work. While I have the utmost respect for scientific drawings, I have always found them to be a bit stark, detatched and lacking in personal expression. Which is, of course, the purpose of them: to portray something as a biological record, not a personal interpretation. It has always struck me as a bit of a paradox really. Yet there is something different about the illustrations of Ernst Haeckel. They seem to have an emotional quality to them, while still remaining faithful to true scientific form. It's as if Scientific illustration merged with Art Nouveau into some glorious new fusion.
To view more information on Ernst Haeckel, who was quite an interesting man, click here.
You may also purchase a book of his illustrations on Amazon, titled Art Forms in Nature: The Prints of Ernst Haeckel
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
These beautifully vibrant pieces are created by artist Lin Olofsdotter. They are full of rich vibrant colors and heavy shapes which she has managed to combined with delicate line weight in each illustration. The result is pure whimsical goodness. For more on this artist, visit her official site here.