5/14/2009

ART, STORYTELLING and More than Words

Blue Iris bloom outside the Katzen Museum at American
University. When I saw them yesterday I knew they would be fun to play with later. And I did.

Our art critique group met yesterday afternoon in a painting studio at AU. We bring in our work - whether something new or an older piece we want to re-evaluate - and talk about it.
I love this kind of talk. The studio is a lonely place for an artist - even though you need the solitude to make art work. Bringing your work into a group of familiar and trusted colleagues is an important ingredient for sustained creative working - alone and briefly together.
Yesterday I took a collage that no one has ever seen - even though I made in in the late 1970s. " You are the first eyes to see it," I told them.
"Why?" they asked. That's a good question.
I think the piece scared me a bit when I made it - different from the work I was showing - more experimental then - although it does not seem that way today. The piece did not fit in with the shows I was in or the gallery where I was showing my work. All the usual reasons why artists hold back their work.
The interesting thing is that this piece - the secret piece - fits with some of the art work I am doing today - and it certainly fits with my storytelling. Bits and pieces of story. I think it is actually an important work in the story of my creative work.
Here is another example of pulling a thread forward to enrich the story.







MORE THAN WORDS


Today is the last session of More Than Words, the class Adjoa Burrowes and I have been teaching this semester at a local Middle School.
The class has been fun - - stories and book-making. But you know something lately everybody is tired - the students and the teachers. It is time for summer.

Today we will put the final touches on the pieces for the exhibition at Pyramid Atlantic on Saturday. The show is going to be a winner. These students have done some really excellent work.