Wednesday, March 03, 2010

January Is Over - Waaaay Over!

Last night I finally finished my January "page" of my Bead Journal Project.  During a break in the clouds today I hauled the little vessel outside, plunked it down on a wrought iron plant stand, and snapped a few pix.  Of course, I'll have much better photos taken at some point, but I wanted to get this little guy out here for all the world to see.  There are so many things wrong with this one, from a beading point of view, and that's OK.  I learned a whole lot by beading this vessel!

Without further blah blah blah, here's January.

This is how I was feeling in January - my once-organized life has been spiraling out of control, and I had this very strong desire to get it all back to "normal".  This includes my technical work life, my work as an artist, the business side of my art world, the organization of my physical surroundings, and the task of getting mom's "stuff" in order.  Thus the 5 red lines coming up one end of the vessel - sort of rising up from the journey from chaos.  I did the collar in peyote stitch, in a rather unconventional way - I won't do THAT again - and on the chaos side I added branched fringe to the collar.  I've very fond of that side of the vessel.  Unfortunately, I still seem to be "living" on that side of the vessel.  It seems that I take one step forward and two or three back.  One of these days...

But right now, I'm going to take mom out to Starbucks.  Time for a hit of caffeine after a rather unusual day.  We had an earthquake early this afternoon, then a few hours later a thunderstorm (unusual for this area), and then my toilets backed up.  I could have done without the latter... still waiting for a call from the plumbing folks.  I definitely need that caffeine.  Now, YOU go have yourselves a happy and creative day!


Kali said...

I love the vessel idea, and the colors and contrasting designs on this one are great. I especially liked being able to follow your progress from the sketch stage onward. It's always helpful for me to see how other artists do things. Looking over at my own work tables, I certainly sympathize with the chaos you describe. :)

Crazy Mama said...

i think it would be hard to bead on a 3 dimensional surface like your vessel, but you did a very nice job. there is something interesting to look at from all the different angles. i really liked the fringe too. it's going to be fun to see how you take what you've learned in creating this first one to completing your next. i'm sure they'll get easier as you go, but like i seems like it would be hard to me and so i really commend you for going outside the box and doing something very unique.

unnur said...

I like it, I want to touch it, it is an interesting piece.It draws me in like art is sapposed to! I think you are too critical of it! It seems to express your present state of mind.Something I can relate to with my own work latley! Its full of emotion!

Sandy said...

It was worth waiting for-very special.

Robin said...

Do you read Robert Glenn's email newsletter? His most recent one says this:

When you paint you are using two distinct areas of your brain. One is the up front, active brain known to neurologists as "task positive." This is where you try to paint well, get the anatomy right, master colour, achieve a decent design as well as other practicalities of the moment.

The second area is farther back in the cortex and is more the resting brain--what is known as "task negative." Neurologists also call this the "default mode network." This is where attention wanders when the task-positive brain is not being fully used. Here are daydreams, memories, fantasies, fictitious conversations and even thoughts about things that have nothing to do with the job at hand. To their surprise, neurologists found that this wandering mind uses almost as much energy as the one that gives the appearance of getting things done.

Average people are in their task-negative brains more than a third of their waking hours. Apparently, artistic and inventive folk are even more into it. As such, the default mode network is thought to be the buzzing beehive of creativity.

I'm not a neurologist, but I've knocked about in a few artists' brains. Beginners tend to favor the task positive--fairly obviously because they are figuring out how to do things. Mature artists, on the other hand, can often slip into task negative for entire works. Having mastered the nuts and bolts, they now trust the felicitous takeover of default mode. Their paintings paint themselves. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu figured it out 2400 years ago. He called it "Doing without trying to do."

Here's the rub: Some artists stay permanently stuck in task positive. "Without wandering minds," says psychologist Jonathan Schooler, "they stay shackled to what they're doing at the time." On the other hand, there are artists who are all wandering mind and show little evidence of practical technique or self-managed application.

Left on its own, neither mode works properly. Working together, they are like a couple of characters in an old silent movie--they can't help but make interesting things happen.

If there is a secret, it may lie in achieving a balance and teaching yourself to switch back and forth. Constant stopping just to think won't fix a work that is already over-thought. Over-thinking leads to one of our most vexing goof-ups--overworking. Conversely, a persistent state of wandering mind can turn fine work into a fine mess. You need 'em both.
- * - * -

It think it's quite relevant to the internal struggles you seem to be having. However, I have to admit that I LOVE your chaos side!!!!

Robin A.

Shirley Cook - Jumping Jack Glass said...

Kali, sometimes I think that if everything was in order and put away, I'd have no inspiration. At least that's what I keep telling myself... :-) Thanks for your kind comments.

Thanks, Lisa! Sometimes the little bumps and crevices get in the way but my felt is fairly thick, so I can get the needle in there pretty well without coming out the other side.

Thank you Linda and Sandy!

Robin... wow! Thanks for posting that info from the newsletter. I'm definitely familiar with that whole concept. My "task negative" brain used to help me out a lot when I was a software developer, and I find myself there quite a bit. It happens a lot when I'm driving the car - sometimes to the detriment of my passenger(s). But I always catch myself "wandering" when I drive, and that's why I usually keep a notepad with me. That part of my brain comes up with some interesting stuff. And that chaos side of my vessel is definitely my fave. :-D My husband laughed when he saw this vessel. He said he had never seen anything like this come from me. And that was just the start of the year - yowza!

Magpie Sue said...

Live and learn eh?! I happen to really like your vessel, especially the chaos side. Maybe now things will settle down enough for you to enjoy beading those pink blossoms on the tree of your Feb. vessel. (I was astonished to see blooms on the trees in our area in February!)

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