Sketchbook Sunday: Red and green mandala

I’m really into these mandalas. They are so relaxing to create. Well, they are relaxing now that I’ve given up on trying to make them like the perfect ones that are created using math, rulers and compasses. I love and envy those, but I don’t seem to have the patience to create them. So I’ve developed my own approach using folded coffee filters and Sharpie markers. The possibilities are endlesss and it is always a nice surprise to open up the fold to see what I’ve designed.

What are you working on today? Leave a comment and a link to your blog. I would love to see.

Making a statement: Why?

“Why do I do what I do?”

I’m pondering this question this week, thanks to an upcoming workshop on writing an artist statement at The Artful Phoenix in North Attleboro, Mass. To prepare for the workshop artists are asked to do homework by thinking about a series of questions. The first one is a big one for me. In fact, writing an official artist statement has been something I haven’t quite pulled off yet. I think my work varies too much and my desire to play in any way that I want has kept me from nailing down exactly what I’m doing as an artist and why, which an artist statement seems to demand. I’ve come up with an UNstatement in the past, but I’m not sure it cuts it as a real statement:

I don’t always understand where I’m going when I sit down to create art. And I’m not sure I want to, for fear of chasing off or interrupting the Muse. I prefer to let things happen. I’ve been painting and drawing since childhood and consider art play. My goal is to explore and follow where the Muse leads as I respond to my own artistic voice. Often I create acrylic-based mixed media pieces that incorporate collage and showcase the beauty, power and mystery of women. But I also create works that reflect my fascination with pattern and bold color. Most pieces are imbued with a texture that invites viewers to want to move closer to see, and makes them wish to touch, thus creating a connection between artist and viewer.

Hopefully this workshop will help me develop this. So…why do I do what I do? The guide provided in the homework assignment suggests spending five minutes on this. Yeah, right, five minutes.

The why: I do this because I have to, whether I want to or not. I’m driven by some inner, inexplicable push to create things, to put pen to paper, paint to canvas, bead to string. I do this because I need to–to remain sane, to feel like I can breathe, to feel like I’m in touch with something beyond me, bigger than me (God), to feel like I have something to give, something someone else wants, something someone else needs. I do this because ideas flood my brain every second of the day and I have to pour them out somewhere or go crazier than I already am. I do this because I feel like I have been given something that I’m not supposed to keep to myself. I do this because I think one day I will express something so deep and so profound that it will move someone in a way that they desperately need. I do this for the surprise, for the adventure of not knowing what the hell I’m doing, where the hell I’m going, and never knowing whether I am there yet and realizing that I never will be there because its all about the journey. I do this because I want to create beautiful things. I want to touch color, play in its exuberance, wallow in its energy. I want to relax and rest in the quiet of that place where art allows time to disappear. I want to connect with people on a level that needs no words.

Wow. Why is a doozy.

Yummy art

Food and art. Two of my favorite things. I indulged both today at the Rhode Island Food Fights cupcake competition. Bakers from all Rhode Island competed to present the most delicious cupcake. And artists displayed cupcake related art for sale in a silent auction. My creation was this Sharpie marker work on paper, “Cupcake Goddess.” It didn’t sell, but I got to eat all the cupcakes I wanted for free. Sweet!

Sharpie art

I love Sharpie markers. Surprisingly, they make a great little tool to create art. I’ve been using them for a while in my sketchbook drawings. They are so vibrant and juicy in color. I happened upon a large variety pack of Caribbean colors when I was in Staples trying to resist my addiction to buying school supplies (even though I’m not in school). Hmm….I’ll stop now. I sound like an ad. This is my latest little drawing, “Speak.”