Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Perfect Day--The Artist's Date

Pull up a chair, this is going to be long but it was so perfect.

As you remember, I have been trying to figure out my work...not really excited about what I have been doing recently. I've been looking at a lot of other people's are work and then fell in to the "I'll never be as good as..." trap. Got out of that but still didn't know where I was going.

I keep two journals. One is a large sketch book in which I put pictures of art work that I really like. I usually only have one on a page if they are larger (cut out of my art magazines and other sources) or maybe two. I leave lots of room because I like to analyze just why I like the piece, what it is that brought me in to it. I have been drawn to Ann Baldwin's work...she does mixed media work and includes encaustics which I really enjoy for the depth that it gives to work, along with the softened look. Anyway, I popped back on to her website last night and she has just recently posted some brand new work. She too has been going through changes with her work so is now offering something very different. She is incorporating inkjet images that she prints on canvas. And then of course, there is painting and all sorts of other things like found objects, etc.

So I downloaded some pictures so I could study them some more and put them in my book and started noting the processes she had gone through. Made notes about the composition, which elements were repeated, the texture, the contrast, etc. Then I looked at my work and noted the same and then looked at what she had done that I hadn't. Walla...I know where I am now going!

I have been taking photos that I want to use in my work for some time now. I just haven't been happy with anything I have tried when I want to incorporate them. Ann Baldwin has given me the way! So I have learned something from her but will do it my way.

This morning the sun was finally shining and I decided that I needed an Artist's Date very badly...too long since I had been out on one. Thought about going to the financial district in San Francisco, or going barn hunting in the central valley and then decided I wanted to photograph the California oaks and then headed to Fairfield and then inland. Not sure where I was going but just headed further away from the population and cars. Stopped at a small cafe where a lot of cars were parked (good clue that the food might be good!) and had a great spinach salad with grilled tri-tip with crumbled bleu cheese and a maple vinergerette. Just perfect! Told the waitress I didn't know where I was or where I was going and asked her about the best place to see the oaks. She gave me great directions, I gave her a great tip, and off in the car I went.

At this point I am in the hills and the roads are winding around. But that's fine because I was just poking along. Anytime a car came up from behind, I just pulled over and let them pass. That way I could travel just how I wanted to.

Which meant that I stopped frequently for pictures. And I got some great ones. Of oak trees that will begin a new quilt tomorrow, and metal stuff, and poppies, and mail boxes and cattle shutes, and hills and clouds and incredibly blue sky. All of my tension evaporated. I can't believe how absolutely wonderful I felt out in the sun shine, stopped, turning back and not apologizing to anyone at all for not knowing what I was doing. If something caught me eye, I stopped.

I am revitalized, recharged, redirected and ready to go! So my computer and fabric have a lot of work to start on tomorrow...or maybe tonight I will start to play with the 88 pictures I took today!


Lisa said...

Great pictures! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your day.

Debra said...

Wonderful pictures. GREAT Artist's Date!!

You drove right by and didn't say Hi, but I'll forgive ya.

Gerrie said...

Next time, call me and we will meet for lunch. I'd love to accompany you on an artist's date. My husband hates to stop so I can take photos. Love all your pics.

Nicky said...

Great story about your artist's date. Inspires me to do the same - to get out there and just experience something for its own beautiful sake.