frenchtown fiber

Chris Mundy and Kate House try to make art while navigating the crap life throws at them.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Art and Fear

Art and Fear is a book I read a long time ago that talks about the realities of being an artist. I highly recommend this book to anyone who makes art. One thing they bring up is how it is possible for you think your art doesn't look like art. It doesn't look like other people's art, therefore, it isn't right. I suffer this a lot. I have been working on an art journal. I'm not sure what I want it to be exactly, since I have never made one before. I've been all over the internet looking at examples of Art Journals and have come across videos on techniques. I made 2 pages and I liked them very much. But, now, a few days later, I'm not sure. The problem, I believe, is my handwriting. First of all I'm not even sure I have anything to say. Also, how much do I want to reveal? It's hard to envision any piece of art I could make that would not be seen by anyone. I could not imagine what kind of art I would make with the idea that no one would ever see it but me! But, I digress. My handwriting looks like my handwriting. Not what one commonly sees on this type of work. Sometimes it is old handwriting from some piece of ephemera. Sometimes it is rubber stamped or printed. So, when I see my own handwriting on the page it doesn't look right. It doesn't look like art. I'm resisting the urge to not use my own writing. Of course, it is unique to me, and where else can you get that?

Joe was away all weekend skiing, so I spent a lot of time art-making and some time watching TV. Joe and I never watch TV. When he is not around, and I am doing hand-work, I like something on the TV that I can listen to while I work, like a documentary. At any given time, there really is almost nothing I am interested in. Often times I will land on Discovery Health. On Sunday I caught this show about some clinic in NYC for morbidly obese people. Generally what finally gets these people into the clinic is some other disorder that no surgeon will operate on until they weigh 400 pounds or under. That gives you the idea of how big these people are, typically 500 or 600 pounds. One guy had some kind of tumor on his leg that was absolutely huge, like, it took over his whole leg. They kept showing close ups of it and him trying to move around with this thing. It was so disgusting, yet you could not look away, know what I mean? He had been in the clinic for 2 years and had gained 36 pounds! I'm watching this and thinking that it was almost like porn, it was so strangely titillating (Not in a sexual way for me, but I understand there are people out there like this) that it really was exploiting the people on the show. There are so many overweight people in this country, I'm thinking part of an appeal of this show is so that you can say, "At least I'm not like that!" and feel pretty good about yourself. On top of all this is the commercials that repeat over and over again. If you don't watch TV you aren't used to this and it drives you crazy in a hurry. I probably won't watch TV again until Joe goes away for a weekend again.

Back to art, I found a web sight that lets you download images for free. I believe it is called The Graphics Fairy or something like that. Then I found another connected to Art e-zine, which is out of the UK. I downloaded some stuff, but I'm kind of unsure about all of it. I want images that no one else has. That means going into an antique store and finding you own ephemera and photographs. Maybe this weekend? My art journal will have 8 boards, which means 16 pages. I need Joe to drill them for me. I have a seashell on one of the pages, and I should have waited until he drilled first, but I was too impatient. I wish he would do this tonight, but we already have a date to go food shopping after work. We are in code white as far as food goes. Code white is when you open the fridge and your eyes are blinded by the whiteness--- emptiness of the thing. We'll probably spend $250 minimum.

1 comment:

Kim Hambric said...

I'm always searching for ways to get text into my work. Recently, I broke down, got some paint markers, and have been doing some of my own writing on my pieces. And yes, to me, it just looks wrong. But I like doing it so I'm going to keep on doing it, and maybe one day it will look right.

Perhaps penmanship should be taught in the schools again. I just went through some of my mother's things and found cards written by her, her mother and father, and her friends -- all unique and all beautiful. Far superior to my chicken scratch.