Monday, May 31, 2010

The last few weeks have been hectic

I have had a few projects to work on. One is for Art House Co-op. The project was "what do you dream about?" It had to be a small 4x6 and would be on permanent display in their gallery. It sounded like a fun project so I signed up.

I signed up, then I sat on the project for a while. What do I dream about? I dream about being a full time artist/creative person. I dream about living some place wonderful and artsy like Cape May or Annapolis. I dream of living close to my MAPAPA friends again and being able to paint in Chincoteague, Cape May, Annapolis, South Jersey/Delaware Bay area, the salt marshes or even a cow pasture in the middle of the mountains of Virginia. I dream a lot of things, we all do.

I go to a Belly dancing class once a week, for fun and for therapy for my ankle. We share a lot of what's going on in our lives there. A couple of weeks ago, on my way to the class, a song came on the radio, "The Riddle" by Five for Fighting. Tears welled up as I thought of the memories it brought back of my first summer of being independent and freedom from a bad marriage. They weren't bad memories, they made me think of a drive down to Chincoteague with my kids. The radio station we listened to was actually out of Delaware, and it was a summer of great music. I spoke of the song in the class and it stuck with me through the evening. I put Five for Fighting on the ITouch and popped it into my Bose when I got back to the house and sat down at my desk in my studio and pulled out my sketchbook.

I played "Superman" and it made me think of a lot of things, and I came up with the red cape in my sketch book over the lyrics of the song. None of us are Superman and all of us have to find the better part of themselves and be that better person every day. But we all can fly with the clouds between our knees if we are flying high on our dreams.

Then the song "World" came on. And I took my watercolors and painted a big clue world in the middle of the page and wrote the lyrics "What kind of World do you want? Think anything....Let's start at the start...Build a Masterpiece....Be careful what you wish for...History starts now...." Wow. After just hearing more crap on TV about the Gulf oil spoil on the Weather Channel early in the AM, my heart SCREAMED for holding BP accountable. And here was a song that simply said, "what kind of World do you want?" How could I make a statement by building a world that didn't include BP and oil, and all of the bad things that we hear on TV if we mistakenly leave the news on before switching channels.....So the idea grew.

I mulled around and thought of ideas and took the advice of artists that I had been reading about...I thought of the idea before I went to bed, I thought about it when I woke up...when I was in the shower, when I was making dinner...when I was at Physical therapy....I finally sat down after dinner one night and said, OK, how am I doing this? I needed to get this mailed out by Memorial Day Weekend...The first thing I did was print out a postage sized logo of BP and then drew a red circle with a line through it, so the first thing was the World was going to have NO BP....As I worked on this, the ideas came and the work took on a life of it's own...I pulled out 5 x7 sheet of watercolor paper and I was like, OK, now what? Do I paint the world? Then I thought, well we are floating around in outer I'll paint space with stars and stuff. And What if I did the world separately and attached it on.... that seemed ok. I wanted to paint stars...hmm, do I use mask?....mmm hey, what about crayons? So I dotted the paper with some white and yellow dots....then I did a wash of Daniel Smiths, the stars popped. Now what, I needed the perfect size for my round I grabbed a glass in the shape I wanted and drew a circle on another sheet of 5x7 piece of paper. Then I mixed a bunch of blues, Ultramarine, Cobalt and Pthlalo blue until I came up with something that could pass for a new blue world...

OK, I have a postage sized NO BP. What did I want to keep in my world? I opened up my sketch book in green (going Green baby!) and wrote things like Orioles and Chickadees and Cardinals (the bird, not a sports team), the Eiffel Tower, the Washington Monument (after all, it signifies the beginning of Enlightenment in Dan Brown's latest book), I thought of cats, dogs, horses, mountains majesty (after Gene Hackman spoke about mountains on TV that evening in the movie Birdcage)...what about fantasy animals? we could have dragons (or fire lizards like in Anne McCaffery's books), we could have faeries and mermaids and unicorns (why not, it's a whole new world!!), elves, we could have Magic like Harry Potter's World! We could still have shells and dolphins and grapes, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries...we could still have clownfish and bettas and foxes...we could still have giraffes and other animals...trees and flowers....then I ran out of a little steam, so as I was working on some of these, my husband took the sketchbook into the living room and the kids added their still wanted her peanut butter cup sundaes with mint chocolate chip ice cream and a diamond ring...some wanted singing people, some soccer or plums or bread (ok, the bread was my husband), ice creams cones, sunny days, the beach, bubble wrap??? (ok, I added this one with the intention of an earth friendly version of the little poppers), my daughter wanted No Math...then I sent out an email and texts to other family members and got back no styrofoam...for everyone to be happy and feel love, for kids not to go hungry, for easier shopping selections instead of the 50000 versions of each item in the supermarket....(I just heard this on a You Tube about toothpaste, small world where two women are thinking the same thing, LOL) sister and husband came up with Coral Reefs and sock monkeys?? (what da?) I added more to my list, aunt wanted pasta and bread, NO CALORIES (oh yeah, added that one!) cousin sent back something about chocolate...Holy cow!!! How could I forget Chocolate?!!!

I worked on these teenie little representations of what could go in the new world...the possibilities were endless.....But I had to limit to what I could handle and make sure I could get in the mail....the next problem I had to address was how I was attaching these...velcro would cover up my nice blue I thought of the sticky tacky stuff that you use to attach stuff to walls...but I wanted to put a few things on the world, not cover up all the work I did on each little I put them in a baggie and make it interactive? I liked the interactive art idea but I could see the poor gallery folks having heart failure with these little stamp things all over the I pulled different colored threads through each one and attached them to the back of the piece so they would hang down and they could be swapped out by the viewer...but the watercolor paper was flimsy, so I solved that problem with a hard backing....I also glazed over some gloss to make it more permanent and also used heavy gel to attach the world. So the project was done...I signed it and mailed it out before I went to Cape May for Memorial Day Weekend.

So here is my little 4x6 finished product of "What I dream about..."

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