Sunday, September 28, 2008
Pottery Ideas and Festival of Trees
It is time again to make an art piece for Philbrook"s Festival of Trees. I have so many ideas it is hard to narrow it to one and I need the answer soon for the museum. It is a good excuse to make some fine sculpture and keep the rest to sell.
Last year the theme was Frank Lloyd Wright. I admire the man and his architecture but I am not inspired to work in a similar way. Last year I tried to push myself in a new direction, studying his work and trying to absorb some influences. I ended up with some OK pieces that did not sell at the festival that were totally out of character of my work. I had friends bickering in my studio as I tried to think and complete my ideas and several new pieces on the shelves which I examined with one eyebrow in the air. Never before did I have friends fighting with each other as they talked about the work I was creating. That should have been a clue to bail out and do what I pleased. That is what I get for having an open studio.
I was pleasantly surprised to see my work highlighted as I came into the Philbrook, there in the front, well lit and a glowing red glaze at Christmas. It is just that they were so rectangular and not, as all the men objected to, "straight rectangular tubes." Women seemed to prefer the slightly organic look. I felt like a worm, leaning one way and then the other. Pushing clay to act like metal or wood was a new challenge. I felt good exploring but felt a bit uneasy with friends arguing. At least I evoked a response and that is better than apathy.
So, I had decided to ignore the theme this year and work from my heart and style. It was juried this year and I felt luck to get in as I wrote and said, "I just moved, have no photos ready for you so maybe I will just join in next year because I am not prepared to submit anything because I have been moving my shop. See my blog for photos of my work but that is probably too much trouble." I expected to be "out" this year but they said fine, you are in.
And wouldn't you know the theme this year is "Southwest." How could I not do that? The front of my car has a license plate on it from the dime store on the square of Santa Fe that reads "Santa Fe."
Birds, trees, leaves and angels. I was leaving my pottery shop a couple days ago after working on an angel for a few hours and aha, there on the vined wall was a dove, sitting there. That would make a cool sculpture if the bird was setting on the hand of an angel. I slammed on my bicycle brakes, dug my camera out of my purse, turned around to capture that Kodak moment but the bird got nervous and flew away. I tried to look uninterested and hang out for a few minutes, a cardinal came by landed, saw me and left as well. So my photo is only of the wall and I must imagine the rest. Meanwhile I found a few more birds and snapped there photos for basic bird shapes.
And then, I started thinking about large gorgeous sculptural punch bowls and then about large traditional primitive fired burnished coil vessels.
Well, I don't lack for ideas so I will just go sneak in my shop and work tomorrow and see what happens and what I like the most. The Philbrook is getting artist friendly now and will even have awards money. That has never happened in the 17 years I have done the show, awards money that is. I find that a bit inspiring.
I like to be alone in my studio working and thinking. I enjoy the company of good friends as well but I'm glad to be in a smaller shop where I have the choice and not quite so public.
I chose to begin work with low lights, quiet and solitude. Ah, solitude and quiet. I can think again.
Yes, "Southwest" is a theme I cannot resist. I will publish photos of pots in the works as time goes by.