Monday 13 June 2011

Experimental Dross

You know it says "ponderings and random gibberish" at the top of the blog, here? Yeah...expect a bit more of that at the moment whilst I work through my "what is the point of art"-type thing. It's not exactly a critical meltdown of faculties, more a sense of futility and frustration, really. Bear with me.

I have a monkey mind when it comes to art and craft, as you might have picked up - I get obsessed with something and then drop it once I feel I've either mastered it as far as I need or can't get any further without a significant investment (usually of time, but sometimes of materials or space). My latest "thing" is papercutting - something which is challenging technically (though deceptively simple to get started with in terms of materials), but also demanding for my mindset. See, I make stuff. Stuff that has a purpose, or is decorative for something which has a purpose. I don't like greeting cards - the transience and waste bugs the hell out of me and I'm well-known for not sending Christmas or birthday cards. So I'm left with asking "what is the point of mastering this skill?". I don't art journal. I don't make art for walls. Why not? Well, mostly space constraints and a reaction against twee-ness - a lot of art journalling, with it's garish colours and peppy folk wisdom, just leaves me cold. I don't have faith (yet?) that I can make wall-art which would be saleable - and it has to be, because where, in my two-up-two-down terrace, would I put a ton of wall-art? This blog post by Joe Bagley (another "not formally trained" artist, yay!) is both inspirational and scary as hell. As is Paper Cutting, which is well worth a look at just how far you can push paper as a medium.

So why did I spend hours doing this?

Yes, for fun and practice. Of course. But to get any better, I have to do loads - and get much better at drawing because this is a long way from how far you can go.

And then there's this:

which I finished last night and haven't bothered to back as yet (it's just blutacked to the wall)...technically, yes, there are a few rough corners here and there, but the wonkiness/chubby lines of it is all about my drawing (which I did quickly, in white pencil, before I got too scared), and not understanding exactly how shapes would look once reversed. It's ok: it's a start, I'm learning. There are improvements I could make even to this.

But it takes a long time. And I have clothing to finish for the girls, birth samplers and height charts to stitch. I really should be doing something with the shop. There aren't enough hours in the day or strength in my hands to do everything and the "art" really ought to be back-burnered for a while.

And yet.

I can't seem to fight the drive to make something beautiful.


Bigbluebed said...

I enjoyed reading your post and the one you link to.

I try different things and I think I am in the search for something that I can do, do well, love doing and (as a business) sells. And something that is slightly different than what is already out there.

I have never tried papercutting. It does look amazing and I can understand your desire to make beautiful things. And refining technique is a good thing.

I know there are lots of other things to do, isn't there always!

Apryl said...

it sounds like you are a 'scanner' personality type... the sort of person that picks up something masters it well enough that drops it and picks up the next shiny new things to obsess over.. I'm the same way I have blogged about it a few times. It can be very frustrating when you see other people that just have that 'one' thing that the master so beutifully and you are switching on and off this that and the other.. mastering it well enough then getting bored and moving on to the next thing. I only make cards for a purpose and most of them are stubbornly and undeniably geeky....the same as me. I'm still obsessed with the doll and story crafting because they incorperate so many different elements... but because I'm obsessed with that I haven't been doing other crafts or reading much. I think I would just end up with papercuts if I tried. Love the dragonfly.

Anonymous said...

I didn't try new things for such a long time, papercuts are on my list to do but I got so into crochet, work and three children is taking all my time...

Not enough hours in a day and sleeping only six or five doesn't help. But totally understand you, not every person has to like to do and try same things, if you are able to find something that is enough original and different from what others make and will sell like fresh buns, I can assure you that will be your thing :)

take care