20 December 2010

I *think* that's finished.

Pretty sure this is done? Haven't sealed it yet, haven't matted it yet. Want to be sure. It's like they say... takes two to make a painting. One to paint it, one to shoot the sumbitch so she'll put the brush down when it's time to stop...

A detail that has been tough to capture in the photo is that the background are off-white silver stripes against the white-white paper. It's much easier to see in the previous post, with the detail shot, but the colors and saturation are pretty whacky with that one.

I'm very pleased with this. It was fun, and although it took about 3x as long as I expected, it is also about 3x cooler than I thought it would be, when I started it. Also, it's plain that all those people who told me I should go into print making were right.

PS, this picture is on the small side, the actual painting is about 6"x20". I'll post a bigger one tomorrow with mo' betta' details, but for tonight, I'm much, much too tired to keep messing with this.

workin' on it

workin' on it
Originally uploaded by Id Marks
workin' on it

Among a few other things, here's a little snippet from a watercolor composition I'm working. The watercolor part is done, I'm just inking in details now. It's time consuming, but enjoyable. It's always nice to see the piece come together, but there's a sense of being outside the magic, almost as if I'm simply witnessing something the materials were going to do on their own.

Reminds me of a few lines from Mos Def's CHAMPION REQUIEM (from The New Danger, 2004) -

If you see or hear goodness from me
Then that goodness is from The Creator
You should be thankful to The Creator for all of that
'Cause I'm not the architect of that
I'm only the...the recipient
If you see weakness or shortcoming in me
It's from my own weakness or shortcoming
And I ask The Creator and the people to forgive me for that

17 December 2010

Old Dog / New Tricks

Took a two evening advanced course in acrylic abstract painting, with emphasis on landscape rendering. I went with a water theme, probably because I'd been listening to The Odyssey audio book all afternoon...

Although that style of painting does not especially interest me, the techniques presented did, and the instructor did a fine job of explaining them.

My canvas was, sadly, too small to try them all out at once, as most of them rely on allowing thin layers of paint dry between applications. Obviously this is tough with a small canvas! You can only get so far away from what you've just painted. Everyone else in the class was working with one or more canvasses in the 2'x3' size range, for the most part.

Here is the canvas I painted during class. Currently I have a couple of watercolors in progress, but when I have finished those, I am going to start some acrylic paintings. It seems that having a couple of canvasses going simultaneously is the cure for waiting, and I love trying new stuff. I did come out of the classes feeling pretty inspired to try these techniques, and full of ideas about how to put them to good use.

I admit it was hard not to giggle when several of the other course participants extended sincere sympathy to me, as an apparently obvious total beginner to painting. I took the small canvas (about a foot square) because I've not been feeling well lately, and didn't have a lot of energy for a large painting -- and I *hate* unfinished paintings. Also, carrying it to class and back home in the freezing damn cold on foot kinda sucks. $5 says everyone else in the class came in a car. Since I'd been doing watercolors during the day both days, I ended up painting the acrylic left-handed to give my right a break. Didn't really get into any of that with the other people in the class, though. I was just happy to be there.

There is a summer course, 3 days somewhere north of here, that I will probably sign up for, if I can work out transportation, and get registered before all the spots fill. It does look like fun.

08 December 2010

Waiting Rooms, Pt 2

Dr. Brain's waiting rooms, Thursday afternoon, (outer and inner, 75 minutes combined)

Not composed, just freestyling.

Dr. Brain wasn't terribly interested.

Dr. F's waiting room, Friday morning. 90 minutes.

Dr. F liked it very much.

The resulting watercolor painting, Friday afternoon / evening, at home.

The cats stayed close the whole time I was working on it, but weren't impressed at all.

Zazzle Sale...

Edit: Friggin´time zones. Apparently Zazzle.com is on Pacific time. 9 a.m. rolled around here, and their deal changed to Posters / Calenders. 60% off is nice (super, even!) but doesn´t help with the cost of mugs. On the bright side, if you ordered 2 mugs, they now ship for free...? Ahh, well. Sorry. I was so excited, too.

Zazzle is doing sales on some things right now - mousepads and mugs, 35% off, with free shipping over $35, is the one that caught my eye. I'm adding a couple to the line up and hoping they show up fast, 'cause the deal is only today (Tuesday, 8 December 2010). I realize sales like this are an obnoxious high-pressure sales tactic.

On the other hand! Mugs like this are wicked cool! That sucker changes color*. Dude. It‘s black when it´s cold, and then when you put a hot beverage in it, the design is revealed. I want one, and will probably order one, because this sale is way better than the seller discount. (My margin on these is 10%, this sale is 35%...)

Also, I realized it´d been ages since I added anything to the Zazzle store. It is fun, and whenever I get enough credit from selling stuff, I think I will have custom postage stamps made and send them to my grandmother as her Christmas gift.

Here is a fancy link to the whole shop. It is a little busy for my taste, but I guess it´s what the young people like?

As always — should you order a thing I designed, I am very grateful. Obviously it isn´t making me rich, or famous, or good looking. But it makes me happy, which is pretty damn cool.
And, no, I don´t want to talk about the apostrophes. Thanks for bringing that up, though... :/

* color change mugs being a well known and long standing object of appreciation for me.

07 December 2010

Time Well Spent

I've been in a lot of waiting rooms lately. I've come to love the sound of someone's eyeball creeping off a back issue of Waiting Room Quarterly and onto my paper.


30 November 2010

What it looks like...

... not to sell art at the flea market. It's easy to think the display might've been a problem, but I assure you, that was not the difficulty. Most sellers seemed to simply have brought some stuff in a laundry basket and overturned it when they arrived at the flea market. The difficulty was, most of the people who were at the market looking for stuff were looking for specific things, and I don't think any of them were there looking for watercolor paintings. Most of those people were probably waiting for the Christmas market to open down in old town.

Wrong venue. Live and learn.

Look Over There ---->

I've added a link over on the right side, that will take you to a slide show of available works. I will post a notice here whenever new items are added to it. It's a very simply Flickr slide show, should play for anyone. However, if you have trouble loading it, just click in the middle of the screen that comes up, and it should take you to the normal Flickr set of available art. Same pictures, no slide show.

27 November 2010

Go See The Slide Show on Flickr!

Originally uploaded by Id Marks
With details, even. Yay!

To see the show - click on THIS picture, which will take you to the Flickr set for these things, and if you click on the first picture THERE, it brings up a nice screen where you can keep clicking next and seeing it all right there.

Let me know if you have questions or comments or are desirous of some art.

Also — I'll make a thing just for you. No need to buy stuff off the shelf. Talk to me.

22 November 2010

Art Sale (finally)

I am going to be taking nearly four years of watercolor and ink paintings to the flea market and try to sell them to holiday gift-hungry strangers in the weekends between now and the end of December. However! If YOU are interested in any acquiring of my art for yourself or someone you know, now's a good time, because I'm in the mood to get it out of the house.

Everything on paper is matted by me (so, not professionally, although I do have a proper mat board cutter and the skills to make it go), and the dimensions can be / will be provided. As far as I know, everything I'm taking has already been posted in the art blog, but I'm going to try to put up a slide show of the work I'm taking to sell, so it can be seen in its fancy, matted, ready-to-frame glory. For the record -- the pictures of the art won't be amazing because my camera isn't a "real" camera, it's a point and shoot with a fixed lens, so everything looks a little curved in the middle. Maybe if I sell ALL the paintings, I can buy a grown-up camera!

Oh, to be clear -- these are all original works. There are no copies, no prints, no clever forgeries. One of a kind only.

partial credit, I demand it!

Tried to post this stuff a few days ago, did not manage to do so, and decided to post it now, before I forget again for the rest of eternity. Of course, it's a holiday, so probably no one will see it. C'est la Vie!

So.... these photos are stubborn about placement! Wow.

This tiny strip is actually a fabric thing about five feet long, maybe a foot wide. The black silhouette region was printed by IKEA, I'm filling in the colors myself. I stitched all around where the black meets the white, because I'm going to fill it with pillow stuffing and turn it into a sort of low relief type thing.

All these sheets are watercolor paintings I did three years ago. I'm getting them into mat board finally this week, as I'm taking everything I can carry with a reasonable expectation of not damaging it, and trying to sell stuff at the flea market this weekend. Hoping the holiday shopping frenzy is in full swing.

Most of what's kept me busy since then has been the framing stuff. Today I matted six of the large pieces, and prepped a bunch more for tomorrow. It's amazing how long this stuff takes me. I think I might move a little faster if I work on a lower work surface (will try it tomorrow), but they sure look nice when they're done. I even shelled out for the nice poly sleeves to put them in. Pics coming real soon! Trying not to get distracted, but if I get actual daylight during the day tomorrow, then pics tomorrow.

09 November 2010

Urban Sketching

I recently came across the Urban Sketchers blog, and have been inspired to haul my sketch book around town. Normally when I see a crapload of really amazing drawings and paintings that people have the nerve to refer to as "sketches", I retreat, feeling intimidated. For some reason this site fires me up about putting marks on the page. Today I sat on a cold cement bench in front of the Schwalbennest coffee shop and made a crude sketch of it for a while, 40 minutes maybe? My fun was cut short when a delivery truck rudely pulled up right in front of me. Bugger managed to block my line of site, the bike lane, AND was parked square in front of the no-parking sign. Dude was on a roll.

Anyway, I decided that it was fun, even if the sketch isn't amazing like a lot of what's on the Urban Sketchers site. I also decided that color is pretty important to these sketches. Since even a really basic watercolor kit is more crap than I want to juggle when I go out in the world, I decided to try taking the watercolor pencils with me. That should allow me to rough in the color, work dry (makes for quick get-aways!), and not worry about spilling stuff, etc. The ability to slap the notebook shut and cheese it is important to me.

Eventually I'll start posting some of these things here. Promise. The problem isn't that I hate it or anything like that, it's more that I'm too lazy to deal with the camera and the uploading and all that. Also, I'm really focused on a textile project right now, and I'd rather put the time into that instead.

And so I am. And yes, there will be pictures of that project, too! Until then, I highly recommend you hustle over to Urban Sketchers and dig the awesomeness. I've added a link to it from here in the link list on the right, so you can get to it any time you get the urge. It's that cool.

20 October 2010

Confession Time

blurry side light
Originally uploaded by Id Marks

All the final pictures are up on the Flickr page, with descriptions of the various bits and bobbles. Here you see it hanging on the back of my bookcase. I was trying to find a suitably well-lit dark place to hang it, if you see what I mean. I broke my favorite portable bright light, so just running off to the bathroom and putting it on a towel hook wasn't in the cards. Oh well.

16 October 2010

This Is How It Begins

Candle Sconce Steps 1
Originally uploaded by Id Marks
I started a new project this week, in part to avoid post-partum depression after the tea chest, and in part because I have a HUGE list of projects backlogged (also, after the tea chest...). So, this one is small, but I thought I'd try documenting it pretty well. Looking over the pictures I took, it seems like there were a couple of times I thought, "This would make a great picture," but that was as close as I got to actually making a picture. Turns out, I still don't have that camera-eye. If you're Regan, you can just pull those images from my mind, probably. Everyone else, SOL. Sorry.

This project begins with the broken mirror from an old American Tourister travel case. (thanks, giant ridiculous cat...) And, some coffee. I wanted to make a wall sconce for a candle, and I wanted to do it without buying *anything*, so I was scrounging around for inspiration. And there was the broken mirror. Everyone makes candle holders that sit on tables and shelves, but tables and shelves eventually fill up with crap, or in my case, fill up with cats who are more than happy to knock my stuff onto the floor, whether it is burning or not. There is real appeal in being able to nail something high up on the wall!

Click through to see all the photos so far – about a dozen – with some explanation on each. The project is NOT finished yet, and I probably won't post again until it is. Should be soon, WARNING, that's the kiss of death right there, but when it is done, and I post again, that should be the rest of the photos, including the very first sketch, before I even thought of using the mirror, all the way to the last pic of the candle sconce on the wall with a burning candle in it and a frustrated cat, unable to knock it over.

01 October 2010

Still Not Dead

Also, still not finished with that project. Today might be the day, though. I think it's just down to fixing in those last 8 pieces of glass. You know, the ones that don't fit anymore? because the wood changed size due to moisture content, or paint, or whatever? Yeah. Those. Anyway. That.


While I'm all busy cursing about that, I'll leave you with this. In Vienna, Austria last week, there was lots of art-boggling, and a purchase was made of a fine art print from Michael Ferner. This is my second M. Ferner print, the first being the two koi print from back in January.

I am now going to point you to his web site. If you do nothing else, simply reload his front page over and over, because the images there are gorgeous. The dragons, the bamboo, the seahorses, the owl. These are some of my favorites.

This is a tiny image (from his site) of the print we bought in Wien last week. Never bought a print with a pedigree before! The print itself is largish, for us, anyway, 70cm X 150cm. It's going to look very, very cool hanging in our Laubengang, which is a long hallway thing, paneled entirely in wood, with windows and doors along both sides.

16 September 2010

14 September 2010

Waiting For Glue To Dry

Since I'm waiting for glue to dry in a non-euphemistic, non-metaphorical way, I thought I'd muse on some of the lessons I've learned from this project. It's not over, but since I just bribed myself to work on with an offer of a trip to the office supply if I finish it today, it must be close ('cause it's back to school sales time, squee!)...

One thing I've learned is, this is probably a prototype. I didn't start with a plan, I started with some nice plywood from the 50¢ scrap bin at the hardware store, and some shards of glass I'd painstakingly removed from a broken window here in the apartment. I had many different ideas along the way, and it moved forward very haltingly. And slowly. Part of the slowness was not actually knowing what came next, and having to have a good long think about that. I think the longest was almost a month.

If I had to build it again, by drawing a plan from what I've got now, and making a shopping list, and doing this like a proper project.... it'd most likely be a weekend project, or even just a day project, depending on what I chose to finish the wood / materials. I may test this bold claim. The closer it is to finished, the more sure I am that I can do better, faster, and with greater satisfaction at the end. I can't really 'save' this one, but I could go for a mulligan and be happy with what I get out of it. What I can't do it for is cheaper – this one is constructed almost entirely out of stuff I already had on hand, or clearance bin items. The only things I paid full price for were hardware (hinges, knob, latch).

Another thing I (re)learned is that prototypes are totally worth it. Although maybe next time I should do it in cardboard or something. In art we call that a maquette, or a 'mock up' if we're not being pretentious art school dorks.

In no particular order, further learned things:
  • cut the glass first, cut the holes for the glass after
  • hot glue does NOT work like caulking (don't ask)
  • slate is surprisingly hard to find
  • have a variety of fastening hardware on hand
  • there's a reason some kinds of hardware come in a minimum of 100 quantity
  • sand before sawing, between coats of paint, and after pulling the splinter out
  • if you think something will make a good picture, it probably will
  • measuring is not just for chumps
  • a project that won't end is hugely inspirational - I'm FULL of other ideas now!
  • cheap wood clamps are even worse than you think they'll be

Perhaps the most painful part of all this were the times I didn't have the right tool for something. Doing projects without a fully equipped shop can be fun, especially when you manage to work around a tool or process. A person can feel quite clever when Making Do. (See my contour gauge a few posts back...) but... it's those times when I'm mis-using a tool that I feel like ass. When I'm using a tool for something it was simply not intended for, and I know it. Or when I know without doubt that the problem I have can ONLY be solved by having the right tool, which I can't afford at the moment. Or that the problem I have can ONLY be solved by having a quality example of the right tool, which isn't in the stars at the moment. Those times are a bit frustrating.

13 September 2010

Today's Time, As Distance

Today I replaced some set screws on my scroll saw, and set about cutting several meters of wobbly line into a one meter flap of hard wood.

It was kind of fun.

Tomorrow... less fun stuff. Finishing-up stuff. I spent way too much time today trying to get sticker glue off the hinges. And make the hinge screws work. The problem? They're a bit too long. Meh.

I say finishing-up stuff, as if I think I might finish this sumbitch some day.

A girl can dream, right?

07 September 2010

Shotgun Updating

Check me out, two posts in one month! It's starting to get crazy around here!

The formatting on these pictures is going to make me nuts if I goof around with it. So I'm not. Here's the rundown.

Couple sheets of paper with barely visible sketches... sketches for my next couple of projects. Hopefully those projects will be visible.

Bunch o' sticks.... if you can guess what tool I made there, you win a prize!* Double prize if you can guess whether it worked or not.

The re-do on the frame / edge. It took much less time than the first time, and is a thousand times better, but I'm still cross to have had to re-do it. Ahh, well. Live and learn. And re-do crap sometimes.

Quick watercolor painting to test out a brush brought from Beijing by a friend who visited there recently. That sucker can lay down some SERIOUS paint! Highly diggable. It will be my go-to brush of choice for watercolor tidal waves.

224214152 - sorry I didn't answer your question sooner, more pictures to come... behind the windows are pigeon holes.... square openings (16cm I think, a bit deeper than that?).

There will be more pictures when I have the front panel opening and closing and stuff.


* There is no prize.

18 August 2010

New Fixation - Fyodor Shekhtel

Fyodor Shekhtel
Originally uploaded by Igor Palmin
Russian architect / designer. This is Art Nouveau at its finest. It makes me sigh.

14 July 2010

What's cooler than flowers?

Flowers that have been made, the way the mafia can make someone.

Check out this Flickr set. It's flowers that have been unrolled through the magic of a custom software built just for that purpose.Some of them are very, very nifty landscapes. Most of them are still clearly recognizable as flowers. All of them are very striking images. I think you'll like this stuff.

29 June 2010

How These Things Begin (sort of)

Here's my sketch for the 16 windows of the
previous few posts. It's kind of similar, and
kind of ... gestural. Doing the drawing functioned more to give me the sense of what kind of lines I wanted the frames to have, than to give me the precise shapes for each of the 16 windows.

In some ways this stuff would all be easier if I were the type to plan my projects out to the last and tiniest detail before beginning to execute, but I have tried that in the past, and invariably been horribly, horribly frustrated. Because when I plan that way, I give myself no leeway for adapting to the unexpected. Materials or processes that don't work out quite as planned. When I do that much planning, I damn well expect it to work out like that!

On the other hand, when I do it this looser way, just kind of rolling with the ideas as they come, I tend to change course a bit *too* much, whether things are working or not, and I tend to waste time and effort and often materials. In this method, I have to be very careful to set firm deadlines and I have to set budget limitations, material limitations, and lock down how many changes I let myself make along the way. Project managing, basically. That turns into a tough line to toe, because it wars with my desire not to stifle creative urges. (The alternative being, frustration because my creative urges make it flat out impossible to get anything done, ever.)

26 June 2010

If at first you fail, try, try again...

Tried to post this four times yesterday, and somehow the post got wiped out four times. Finally I gave up and took a little nap instead. I'm sure you understand!

What you see here are two panels of wood with sixteen different shaped holes cut in them. Each hole has a corresponding glass piece, and a matching wooden frame piece. The glass goes inside the hole, and the frame piece sits on top.

Since cutting out the sixteen holes, it has taken me almost two weeks to get the sixteen pieces of glass cut out and ground to fit.

Two damn weeks.

What yo are looking at here is a closer view of a single glass-frame-hole set. Click through to see it a little larger.

I have learned a valuable lesson in that time. Several, in fact. First, never ever try to cut out glass in shapes like these. Because it's a pain in the ass.

Second, if I do something like this again, I'm going to cut out the glass FIRST, and then do the wood cut out and fitting AFTER, because sanding wood to fit something is a hell of a lot easier and faster than sanding glass. Not to mention safer!

These two close-up shapes are the two worst of the lot, I think I had to cut these each four or five times to get pieces that did not break and become useless.

25 June 2010

Not Slow & Steady... Just Slow.

I have not disappeared from the planet, I have been actually working on this thing. Slowly. Veeeerrry slowly. Partly because working with the Dremel to grind the glass down aggravates the nerve pinch in my neck, and partly because I've gotten a bit frustrated... trying to cut out shapes like these from glass. It's not easy, my glass cutter isn't great, I'm not a fantastic glass cutting expert, and doing things that potentially fire glass shards all over the universe is the type of activity one tends to limit in terms of timing and location. If you see what I mean.

However! I believe I have finally –finally!– cut all 16 pieces, and gotten them ground to fit, and manage any further fitting by sanding the wood down a little. And I have learned a valuable lesson about (next time!) cutting the glass FIRST and cutting the wood AFTER because it is so much easier to shape the wood than the glass. Dur.

The two pieces that you see close-ups of here are the two that gave me the most trouble. One, I had to cut 4x and the other I had to cut 5x to get usable pieces. All the other attempts had broken-off corners (or middles!) that were of no more use to me than a monkey with only four asses. I had to burn the laboratory down.

I'm not dead, I swear!

Been working on this project a long time, and I *am* making progress, but it's slow going. Partly because I'm inventing the wheel here. The oddly-shaped wheel. I'm not working from any kind of a real plan or anything ('cause I'm an idiot like that), and this is my first project of this kind, and it's almost certainly over-ambitious for being the first of its kind and also fairly spontaneous.

The sixteen holes, sixteen matching wood frame pieces, and sixteen custom fitted glass pieces have taken me (in round numbers) a long goddamn time to get cut and fitted. A couple of the glass pieces had to be re-made several times.

Here you see close ups of the two worst. I think I cut one of these four times, the other five times. These two shapes *nearly* had me convinced to abandon the glass altogether in favor of something more... reasonable. But i

The great thing is, I'll be thinking fondly of this project every time I handle anything acidic for the next couple of weeks. It is amazing how a teeny tiny little cut can be utterly below radar until you go to squeeze a lime or wash a window with some vinegar based cleaner solution.

28 May 2010

Step 1 - Collect all the underpants!

I've just finished the scrollwork for a picture frame I've been wanting to make for a while. I don't think this is the frame I originally dreamed of, but it will be cool anyway. And I can always make more! I like this very much, although it is pretty far from done. Next time I'll probably keep track of how many hours go into something like this. I didn't this time, but I know it was *many*.

That's 4 pieces of thin plywood that were stacked up and staples driven into the edges. The design was applied to the top layer, and I drilled holes to feed the saw blade into the interior of each enclosed space to cut out, starting with the smallest / furthest inside first, and working my way out. The last step was to cut the outsides, gradually replacing staples with tape so the stack would stay in alignment.

The roundy thing in the center, below the flash glare is a quarter, for size reference. Next step.... paint it, I think. Then paint something to glue it to.

26 May 2010

Art, versus something I could do and get paid for.

Last week, it occurred to me that I could probably make some money by going to the fleamarkt on a Saturday morning, picking out some little prizes, and assembling them (on the spot), and (hopefully) selling them by the end of the day. At the fleamarkt. Somewhere in the intersection of crafting, performance art, recycling, and yard sale. Also, and perhaps most importantly, it could be quite fun. The fleamarkt is basically a pre-sorted landfill, so any and every random thing I could need or want to put into a project would be there. Lamp parts, coffee pots, thermos bottles, LPs. I am very fond of this idea. The only real downside I see here is that it is juuuuuust over my introvert / extrovert threshold. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try it once and see if I can survive it.

Ideally, I wouldn't actually go there with a plan for a finished item, just see what's there and come up with a concept on the spot. However, for a first run, I imagine a basic plan might be a really good idea, so I'll at least know what tools to take, and what to budget for materials.

Things I already know I'll need:
  • camera (for documentation)
  • something to sit on (there is a little drinking area there, that might suffice)
  • a wide brimmed hat (there is no shade)
  • some money to buy base materials
  • some courage to talk to strangers about what I'm doing / trying to sell
  • a basic tool kit (a way to cut things apart, a way to join things together, a way to clean up rough edges, a way to clean up dirty bits, a few spare parts, and whatever else seems like a good idea)
  • ... other? A bag lunch. 'cause if no one is going with me, I can't just walk away from my project to get lunch, I guess.
Does this idea sound interesting at all? The Mr. wasn't really into it, but he's not really a Maker.

19 May 2010

New! Content with actual content!

OK, last post, total cop out. Fortunately, I don't think anyone looked at it too closely! :)

On the topic of making a living as a gallery artist, versus not:

As I gather my application materials for this studio space thing, I have been meeting with some surprising internal resistance. I DO want the space, that is not an issue. My issue is what I do with my art. For a long time, I've been frustrated by the gallery art world. There are things about it that make me very uncomfortable.

A big issue - prices. It pisses me off to see a scribbled cocktail napkin going for $10000. Even though I think, well, good for them, that someone can make a living at art. In *any* way. But it's irritating. Because I know that if *I* scribble on a cocktail napkin, I'd be lucky if no one charged ME for the privilege of throwing it away. This is NOTHING to do with talent or skill. It's all about place / time / connections. That $10k napkin is a $10k napkin because that artist was in some particular situation to make it that way. Maybe it won't last forever, that situation, but the artist sure as hell will want to sell as many $10k napkins as possible in the meanwhile.

But I don't want that. Watch closely, because here's where it gets very squadgy indeed.

The thing I don't want is something I regard as crap going for a lot of money. Maybe I could make an infinitely superior scribble on a cocktail napkin, but if *I* think it is crap, I would die of shame before selling it to someone, much less displaying it publicly.

But the work I do, the work that meets my standards ... doesn't seem to be in much demand. There are only so many options in this situation. Create demand, change the work, or do something else altogether. (These options all assume I want to make some money with my work, which I do. Not so much for the money-have, but simply not to be a continued financial drain on my world.)

And that's where I get stuck. I know this studio space is a step in the direction of being that gallery artist. Fundamentally, I think it would be great to make money off my work, and that is an avenue that I could pursue. But I don't want to be the cocktail napkin artist, producing crap and selling it for mad money. It was pointed out to me that, in that context, the price is part of the piece. I don't like that. I don't feel comfortable with the meshing of value and aesthetic. Because I don't value money much at all. It is useful, but it's not interesting.

So... whether I get this studio space or no, I am going to need to figure out what I DO want. What IS a good exchange for my effort? How can I recover expenses without losing self-respect, which I can't afford? Knowing what I *don't* want only gets me so far.

Oh, and that picture is the beginning piece of the first complete object I will have made with my scroll saw. It's not very exciting, but I admit it tickles me that removing 18 tiny strips of wood makes 9 flat pieces of wood into a little shelf-esque thing.

17 May 2010

everything and nothing

I have all kinds of things to post about, including current projects, some musings on making a living as a gallery artist (or not), and so on. But I slept poorly last night, and am not totally coherent. Also, my biorhythm says today, I does not brain.

So, I give you this little part of an image, which links to a gallery of some wild fantasy art. You may enjoy it, I hope you do.