NaNoWriMo 2020 is right around the corner, are you ready?
NaNoWriMo 2020 is right around the corner, are you ready?
Over her four-decade-long career, artist Kiki Smith has made sculptures of body parts, tapestries depicting animals and the cosmos, and drawings of wolves and women—a strange confluence of the corporeal and the fantastic, with distinct feminist undertones. Smith is known as a leader of the downtown art scene that emerged in Manhattan throughout the 1980s, and many of her pieces have a dark fairy-tale quality—as if they could illustrate pages from the Brothers Grimm. I expected for the artist herself to have a bit of magic about her.
First attempt at publicly sharing poetry by my oldest!
Double Edged Tiger’s Curse
Tiger’s eye, tiger’s mind;
Thoughts and soul.
Bombard my mind.
This I plea.
No matter where I go,
This cannot be.
Leave me be,
Leave me be,
My final plea,
My lost mind and lost soul,
Can’t go back,
Can’t go home.
More to roam.
She danced to a different drummer; in patterns, checks, and bows.
I recently shared my short story A Ghost Of A Memory. There were many things on my mind as I wrote it, enough there was a point where I questioned posting it.
I know every writer has a different method for creating their art. Some are meticulous planners, other are like myself, going off the cuff, simply letting the story flow. Neither method, nor indeed, any method you may use is correct or wrong if it works for you. What I am going to explain is why, for me, I need to write is small pieces and sometimes what I have written is all there is.
In opening I mentioned ‘A Ghost of a Story” and the reason for doing so is because of what followed. I decided to include a huge spoiler in the title knowing I wouldn’t be going into a long back story narrative. Of course once it was posted and someone had a chance to comment, the suggestion came up of revealing the back story which had grown of its own accord in my mind as I was writing. I must admit I was tempted. Most times once the words are on the page, that is all there is. My muse has exhausted herself and no amount of coaxing will bring forth another word, but this time, I still had images and dialogue rattling around in my head and I thought, “maybe this one time I will make this a larger project.”
Well, I have found doing so isn’t the way I am comfortable working. Though I can close my eyes and see much of the scenes in my mind and hear the characters speaking, these thing refuse to travel from my mind through my fingers and onto the screen. Trying to force them leaves me frustrated and more than a little agitated, after all, it’s all right there…
So, as much as I have wanted to build a larger story, what I have written is what there is and what there shall remain. On a some what related note, my ‘Bella’ shorts are not a true, full length story, but snapshots. Nothing more than flashes of memory as seen from the characters point of view. Each story is connected by the character herself and those connected to her, but when I am writing, there is nothing more than that, which is what has allowed me to write as much as I have. I really have no idea how much of this story arc I will create, my muse is rather fickle when it comes to her.
If you have any thoughts you wish to share, please feel free to do so, I might even toss in a spoiler or two if your nice!
There was nothing, just the glimmering static of eyes focused on nothing, the faintest of light. A spark so easily missed if you weren’t expecting it. Expect it she did, more, she insisted. Every thought a call which would not be denied.
From within the darkness filling the space before her, which, in some way stretched far beyond; there came an answer. A whirling dervish of thought and sound. A surging call of recognition, welcome, and happiness which was enough to take her breath away.
It was a single mote, a tiny piece of crystalline perfection, dancing in the air before her. She couldn’t help but smile at the querying note it sang, tinged as it was with playful accusation.
“No, dear one, I never forgot about you; I promise.” Bella held out her hand and allowed the tiny creature to tickle the skin of her palm. “How could think so little of me?” She asked in feigned distress, her lips curving upward with each word.
Her answer was a scolding tone which spoke of a lifetime lost to misery and loneliness.
“Really? It has been but a few short months!” Her laughter was light and teasing, filling the air with bell like tinkles of crystal and glass wind chimes on a frosty December morning. The mote seemed to give a sniff of distain and wounded pride.
Relenting, Bella softened her tone and spoke her words honestly. “If I could, I would have you with me all the year long, yet such cannot be. Even this visit is but a brief respite until the world turns once more.”
(Via. CBS Chicago)
One thing I am thankful for is, as this year has progressed, I am regaining my artistic inclinations. Admittedly, it was a motivational speech which which gave me a new way to view the art I create, and in doing so opened new channels to explore. Another thing which has changed is I am now teaching my middle son about art and the creation process which in turn is teaching me things as well. I think it has been said in teaching someone, the teacher learns as much as the student.
Here is the latest piece I have finished, titled “Caffeine”. It is coffee and graphite on backing board.
I did a wash using old coffee, let it dry, then did a second wash. I followed this with an scrub of used coffee grounds. Last I drew the image using graphite pencil. There are some blemishes in the drawing which I decided to leave as they are. I could have made every line and curve perfect, but I think the imperfections add a character to the piece it would have otherwise lacked.
I have long enjoyed the optical illusions created by 3D drawing and other pieces of paper art. Here are a few of my favorites.
By AlessandroDD on DeviantArt
By Ramon Bruin
By Looha Desenhos
There are many, many more which you can find by searching for “3D Drawings” or search by artist.
I have said before I am many things, one of them being an artist.
I have made this claim on the fact I have created things, drawings, some paintings, even a terrible sculpture or two over the years. In fact, my first memories of drawing and finding a love of creating goes all the way back to when I was six years old.
The problem up until now has been how I have approached art. The how and why I create. You see I have long looked at what I could or could not do based on what I could afford. On what I wanted and not what I had at hand… it was a process of what I could do if I only had this, that, or some other thing. I never really asked myself “what I can I do with this, that, or some other thing.” I never looked at the world and saw possibility, only limitations.
I now can begin to understand the saying, “if you look only for what you want, you will never find what you need.”
I am going to share some pieces I created a few years ago. Sadly, neither I nor time have been very kind to them. As I said, I simply couldn’t see what was right before my eyes, blinded as I have been.
Each of these was done on a piece of scrap paper, backing board actually, which I retrieved from the trash.
What I’m not very proud of is the fact I didn’t see them as “real” art. I thought of them as doodles, play things, nothing serious.
You see, real art was created on proper materials, using the proper tools. Not like these, on scraps and drawn with cheap mechanical pencils bought at Wal-Mart.
I have created other pieces using Sharpie markers or Bic pens. These too I thought of as pointless, just scribbling because I couldn’t see them for what they were.
My art. Created from imagination with my hand.
Each of them are a little part of me and I just threw them away.
For a long time I have limited myself. My creativity, my imagination… my pain and pleasure. I didn’t see what was there because I was blinded by what I thought wasn’t there.
The funny thing is I have seen “found” art created by others and thought they were wonderful. I have seen paintings made from fruit juice and pretty much anything which can stain a canvas or piece of paper. I have seen soft art dolls made from scraps, and many other wonderful works, yet I thought they were things done by others. Not me.
What was it about me which so restricted my creativity?
The answer I’m sure is simple to see…
It was me.
I tell you all of this because placing limits on myself isn’t just about art. It’s about life. It’s about every day you wake up and what you think of as being possible. How can you hope to do anything, for yourself, for others, when you only see what you cannot do?
Or what you think you cannot do.
When you look around and see trash where another might find treasure?
Life, like art, is what we make it. Not what is handed to us. It is made of the wonderful and the terrible. The beautiful and the ugly.
Of trash and treasure.
Each of us needs to learn to become artists. Maybe in paint or pencil, maybe in words or actions.
An artist is someone who can find the wondrous in the ordinary…
Learn to be an artist.