The Laws of Nature

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Return and Other Things

Images: (left) workspace in studio (middle) extended view of studio (right) gallery wall in studio

At long last ... I'm back!! Our move to our now permanent home in Maine was epic in proportion. Not only did we move during the worst winter in recent history, but we had to install heat in the house first and also complete the interior of my studio (which is in a building separate from the house). Now ... after seven years of waiting ... we also have access to high speed internet and so I can rejoin the blogosphere.

Many, many thanks to all of you who emailed me during my long absence to encourage me to return to our wonderful discussions. I'm looking forward to reuniting with you (big smile).

Many great things have happened during the past few months: lots of teaching (concept development in art and technique) and lots of really terrific students, painting sales at an all time high, public speaking, and several shows (some solo) now and next year. It's exciting and rewarding.
Now, onto more important things. Lately, I've been thinking about the importance of wearing blinders as I continue to paint the "Laws" series. It's so easy to get distracted by other ideas or even succumb to the influence of works/ideas by other artists that appeal to me. I've always had to battle the distractions, and the further I get into a series the more myopic my artistic vision becomes. Is that helping or hindering me? I'd like to think that it's helping, but maybe it's retarding my creativity.

Edward Hopper once said: I find in working always the disturbing intrusion of elements not a part of my most interested vision, and the inevitable obliteration and replacement of this vision by the work itself as it proceeds.

How about you? What keeps you on track?


Sharmon Davidson said...

Welcome back, Kathy! Your new space looks incredible.
It's a fine line isn't it, between being completely focused on what you're doing, and letting other ideas in, and possibly distract you. I find I'm very distractable, especially if I'm working on a series that's been going on for a long time; I start getting a little bored and unfocused, start looking around, and think- "maybe I should do that instead." It's tempting for me to start something else, which I sometimes do, but then I feel I'm just hopping around wildly like a spastic frog on espresso. I really do fear I'm getting ADD in my old age! But if you're determined to continue the series, I think those blinders might be a good thing. Can you loan me a pair?

Carolyn Abrams said...

Hi Kathy, Welcome back! I will look forward to your posts again! It was wonderful working with you this past week and seeing your beautiful corner of the world!

Robin said...

I was so happy to see a new post on my blog list this morning, Kathy, welcome back, you have been missed. Your studio looks wonderful, I love the lighting and windows, especially seeing all those trees!

I actually find distractions can also become creative muses, and lead me to my next thing, but I have to put these "distractions" on hold until I have the time to focus. I am pretty good about keeping my focus on the present work but love knowing there is a next thing waiting to happen.

On a separate note, unfortunately, I could not sign up for a summer workshop with you and right now I am in Chicago with my mother who is having some health issues. Hopefully there will be a time when I can participate in one of your workshops.

Casey Klahn said...

Wooooo Hooooo. Kathy's back!!

I had a picture of you in my head with the old dial up phone, and it was hooked up to a party line. On your party line was the cast of Green Acres, or something like that. Funny, but very low tech.

Congratulations on your beautiful studio build-out. Is it up a floor? Or, as they say in Maine, "Uppa Flah." Sorry, I must be giddy to have you back to the blog world.

The series look so wonderful on your wall. On your question, I thought about the quote from TH Benton who said that the only artist he was interested in anymore was Thomas Hart Benton. I was talking with a local artist friend and we were describing staying away from art and artists who were too like our own.

hw (hallie) farber said...

Beautiful studio and so organized. Blinders might be a good thing--I've never had a pair.

Welcome back. I'm happy to hear that everything--big move, exhibits, sales, classes, and internet connection--worked out well.

Unknown said...

Hi Sharmon - thanks so much! Experimentation is a great thing, and it obviously works for you! I admire your ability to keep it going :-))

Hi Carolyn - it was truly wonderful to get to spend all that time with you and learn more about your process. You're on a roll, lady!!!

Hi Robin - I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. How wonderful that you are such a great help and support to her. It would be wonderful to work with you one day! Take care.

Hi Casey - Yup, it's on the uppah flah. Had to laugh at your vision of my situation ... not far from the truth! Love the Benton quote. Thanks!

Hi Hallie - blinders would definitely hamper your creativity. You've the most wonderful and diverse ideas!!

-Don said...

I LOVE your studio, Kathy. I wish I were sitting right there on that couch right now... Congrats on your successes, finally feeling settled in, and for finally having decent e-speed. Welcome back. You were missed.

Now, as for what keeps me on track, I must first ask, "what's a track"? :-) My way of dealing with new ideas and distractions is to explore them on other canvasses while I continue to resolve my original visions on their respective canvasses. What has ended up happening is that I now have 3 distinct 'tracks' going in my studio all at the same time. I don't know if that's a good thing, or a bad thing, but it's my thing...


Joyfulartist said...

Your studio is a dream! I think I'd be off "track" just sitting in it and not wanting to mess it up!
Maybe it's part of an artist's make up to be distracted. Artists tend to be interested by everything around them; how it looks, the colors, the light, the angle. If you turn that off, or wear blinders, I think it would be a hinderence and not an aid.

Unknown said...

Hi Don - wish you were here, too!! (smile) I can appreciate your creative approach and have a similar one when I'm between series and exploring possibilities for something new. I'd say that your approach is a very GOOD thing for you.

Hi Joyful - thanks! I agree that, as an artist, we must keep our antennae up at all times, and I do. However, I can't proceed with a series if I get too distracted. I admire those who can. :-)