March 30th, 2009
On Wednesday morning I’m leaving for an artist retreat taking place at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington. The event, Artfest 2009, is something I’ve been looking forward to since I first registered back in September. I’ll be taking a series of workshops over the course of my time there. I’m really excited about learning new techniques, getting inspired, and meeting other creative people. I’ll be taking a camera or three with me, along with my journal and sketchbook. I haven’t quite decided on the whether or not I’ll bring my laptop yet, because sometimes it’s nice to take a break from regular internet access.
One of the things participants needed to do in preparation for the event was create an artwork around the theme of "Sea Monsters, mostly of the eight-legged variety." There will be a group show of everyone’s work created for the event, and it should be interesting to see the variety of ways the theme has been interpreted. I decided to create the collage piece (featured above) using an illustration of an octopus I found and other elements of undersea life I had in my collection of ephemera. I don’t think it’s my best work but I am satisfied with it, and I was glad to work outside the limitations of my usual collage sketchbook.
March 23rd, 2009
For the last couple of years I’ve been organizing an evening to provide friends with the opportunity to work on creative projects. I started doing it because I kept hearing so many people express a wish for more time to [insert neglected project here] and felt this way myself. I think this is because the things we most often want to do tend to go by the wayside when life is busy. The idea for the event evolved out of the concept of a stitch n’ bitch and has become known as “Art Night”. It happens about every two to six weeks depending on schedules and interest. The projects people bring to work on range from things like knitting, crocheting, drawing, painting, collaging, and more recently, cooking and baking. Food is always a big part of the evening, and so is conversation.
We’ve recently begun to work on group projects on these evenings, which is something I’ve had in mind for ages. A few weeks ago James and Monique hosted the evening and came up with the idea of creating a mixed tape of songs based around the theme of a “great silence”. Each person brought a song and all were played throughout the evening. At the same time Kirsti and Darren brought along a box of old plastic letters and a digital camera set up for everyone to take turns shooting stills for a stop motion film. It made for a fun evening and I really loved how both projects had everyone’s creative juices flowing.
For our most recent Art Night I asked everyone to bring twenty photos taken while traveling. Each person took a turn showing their photos and telling the story behind each one. It was an idea inspired by something Boris wanted to do and I thought it needed to happen. It was lovely to see the photos, hear the stories, and contrast and compare what each person chose to share about their travel experiences.
I’m sharing all of this because maybe it will inspire other people to have an Art Night of their own, and get even more people breaking out neglected hobbies and projects. There can never be enough creativity going on in the world, and the same goes for sources of inspiration and collaboration. Just make sure you have good food.
March 22nd, 2009
These are two recent portraits that are favorites of mine of two of my favorite people.
I want to shoot more portraits again, and try to apply the level of creativity I use in my self portraits to portraits of other people. It’ll be tricky because the ideas for my self portraits tend to come spontaneously, and are shot that way too. It’s a harder to do this with another person, so I’ll have to work at coming up with a new process for shooting creatively.