I'm not 30 anymore

I have a landmark birthday this week. And it's not 30. I can't help but take stock of where I am, where I want to go and what the point of it all is. I guess I do that on a daily basis anyway but this landmark makes it a little more deep-seated. I notice things more. I wonder why I notice certain things more than others. I store up images that speak to me. And they show up in my work unsolicited.

Inspirations_PaulaKovarik_manthinking.jpg

I thought I might post some of these stored images today just to remind myself that this world is spinning and I am a part of it. Life is shorter this week. And inspirations abound.

inspirations

Minds are maps of experiences. Inspirations abound. I may need to upgrade my storage space.

The muscular structure of this fig branch needs one of those overtures with heroic drums as a background tune.

I'm working on a piece that I have temporarily named Inspirations. I may call it something else once it is finished. Right now I am trying to find a different way of mounting it. I love these fringe-y edges but can't figure out how to preserve them yet.

Thank you Piet, Pablo, William, Paul, Vasily, Theodore, Alexander, the bees, trees, birds and my grandchildren

Sometimes I feel like the band is calling for last dance and I am pleading with them to turn the clock back.

Shiny things

It's risky to leave my studio. Inspirations can turn my head into a spinning whirly-gig. Traveling to art shows, through countryside that is new, or sleeping in a different bed can birth new ideas or make me lose focus. Sometimes it takes a long time to re-establish balance while focused on so many shiny things that pull my heartstrings.

A mural by Natalia Pawlus found at the parking garage adjacent to the Grand Rapids Art Museum inspired me with its sparse composition and dynamic line work.

The Meyer May house in Grand Rapids is one of the most completely restored Frank Lloyd Wright homes.

The Meyer May house in Grand Rapids is one of the most completely restored Frank Lloyd Wright homes.

And there are so many incredible artists, so many inspirations. My studio seems to mock me with a silence that comes with sorting out what I saw and what it means to my work. I may even question my medium: maybe I should become a weaver? a sculptor? a poet? Why am I focused on fabric and stitch when so many other mediums are full of promise? Would paint free the loose screws in my compulsive practice?

And what inspirations! World class sculptures in the Grand Rapids Meijer Gardens, world-class fiber work at the Muskegon Museum of Art's Extreme Fibers exhibit, a guided tour through a completely restored Frank Lloyd Wright home in Grand Rapids.

This sculpture by Laura Ford hides in tall grasses and pine trees at the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I would go back there tomorrow to see this sculpture garden again.

These barns seem to be buried by corn, a common image all the way home.

These barns seem to be buried
by corn, a common image all the way home.

Not to mention over 1500 pieces in the ArtPrize Seven show. Check out Hanna Concannon, Martha Bishop, Sayaka Oishi, Colleen Kole, Tamara Kostianovsky, Kazuki Takemura, Armando Ramos, MaryJo Fox Fell and many others on the ArtPrize site.

Even the ride home to Memphis inspired thoughts of doing pastoral compositions based on those horizontal farms with big skies.

Eventually I will find my way again -- re-familiarize myself with projects that are almost done and allow for some explorations into new frontiers. For now I will browse the photos and do more research on what I saw, felt and inhaled. Here are some links to new and old artists who inspired me this summer:

  • Maggy Rozycki Hiltner working with found fabric and retro imagery to explore childhood memories.
  • Jan Hopkins working with grapefruit peels, hydrangea petals, eucalyptus leaves and ostrich shell beads to create sculpture.
  • Laura Ford for her whimsical naturalistic bronze sculptures.
  • Kumi Yamashita for her way with warp and weft.
  • Natalia Pawlus for her haunting mural at the parking garage in Grand Rapids; and
  • Jim Triezenberg for his magnificent joie de vivre in his sculpture: Dino-Zar.