Sunday, April 19, 2015

Being Observant


When I'm working on my art journal or any art piece, I take lots of process photos, partly to document how I created the piece, but mainly to see my art from the viewer's perspective. What does that mean? And at this point, you might be questioning my sanity... Isn't she already seeing the art through the viewer's perspective? I don't know about other artists, but when I'm drawing or painting, I become myopic, only able to see the part that I'm drawing.  And that's probably why I will never be an urban sketcher, who can sit at an outdoor cafe and sketch the beautiful scenery in front of her. When I take a photo of my art, I can see the whole and it helps me to make adjustments. Sometimes things aren't in the right proportions and other times, it's just adjusting the lighting. As an artist, I have a vision in my mind (most of the time) and sometimes, that vision is the lens through which I see my art.  And it isn't until I see the photo, that I see the piece as it is.

Which reminds me...my oldest and my youngest are very much alike... Strong-willed, very sensitive, and they both have difficulty letting things go. (She really has lost it, she went from talking about art to her children...) They are constantly bickering, trying to get each other in trouble.  They both don't like to acknowledge that they are very similar in temperament. Several years ago, during one of their heated arguments, I recorded them without being noticed. Once things cooled, I showed them the video. They were both horrified that I had recorded them, but once they got over it, they could see similarities in the way they behave towards each other and that the things they find the most annoying about the other is the same exact things they do. 

Whether it's art or your relationship with others, sometimes you have yo step back enough until you see things as they are and not as you expect them to be. And that leads me to the question, Can you be an observer (like my quote above, observant enough that you notice things overlooked by others) at the same time you are a participant?

When I was a teacher (this is the last anecdote, I promise) I got to learn processes and protocols that engage a group of people in a dialogue. One of those processes is called the Chalk Talk. There is a huge butcher paper on the wall with the question or topic in the middle. Participants are not allowed to talk.  When you want to respond to the question, you go up to the butcher paper and write, creating a web.  There are only a certain number of markets available so you have to wait your turn.  When you want to respond to someone's remark, you form a new web. I've participated in and facilitated many Chalk Talk sessions. It's a great to 'hear' from those who feel intimidated to talk in most sessions.  It's also a good way to limit the loud ones who tend to overtake the group.  In this instance, you are both a participant and an observer, but not at the same time.  It forces you to step back and read what others wrote.  Of all the processes I've facilitated, this is always everyone's favorite.  

I think that whatever it is that you do, you have to participate, but you have to also step back, change the lense or filter and observe.  I think that's how you grow and learn.  You can't always be the participant, always doing, never evaluating whether your actions matter.  You can't always be an observer, just noticing things as things happen around you.  You gotta be both!  Now back to art...


I started with stamping using archival ink.  I just purchased a set of neon paint so Ivwanted to give it a try. I layers several colors by alternating horizontal and vertical strokes.


I decided to create flowers using the same colors so I started with circles and cut out petals which Went through my paper crimper to get the corrugated look.


I used a my inkpads to outline the petals and used Tim Holtz distress ink pad to hit the bumps.


Two of the flowers were placed on the left page.  I created my 'frame' for the quote with gesso.


Here is a closer look at the petals.

Have a great day!!









18 comments:

  1. Angelcake, this is fascinating stuff. I think that your ability to focus probably feeds your curious nature and makes you interested (and interesting) in so many things. Of course, I am not a professional :) I have no attention span so I take in a lot of things but seldom do I really see anything. My sister has been researching and she says I may have A.D.D. I have enough things going on without having to work on something else so I'll let that one slide. I love the pleasing effects of your work. How something can look so simple and take so much thought and labor is mind blowing to me. Sometimes I don't understand some of the artistic 'language' but I still enjoy 'listening' to it.
    Deedles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been curious about how our minds decide what interests us. My son, even at 18 months, could tell the type of car my husband and I drove. He is still very passionate about cars. What makes me so interested in color when my husband calls beige, ecru, pearl, eggshell, and any other light color white. So interesting..

      Delete
    2. See, that's where the artist in you comes out. I call all of those colors 'off white' except for the beige. Beige is just blah. I love bright, bright colors. They cheer me. Neutrals and some pastels depress me. Interesting indeed.
      Deedles

      Delete
  2. you made me laugh. Mother hood at its fine points. Your spread is gorgeous.
    hugs
    susan s

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least I have fun with my kids. Lol. Thank you, Susan!

      Delete
  3. I love your flowers. The colors you used are just perfect. I'm just starting out with art journaling and love to see the process that others use to create. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I didn't notice the words on the flower petals until you broke it down. This is fascinating. I feel so lucky and you know why!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I was working on this spread, it didn't feel personal for me. That's when I added the words.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Could you write for me the words on the petals? I can,t distinguish them well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the top flower, I wrote Be happy, Be loyal, be loving, be yourself, be fun, be kind, be serious, be true, be crazy

      On the bottom flower I wrote: reward, creative, risk, truth, love, sadness, believe, triumph

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks!
    Didn,t 'sadness'slip into that list?
    Sensible thought, sensitive painting

    ReplyDelete
  9. This perspective is fascinating! I am now thinking wildly about my own creative process and evaluating. I love the combination of zone and attention you give to the process. So glad you wrote this and that I read it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yukari, I think the thing that separates artists from others is that we both see things as others do but also are able to hone in, examine, add emotional content, exaggerate,(etc), what we are looking at/ or experiencing. An artist must be both an observer and participant otherwise you would be a camera. Not only do you choose what to do with your "scene", but you bring all of your experiences with you when you make each decision about what to do next. I think even when you have an idea about what you think you want to produce in the beginning. Your individual process effects it as you go along. Thus, it almost always turns out a little differently then you expected. That's slso what makes it a Yukari as opposed to a suzala.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wouldn't it be fun to see the world through different artists' perspectives?

      Delete