Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cross-Pollination

The last few weeks have been even more spastic than usual. School year schedule morphing into summer schedule, a brief trip out of town and just general life craziness have all converged to make for very little work time. I haven't painted much since before WEST because I was busy making jewelry for Creatures and a wholesale order for a new shop in San Francisco. I've also signed up to teach a metalsmithing class for kids in the fall, and have found the planning process strangely engaging (read: time-consuming). I don't have ADD, but I think I might be gaining a bit more appreciation for what it feels like.

Somewhere in all that mess I carved out a couple of hours and managed to come up with a new design. An actual new design--the kind of new where I thought it would be cool and then did it all within the same hour. Usually I get an idea for a new design and it sits in the back of my brain for weeks or months waiting until I remember to actually try it out. It never feels so new that way. Here's my new, new idea:
After making a dozen or so of these little blossoms, I realized they looked a lot like something else I've played around with recently:
I think this is why I'm hoping to keep up the painting end of things--for the cross-pollination that happens when your brain is working on new ideas. Clearly, working in one medium long enough (too long?) makes it easy to get stuck or start feeling stale. Changing up the tools and media naturally encourages your brain to make new and different connections. Some might even call it playing.

Was I trying to make metal versions of these little line drawings? Not consciously. But obviously some tiny outpost in my brain had accepted the mission. Anyway, I know flowers are cliché enough to be almost banal, but--dang it--I like flowers and I'm enjoying making them for now.

I've put a few new earrings in my Etsy shop and I suspect I'm going to be working on various iterations until I'm bored with them. That's Rule No. 9 from Austin Kleon's "Steal Like an Artist."
RULE No. 9: Be boring. (It's the only way to get work done.)
What do you think about flowers as a motif? Are they so overdone they're completely lame? Is there still any artistry to be wrung from the theme? I thought there might be a raging online debate on the overuse of flowers in art, but an extensive Google search turns up nothing, so I guess I'm good to go!


2 comments:

lunedreams said...

flowers never go out of style! there are so many variations you can do with them. there are only so many shapes of things anyway, might as well choose the ones that speak to you!

• • Christine Terrell • • said...

That's so true. I'm pretty sure if I had to, I could limit myself to circles (and parts of circles) and be happy for the rest of my making career! Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.