It’s Art Market time again! I’ve taken part in a couple of art markets. Before now I’ve mostly shown paintings & drawings. This year however, I will be showing jewellery.
I started working with air-dry polymer clay a couple of months ago, experimenting with thickness, strength and hand painting techniques. I hadn’t worked with clay before, but I did a lot of research along the way. After a few batches of using the air-dry clay, I started using Sculpey oven bake polymer clay as an alternative. It has been an invigorating learning curve. It’s been a while since I’ve really dug my teeth into learning a new medium. Each batch I make is fresh and exciting to work on. I am sure that this is the beginning of a deeply satisfying, clay-filled journey.
This particular process is great for my immediate lifestyle. Polymer clay is easy to work on in small batches, for short bursts of time. It’s easy to get my creative ‘fix’ by working with colour and texture in such an immediate way. I’m reading about more traditional clay techniques as well, however I really don’t have the time/space/resources to make a traditional clay practice tenable.
When i was a kid I LOVED the NeverEnding Story. There was a scene in the movie that has always stuck with me – a huge, powerful stone giant sits and looks at his hands lamenting that and his big, strong hands were not strong enough to save his friends from the Nothing. He says, “They look like big, good, strong hands. Don’t they? I always thought that’s what they were… “ . That idea of your hands being the real agent of your ability has stuck with me. I put similar stock in my own hands. My eyes and hands do my work, and I’ve rediscovered the great great joy of getting my hands dirty.
As part of this new foray into jewellery, I am launching the JumbieJewels Etsy shop. I have a couple of things on there at the moment but really, I plan on populating it when the market is over. I’ll post here as well as on Instagram with updates.
So, in conclusion, if you’re in Toronto this weekend and you want to spend a sunny day in the park, come see the Christie Pits Art Crawl. Sunday 27th May from 9am-4pm.
Look for JumbieJewels and please stop by and say hello.
It sneaks up on you. Especially when your life is basically in service of another person. It starts with mild irritation at seemingly normal things. Then, that ever present irritation dips and rises throughout the day leading to cycles of negative thought. For me, it also manifests as a hunger for decadent food or shopping- though neither of those things ever fill the void. I think it’s a sideways desire for richness and energy.
What is this? This is an existential need to center myself as well as a need to create. It’s a recurrent hunger that peaks when my days lack the time and space for grounding myself.
This is perhaps the hardest thing about being a mom so far – the desperate lack of time and means to regenerate my inner reservoir of peace and strength. I’m not unhappy, nor am I unable to care for my little girl. The need for existential grounding though remains a background thirst that grows and grows until I can’t ignore it anymore. I am getting better at acknowledging the signs. I haven’t yet reached a new rhythm that curtails this cycle of want, though I would like to build a better cycle with some built in time for grounding, each day.
The best ways for me to ground myself are through art, writing and yoga. This week I tried something new. I left all my gouache things on the dining table with some pre cut and prepared pieces of watercolour paper. I’m trying to make it as easy as possible to do a small burst of work. That seemed to have worked.
In addition, I have my yoga mat and yoga dvd ready to go as well. That system isn’t working AT ALL. I think I need to memorise the sequence and do it on my own when I have a sliver of time.
Writing has been more elusive. Where painting doesn’t require me to be coherent – writing does. I can paint in a headspace beyond words and be happy. It won’t necessarily be good – but it’ll happen and that’s all I really need sometimes. With writing though, I find that I need to more actively center myself in order to access the stream of words. I can’t satisfactorily sit and write for a 15 minute period unless, like now, I’ve been wanting to do it for a day and a half. So maybe I need to save up my words so that once a week I can commit a solid hour to it and let daddy take the baby.
These are the paintings I did this week. The black and white one I had planned on for a long time and I finally did it. It’s a piece I made for a friend.
The last couple canvases I’ve worked on have been hard. In past, even if I started something without any idea of where it was going, there’d be some overarching vibe – like I had some inner focus that drew things out of me in some coherent way. It doesn’t feel that way anymore.
I knew this year, starting after a break of sorts that I was some place new. It’s been harder. I feel like in life I know how I feel about things, but then when I sit in front of the canvas, it’s all more visceral. Like I might have some vague inkling that things aren’t right from day to day, but then I sit to paint and the pain floods me and I can’t ignore it.
Today I had to come face to face with how lost I feel in the topography of my life. I was painting something and trying to feel out where I was going as the unanswerable refrain kept coming back to me – ‘Where am I? And what am I doing?’
My inability to answer these questions didn’t evoke sadness in me. Instead those questions illicited frustrated, exasperated, raw and undeniable anger.
I pulled out my Phaidon collection of Latin American Art to try to tie myself to something. It’s a great collection of work that makes me feel closer to home. In it is a range of expression more familiar to me than a lot of European Art. There’s an anchor there and within all of the great works of Art that I love, that I feel I lack.
It’s as if my life is cut away from its moorings. Sometimes I try to paint but I feel like there’s nothing inside me worth putting on that canvas. Like all I’m doing is applying daubs of paint to canvas instead of making art.
I suppose this is all part of the process.