We all feel as if we could explode sometimes. Tensions of daily life rend our emotions, tear us apart. We seek a release when the pressure becomes too great. But explosions are destructive, only leaving messy debris in their wake. How do we unleash our anguish, our anger, our despair in a productive manner? How can we turn these seemingly negative feelings into a force for good? Use that tension as a violinist might use a taut bow-- create something melodious with it, something exquisite and memorable. The sculptor, Henry Moore, once stated, "It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work." What an interesting observation he made. Artists actually NEED tension! The tension we feel inside should be harnessed as a tool for creation, a way to express inexpressible emotions.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
People are not always what they appear to be. A man may seem physically intimidating but actually be timid. An older person may seem as if they should be frail, but, in reality, may be quite strong. A sassy woman may seem agressive yet actually be hiding a sweet girly-girl inside. Human creatures have endless layers of complexity. It is easy to misjudge others. Without sufficient facts, we may jump to wrong conclusions or, perhaps, even think the worst of someone. How unfortunate. What can be seen on the surface is really just a teaser of what lies beneath, the cover of the book. If we don't look beyond the surface, we'll never know the true story inside. We'll never know what we might be missing.
Interestingly, we can apply this same principle to art. For example, we may hear an unfamiliar piece of music and instantly dismiss it as noise. But if we give it a chance, perhaps even listen to it repeatedly, we might be surprised at how it starts to 'grow' on us. We begin to hear the individual layers of the music, each individual component, how the notes are structured to build a harmonius whole. There may still be parts of the tune that we are not enamored of; but, overall we may enjoy the piece. At the very least, even if we dislike the melody, we may learn more about the very nature of music. This may also prove to be the case as we dissect the layers of persons we encounter. We may not be particularly attracted to their overall character, but still be able to learn something of value from them.
(Bead in this post is available in my Etsy shop)
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Circuses seem like disheveled, congested, crazy places. And clowns? Let's not go there. when I was a little girl, my father took me to see the famous Ringling Brothers/ Barnum & Bailey Circus. I hated it. Really hated it. So who would have imagined that I would fall in love with the Cirque du Soleil as an adult? It is an astonishing show. People that can do the most unreal things with their incredibly flexible bodies. And clowns. Yes, clowns. Eerie, mysterious, beautiful clowns. Clowns that make your imagination soar, that provide oodles of ideas for artistic creations. Cirque du Soleil is highly imaginative, with original music performed at each show. I saw the Mystere show at Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas. Please don't miss it. Even if you think clowns are scary.
(Beads featured in this post are available in my Artfire shop)
Friday, February 20, 2009
Why do opposites attract? In the world of color, opposites on the color wheel visually vibrate against each other. Such color combinations just "zing". One book I refer to frequently that is endlessly inspiring as regards "zingy" color usage is "The Beader's Color Palette" by Margie Deeb. Every artist should have it in their reference library. This book shows that, really, there are no wrong color combinations.
In the world of humans, opposite personalities can be delicious together or, at times, an abysmal failure. Chemistry is important in order to blend opposite personalities. Truly though, the most diverse of personalities can generally blend when serious effort is applied.
Irony is "the expression of meaning through the use of words which normally means the opposite." An example is the following quote by Robert A. Heinlein, "The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive." Now that is zingy.
I leave you with one more quote about opposites that applies to anyone involved in creative pursuits: "It is the stretched soul that makes music, and souls are stretched by the pull of opposites- opposite bents, tastes, yearnings, loyalties. Where there is no polarity- where energies flow smoothly in one direction- there will be much doing, but no music."-- Eric Hoffer
Monday, February 16, 2009
Words make me giddy. They are as tangible as color in my world. One of my most beloved tasks is naming my glass beads and jewelry pieces. To me, words are balls to be playfully tossed. At times, words are missiles, hurled with lethal intent. If wielded in a skillful manner, words can be used to win. Conversely, if handled in an amateurish way, words can fail you. One word can possess such power: stop; never. Some words conjure up pictures in your mind: shiver; explode. There exist words that are deeply satisfying to say aloud: boondoggle; discombobulate. Poetry is a word-party. Words dress up in festive garments and head out for a night on-the-town, ranging from a formal affair to a rowdy blowout. Many people avoid poetry, finding it incomprehensible and intimidating. However, words should not be purely practical. They can dance with joy in a song (which is simply a poem set to music). Give poetry a chance to trickle into your thoughts, rock your foundation, change your life. Use lively, colorful words to animate your speech. Revel in your marvelous ability to express yourself with words!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
What puts a twinkle in your eye? What dazzles your view, overwhelms your senses, tickles your wit, leaves you thunderstruck? These are the things that will drive you to create your art.
Gray matter can be infused with shimmering color when it is riveted on what stirs you deep within. Focus on what brings you bliss. The possibilities are infinite: a purring cat, curled in your lap; a meteor shower hurtling overhead; the merry crackle of a campfire; the bubbly laughter of children; a smooth, silky chocolate treat; the deep silence of a cave; an exquisitely crafted piece of music; a show of affection from a dearly loved one. Take time to reflect on what triggers your passion and use that as a tool to create.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Details matter. They do. Seeing the 'big picture' is impossible without the details to fill it out. Details reveal the richness, depth and wonderful flaws of what we have in front of us. To illustrate, if we don't take the time to study the details and complexities of the people we love, how will we ever truly know them? We learn amazing things by taking a closer look at nature. Think of the texture of a cat's tongue, the underside of a butterfly's wing, the structure of a grain of sand. To me, it is the details that make a work of art truly noteworthy. I may be struck by the work as a whole, but it is in the details that I find real joy for they reveal to me so much about the artist behind the art.
Monday, February 9, 2009
They look harmless- a pile of inanimate, wee beads- so colorful, so engrossing. Like a steamy cup of Starbucks on an onerous morning, they beckon you, flirt with you, demand your undivided attention. No matter how stalwart your vow to absolutely NOT spend one more penny on beads, you cannot walk away. You cannot hide. You cannot prevent what happens next. At least, that's what I tell myself. It is my one consolation.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Mellifluous- a word derived from Latin that literally means "flowing honey". This makes me think of melting glass, which definitely looks and acts like thick, flowing honey. But 'mellifluous' is actually a word associated with sounds that are pleasantly smooth, such as beautiful music. Where am I going with this? You'll see.
So many things spark my interest, are a balm for my soul, speak to my heart. The many paintings produced by Georgia O'Keeffe especially resonate deep within me. For me, there is no better way to appreciate the art of O'Keeffe than to see her works in person. Photos simply do not do true justice to the intensity of color and form or the scale of her works. It was by studying the works of Georgia O'Keeffe that I came to understand the power of color. One of my favorite paintings is this one, called "Music- Pink and Blue II". O'Keeffe created this piece while listening to music- just painted the forms that came to her as she felt the music pulsate in her mind. I think it is a stunning painting that also teaches two valuable lessons to artists of any genre. 1) Positive emotions can drive us to create works of beauty. 2) A wonderful way to stoke the flow of positive emotion is by listening to music that moves you while you create your art of choice.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
It is a strange conceit of humans that their thoughts, once committed to the printed page, are charged with great significance and are therefore eminently readable. Sadly, in this computer age individual thoughts, inscribed in pixels rather than ink, are all too often completely obscured by the sheer volume of competing voices all clamoring to be heard. The reader is completely overwhelmed and often too distracted by a colorful page here, a flashy logo there, to settle on any one page for long. Patience for mature thought is in short supply. With this in mind, this writer will be brief and 'get to the point' of the matter. Moon Katty Studios is officially open for business! Feel free to explore all the products, etc, exhibited here. And if you find that virtual browsing is not enough for you, you know what to do.