I can't remember ever making a conscious decision to do art. I can never remember noticing that this is something that I like to do, or want to do. I just pursued it as something to do. It has always been a part of me.
I make assemblages. This was not my decision. It just happened that way. I never decided not to paint. Or sculpt. Make pottery. I'm sure if I put my mind, or time, towards it, that I could do these things, but to this point in time, I have not chosen to do so.
Instead, I continue to make assemblages. As I once heard from another artist, my pallet of paints is a pallet of "objects." These objects come from anywhere; my own childhood, the streets, thrift shops, yard sales, friends, family. Sometimes I have been known to even create my own objects or to create my own "found" art. My selection of these objects is intuitive. Usually upon first sight, I know if it is an object I need. This doesn't always mean I know where it will end up, but rather, I know it contains the potential of ending up in a piece.
The collecting stage of my art "objects" is an integral part of my art. The process starts at this point. I usually get the inspiration of my pieces from the objects that I find. It is rare that I get anidea, then start the process of recreating it physically. One of my working definitions of creativity is "the process of taking two unlike objects and making them alike."
Since the selection of objects plays such an important part of my art process, it makes the final product rich with history. For most of my pieces, there are stories about where individual parts of the piece came from, and even sometimes who gave them to me. This adds a dimension to my work that is very satisfying to me. It adds some kind of connectivity to the rest of world. As Mark Strand says in his poem, Keeping Things Whole, "We all have reasons for moving. I move to keep things whole."
My assemblages are also studies in problem solving. I am a tinkerer at heart. Yes, I am the kid that took the flashlights apart, cannot look at a screw without the longing to unscrew it. Thus, my art construction satisfies a lot of my need to "see if it can be done" -- my normal curiosity. Sometimes the construction of "unlike objects" can be very challenging, so when I succeed at the task, it is even more satisfying. In my recent pieces where I have added electrical lighting, I have moved to new heights of problem solving. There have been many times I have plugged in a trial piece with my eyes closed.
Then there is the challenge of problem solving when I have made an original problem into another problem all of its own. I liken this to the activity of trying to fix something under the dash of acar. This activity is two folded. There is the original problem that needs fixing under the dash, but then there's the new problem of getting the dashboard itself, off and back on again.Yet, the foundation of my assemblages, art, is the chance to express physically, concepts that continually race through my mind about being a human being on this earth. I've always described my art as "visualizations of abstract concepts" - concepts like time, spirituality, luck, career, childhood. Though I love to write, I tend to be wordy (I write as if I am speaking, if you haven't noticed yet) and I find it easier to live by the fact that "an assemblage is worth a thousand words." Yet, the flip side is the fact that even though many of my pieces have great personal meaning to me, they are wordless, allowing the viewer to make their own interpretations. It isn't necessary for me to have the viewer see my point. Although there is a very personal side of my art, anothergoal is to, hopefully, spark the viewer's mind and soul getting them to think and feel something as a result of interacting with my work. I have noticed that this can be hard for some people, as many of people have been trained that art is to be interpreted by what the artist is trying to say. This is not the case for my art.
I am inspired by color, light, shapes and the process of combining them. And though the final product is important to me, it is the process of making a piece that is what's most important. Some of my greatest pieces are never finished. Some have never been made.
Serenity and joy, for me, is living as close to the moment as possible. I know when I am there. It is when there is no past or future, but only the exact moment of the present and I am aware I am in it. One of the my greatest times of serenity and joy is when I am "doing" my art. In my studio, with music (lately this has been Puccini) blasting, I thrive on creating and constructing art. I never have a bad day in the studio.
I continue to move forward combining the other senses in my art. I want to add music, words -- preferably my own -- to pieces that I create, further sharing dimensions of myself that don't get achance to show in everyday life. I live in a conservative shell. But don't let that fool you. The mind is a wonderful thing and it is what I make of it. Creativity is my savior. It allows me to be free. There are no boundaries, no rights or wrongs. Art creates an arena that allows me to be me. A me that can change on a whim having no limits of rhyme or reason. This can never be taken from me!
Art is my passion!