becoming more aware

reading other blogs encourages me to think about how I work; why I make what I make.
On the one hand I try to work intuitively, for want of a better description and at the same time, I am researching, inspecting my work; looking at it on different levels: 

composition: looking at it from an aesthetic viewpoint; the end result does matter to me, although some things never get finished 

content: what could/does it mean, what does it mean to me? what am I trying to say, if anything?
The recurring themes, symbols must mean 'something' to me, why else would they keep coming back?! It's not just about shape, f.e. tree or house, it's also about what the tree could symbolize and what a house might represent. 
Animals, in particular those living close by, f.e. rats, enter a painting because they are so close and I get used to them and become intrigued by their behaviour and apparent intelligence, then I will read about them and learn they mean different things in different cultures and this then adds to the work. 
Why certain colours? There are colours I avoid, because they offend me or make me feel uncomfortable, and yet sometimes a piece of fabric I find hideous at first can really make a piece come together, so there's no 'definite' here; I remember reading somewhere over in Dee's blog about deliberately buying/storing fabrics that don't appeal.

What about the materials I've chosen, they're essential, they lead the way. I'm mixing more than I used to, painting, textiles, wood, metal, paper and bones; mixed media, the work is becoming more three-dimensional, or at least more tactile.
where does the need to make come from, I'm not sure I can answer this other than: it's simply the way I am.
whilst making, I'm usually not thinking - I might have an idea to start me off - but that's easily forgotten in the making-process (sometimes lost forever) and I deliberately try not to overthink, if possible, trying not to jinx the flow...... 
I'm not sure I have definite answers here, maybe asking is enough; the creative process is not easily put into words.

I end this rambling with a quote I found in Scrambled Eggs&Whiskey*, page 57:
"Yes, art is palliative; but the substance of art is real. Can you make something from nothing?" - Ivan Tolkachenko+

this collage perfectly illustrates my method, whilst 'researching' this Ivan Tolkachenko, I got fed up with theory and analysing and felt the desire to make a collage (perhaps'cos I mentioned Dee earlier on and she makes collages...), using an old detective (ha) and magazine for colour, back to bird-beings and words. and dreams

...and then looking for something else, I stumble upon the title for the collage 
(another quote, this time from Fernando Pessoa, the Tobacconist's)

'I am nothing, I shall always be nothing, I can only want to be nothing
Apart from this, I have in me all the dreams of the world' 26x30cm/10x12in

*Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey, poems 1991-1995, Hayden Carruth; Copper Canyon Press 1996.

(+I don't know who he is, but will google him; couple of hours later: so far all I've managed to find about him, is that he's a character in Dostoyevsky's Demons)


I like to hear your thoughts about making. A symbol does not mean just one thing ( I think it was Carl Jung who said it). It is layered, in its many appearances, it branches out. When I'm making, I'm usually not thinking either, and that's good!
Saskia said…
Hi Susan, nice to know you visit; describing how we make what we make isn't easy and maybe unneccessary but sometimes I just want to put into words what I'm thinking.
Ah, it's almost springlike today, maybe that's why my head needs decluttering!
i love this Post. and i think
really there are no "final" or
"complete" answers to anything at
all. that we arrive at certain
points where we can stay a while, but then the questioning rises up again. this and the continuation of the birds in subsequent posts.
Saskia said…
hi Grace, no final answers, I guess that sums it up all right!
Looking at where you are, looking back at what has happened and remaining curious to what lies ahead: all important to continuing in life. And, Laughter;-) I often have to remind myself: don't take yourself too seriously, enjoy the ride....



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