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+
*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)