September 11, 2005

My Weekend Project

Actually...it wouldn't have been my weekend project had I not procrastinated. But isn't that a typical characteristic of an artist? Anyway...I mentioned several weeks ago about a piece I was doing for the Alumni Show at Spring Arbor University (where I graduated from). My original idea was to create a piece that reflects the art I do at this point in my life which is mostly in my journals. I read somewhere recently that journaling isn't art...it's playing. Well, I don't know if I understand the difference...and I came to the conclusion after much stressing about this piece I wanted to create...that it's ok. This is where I am in my life. I am a busy woman. I work full time. I teach a class in the evening once a week. I am involved in my church and my family pretty much demands the rest of my time. Yet, I still try to find time each day (and somedays that isn't possible) to capture the moments of my life, of which I consider every one of them a gift. I decided it's ok that I don't create a paintings or drawings that can be entered in competitions or hang in gallerys (although that's not totally out of the question). In five or ten years, or maybe at this time next year (who knows?) my perspective and priorities may be different. I hope that someday I will have the opportunity to spend more of my time creating artwork...but it is unrealistic for me to expect myself to be able to produce paintings or drawings that demand 30+ hours to complete. So my idea was to take some of the actual drawings/sketches from my journal and I put them into a grid that captures "snapshots" of my typical everyday life. Nothing fancy...just me. This is who I am and for me right now, this says everything about who I am and the kind of art I create at this point in my life. I have to tell you...it was SO hard to take my knife and cut those moments of my life out of my journals...but I love the piece as a whole. What do you think? Here is what I wrote in the last square.

I seriously would like to know what you think of this piece since it is a little different than what you might expect to see at this kind of show...It's going to be hanging next to book illustrators and some an artist who has had paintings commissioned from the Pentagon! Yikes!

I should tell you the reason why this took all weekend. This mat that I needed cut on Saturday, well no one would do it... and even with a week to do it they would have to charge at least 100.00 for it! So I bought a piece (actually 2 because I didn't have a lot of confidence in my mat cutting skills) and some new blades for my Logan mat cutter that I bought when I was framing my Senior Art Show in College! It took me a couple of hours to measure and draw it all out...and lots longer to cut it. But I only messed up once and it was able to be fixed so I only used the one piece of mat board. It looks cool but trust me it WAS a big project.

19 Comments:

Blogger pedalpower said...

Julie, I have only had a couple of pieces in small local shows, so I am not experienced at what kinds of things to hang in a show, but I reallllly like this. It shows a nice slice of the wonderful things in your journal...I like the explanitory piece at the end too. I think the whole shows how intimately art is woven into your daily life.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Felicity said...

Julie, this piece is absolutely wonderful! However, my blood is boiling about the comment on journalling not being art - what gives others the authority to tell everyone what is and isn't art?! If it is a little different that means it is done in your unique voice - isn't that what all artists strive to do? It's fab! Be proud!

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Lin said...

Julie: I am one of your journal admirers -- and this piece is just even more AWESOME! Your LIFE is art and your art is your life -- I can't envision anything more POWERFUL or moving or INSPIRING! I'd have a piece like this on my wall anytime -- as it reflects your day to day journey -- and afterall, to me, and I do believe to others, THIS is what ART is all about. BRAVA!!!!!

6:46 AM  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

This is a fantastic piece. If it had been me I would have been tempted to produce high resolution printouts rather than sacrifice my journals - but a print out would never have the power of an original drawing.

I think the part that I find most moving is that last written piece, which I think merits being a piece on its own.

Well done on all that mat cutting - if I had the money I would always pay someone else to do it

Re - my new masthead - yes I'm hoping to change it regularly to reflect the schizophrenic nature of my work - so the next one may be very different

7:33 AM  
Blogger Chuck Rose said...

I hear you. That's why my blog is called "Struggling to Paint". I work full time, freelance, have three kids and a wonderful wife.

It is so hard to find the time to be a full time artist as well. But I just read an article about an artist named H.C. Dodd. She raised seven kids and waited almost sixty years to start painting.

And now, she does the most incredible water color work. So maybe there is hope for us yet, huh?

7:54 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

Rules schmules. I think your submission has power and grace. It comes from your center and who's to say what art is or not!! There have been endless debates on this issue. People think my fiber arts stuff is craft not art..so poooh on them. You can be really proud of this peice! Let me know what the reception to it is.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Nita said...

What a fabulous statement! Especially hung next to more conventional pieces--you're going to be the hit of the show!

Critics (artists and others) have been judging things as "not art" for centuries. Giving them ANY power over your creativity only hurts you and your potential wonders.

Yay for taking a stand! And I can relate to that mat cutting challenge. That's a work of art in itself!

9:58 AM  
Blogger inki said...

Julie, I really like this! Very nice..each drawing is beautiful. I love visiting your site, you are a real inspiration!
Dede

3:15 PM  
Anonymous evy said...

Julie. This is a truly wonderful piece. I disagree with what you have read that journaling isn't art. You could also look at it the other way. That you are an artist. " The artist is an educator of artists of the future", says Saul Steinberg. And you are one. As you are an artist, what you make is art.
I agree with Julie Oakley on cutting out print outs rather than the originals. I hope you can take this piece home again, after the exhibition/event is finished.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Knitting Painter Woman said...

I think the most important opinion is YOURS. If the people running "the show" don't think it counts...well, you can argue, or submit something different. But journal entries/ sketches/ altered books ARE art... so submit however you want to. Do you know the calligraphic work of John Prestiani? or even the primitive posters of SARK? Go for it!!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Julie -- this is art! Don't doubt it. Beautiful choices of pieces to show -- be proud!!!

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Joy said...

Julie,
I have always been told that art is in the eye of the beholder. I have marveled at the drawings in your journal, envious that I can't produce anything like it. How sad that the woman waited for sixty years to go back to watercolors. I am glad she can now share her art. But I know that when I spend just one hour creating with fabric or paper that it enriches me and makes me a happier person. I know that it makes me a better person to be around. Please keep journaling and thumb your nose at the naysayers.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Allison Paskett said...

this is beautiful! original! powerful! and your words in the last square give the piece a touching depth. this is what art should be - inspiring and moving. i too have pushed creativity out of my life with excuses and am just now allowing it to creep back in. this piece puts images and words to the process. thank you for sharing this work of art.

11:15 PM  
Blogger vfm4 said...

that's a lovely piece of work you did, Julie, you may be very proud of yourself.. it looks free and organized at the same time.. :)

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Julie, This piece is like a one-woman show in itself. All the debates about what constitutes art are, I think, fruitless. They discourage creativity. Keep going. You're a winner.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Cin said...

I love seeing what people record in their journals, it is almost becoming my favorite kind of "art". . . .especially yours.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous donab said...

Julie, I'm catching up on EDM digests, and just came across your post about this piece. I'd be far more inspired by coming across this piece in a show than a painting that hangs in the Pentagon! This shows how art can be attainable, part of your life, not some lofty calling. Plus, I love your drawings. I'm interested to hear what kind of feedback you get from the show!

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't think of anything more artistic-- if art is an expression of self-- THAN a journal...

lisa.

3:47 PM  
Blogger outtathesewaters said...

yep yep! art should be personal only then it is expressive :) grin!

5:52 PM  

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