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Friday, July 25, 2014

Guest Star #137…Sol LeWitt


With all this talk and thinking about ideas, I knew Sol LeWitt was the right choice for today's GS post. I mentioned him last week in a post about my new work, relaying a quote about ideas that is important to me: "[the] idea behind the work supersedes the work itself." LeWitt's exploration of things like volume and repetition through lines and geometric forms, often on a huge scale, are very appealing to me. The ideas are simple, the scale can be massive, and the accumulation of lines manipulated in all sorts of ways is inspiring to me. But, what really gets me is this idea about artworks, that the idea is the most important part. Recently, I began reading about LeWitt's use of instructions--eventually his ideas led him to writing instructions for making his work, believing that with clear directions, his work could be recreated by anyone anywhere. This is an impressive idea to me, too, and leads me to think about the importance of the following: trusting in one's ideas, accessibility on a large scale, and the connections that art creates between people.

Instructions for Wall Drawing 305




See more of my favorite LeWitt pieces on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Onward Ideas, Thinking About: Texture


Every so often I post a "Thinking About," a short paragraph and several pictures on a theme I've noticed in my daily observations. There have only been a few so far: whitewhite addendum, atmosphere and abandoned spaces. Lately, texture has been on my mind and I realized the other day while taking a photograph of a favorite tree variety, the "smoke tree," that similar textures keep catching my eye. Like a flash, different images raced through my mind: a Tara Donovan piece I saw in NYC a few weeks ago then the cover of the new Gus Gus record which I have been listening to a lot immediately followed by the image of a giant, tinsel-covered creature I pinned to Pinterest months ago. That very night I went home and found a mineral with a similar look in my news feed from geologypage.com. The collection of images hitting me all at once really made me stop and think. The softness and the spikiness, the billowing upward and outward movement, the individual elements and their accumulation…there is so much to study and consider here. Since I'm developing ideas for sculpture and installation right now, these themes are the places I need to focus on and begin with.


smoke tree near my studio

Gus Gus record cover

Troy Emery, Golden Beast, 2012

Powellite


And with that, I'm going to try to write more "Thinking About" posts. It's always good for me to deliberately consider what I'm noticing, write it down and then share it in a public format. 

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Onward Ideas, Etsy Adjustment


Etsy is fun and I love my little shop there, but I don't spend as much time maintaining it as I could, or should. In September I'm going to introduce some new designs and have a short sale to promote them along with a "new," revamped Etsy shop. I want to rewrite the item descriptions, make my listings consistent in content and retag most everything. I'm in the process of designing new pieces now which is always, always fun, and challenging, and I'm getting pretty excited about the designs. How about some great new basic earrings in my Line Drawing Collection? Or, maybe a new design element in History Repeats? And, even better, a brand new color palette in my Regal Graffiti Collection that reflects the way I see Iceland? I say "yes" to all, and more. In the meantime, I've added a bunch of pieces you've seen before here on my blog and on Facebook, but not yet on Etsy.

Please file my "New Etsy! Sale and Such" in the back of your mind. It's coming in September and details will follow in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Onward Ideas, The Hustle


I'm on the hunt for new shops to carry my work and I'm focusing on boutiques and indie design stores instead of galleries. Years ago, my collections could be found in shops around the US, but in 2010 I retired all those designs and shifted my focus to one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry. This change brought new spaces in the form of galleries, and with them, consigning instead of wholesaling. Selling one's work is challenging for all sorts of reasons, but selling mainly on consignment brings extra challenges: investing in materials and time, and then waiting for the work to sell. In the current economy, consignment is especially hard and I'm beginning to realize I have to find wholesale accounts again, and say no to additional consignment.


My "new" production collections seem like they could work in all kinds of places so I've been spending hours on my laptop searching for shops. I visit websites and Facebook pages, looking for an overall style or aesthetic that is similar to mine by examining the kinds of things the store currently carries. I also check price points to be sure mine will fit. Then I start emailing... My goal is to contact 100 shops by this Friday and then to contact 100 more in August. I like challenges like this so it's been fun to work on. I'm also keeping my expectations low, understanding that, realistically, I will be lucky if I even hear back from a few.

I will continue to make my one-of-a-kind and limited edition work, too, and plan to keep all my current galleries. I'm fortunate to have my work in all of these places and feel honored to be in each one.

Finally, if you know of a shop where you live where you think my work could be, please send me a message (atavern@gmail.com) or leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!


Thanks for reading. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Onward Ideas, Drawing Iceland



I've got a lot of ideas these days. I always have ideas really, but lately it feels like I have more than usual. The focus of my studio practice and average work day has shifted again and now I'm devoting more time to my business, planning classes and lectures for the fall, and designing new collection pieces, among lots more.

One of my big ideas involves Sunday and devoting it to making new work. Yes, I get to make work a lot, but not daily. As a small business owner, I juggle lots of different things every day and spend a lot of time in front my computer. So in an effort to create more studio time for myself, I thought of this Sunday studio idea.



I started my first Sunday with a new project that focuses on drawing Iceland. I selected some favorite pictures from Iceland, choosing ones that represent moments in which time stood still for me. I made these images black and white, cropping a few of them, and then printed each on 8.5" x 11" copy paper. I hung these on the wall and spent time just looking at them. Then I wrote down all the different ways I could think of to make marks using the lines in each composition. (The line of the edge of an iceberg, for example). Next I placed tracing paper over each image and then traced the lines I see. Drawing is a scary thing for me so tracing is a great way to get going and make marks in a seemingly effortless way. By the end of the day, I had 10 drawings and I will take them farther next Sunday.




In the coming days I will fill you in on many of the other ideas I'm moving around that I mentioned above. I'm excited for future plans and projects!

Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Guest Star #136...Ragnar Kjartansson

Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen 
(The Explosive Sonics of Divinity)

Yesterday I mentioned a Sol LeWitt quote that's always with me and today I have another concept to share with you that I also hold onto quite tightly, this time by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. Kjartansson uses performance, sound, time, painting, drawing and more to convey emotion and the duality of drama and the mundane in his multi-disciplinary works. One of his concepts involves the repetition and layering of sound to produce a sculptural feeling or presence within a space. This idea, creating something tangible from something that cannot be held, fascinates me.

Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage

A few weeks ago, just a day or so after I got back from Iceland, I went to the New Museum in New York City to see his exhibition, "Me, My Mother, My Father, and I." One of the pieces, "Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage," was a looped scene from a movie his actor parents starred in years ago, paired with 10 live musicians playing the same song over and over. The film clip and music played during the entirety of the museum's opening hours every day. The lyrics of the song were the lines his parents spoke in this particular scene. I sat in the space for 45 minutes, closing my eyes occasionally, and listening. I watched the musicians move about, too, and later walked around the space to observe from different viewpoints…and I could feel this thing happening…the repeated music took on a solid form. It had weight, it had dimension, it had angles and in-between spaces. It became sculptural and I was in the middle of it. It felt amazing.

This idea of sculptural sound is just one of the reasons I admire Kjartansson's work. I am also very interested in how he uses sound, time and performance as materials on their own and in combination with things like paint and pencil. His ability to convey emotion is also important to me, and ultimately, I admire the way his work immerses me and causes me to forget where I am while making me keenly aware of space and what I am experiencing.

Guilt Trip

A Lot of Sorrow

You can see more images of my favorite Ragnar Kjartansson works on Pinterest. You can also read about another Kjartansson piece I saw while I was in Iceland here.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Start of Something


May 6, 5:14pm, an image from the series "The Sea for My Birthday" (work-in-progress)

Sol Lewitt, one of my favorite artists, believed the "idea behind the work supersedes the work itself." I read this a few years ago when I saw his retrospective at Mass MOCA; it got me then and has been hanging around in the back of my mind ever since. I thought about these eight words a lot while at SÍM and now I find myself holding onto them like the things I pick up off the ground while walking. It has become a precious statement to me and one that I think I understand and can't even begin to understand at the same time. I think the most significant thing I learned at SÍM was the importance of ideas and how acutely interested in them I am. I also realize my own ideas feel elusive to me, just out of reach. It feels like I'm on a path to find them but they keep changing position, making them harder to find. It's a strange and exciting place to be. I really have no idea, for lack of a better word, where I'm going right now. There are glimpses and moments, but so much remains unknown.

Here's a list of things I'm thinking about which I posted last month
 along with images of the work I made during my residency:

space
immersion
(changing) perspective
creating a feeling
giving pause
layering
silence
solitude
warmth
capturing
illuminating
elevating
light and shadow
observations
accessibility
place
subtlety
anything and everything can be a material 


arrangement of found objects



sketch of one of my found objects

Thanks so much for following me while I was at SÍM. I look forward to sharing more with you as I continue to move forward. 

Thanks for reading.