Sunday, February 1, 2009

Going Blair Witch

I admit it, I'm having a little "artist's block." I'm stuck. I have ideas, but they don't want to translate to my hands. I have a few distinct styles- my graceful, fluid but simple/minimalist watercolor and ink paintings.... my chunky copper jewelry pieces..... and my structured, geometric minimalist sculptures. These styles developed over the years and have stuck. But I feel trapped in those styles right now. There are other things that want to come out of me, but I have forgotten how to give birth to something new.

Particularly when I was in grad school, a tremendous amount of importance was placed on consistency and creating a cohesive body of work. There must be a strong thread that runs through all of one's work- in concept, material choices, etc.... Now, I've been done with grad school for a few years, but my review board's criticisms are still rolling around in my head. They won't go away, so I guess I have to learn to ignore them.

As an art educator (even more so as a university instructor!) I know the importance of a willingness to try something new, to investigate and make "wrong" choices in artwork. It almost always leads to something great in the end! But somehow my inner critic keeps telling me "NO!!! You have chosen your style, and you may never do anything new again!" What a sad tether for an artist.

One of the most influential people in my life, Mary Fortuna, once said, "forget what they tell you. If you feel stuck, go out in the backyard, pick up some twigs and go Blair Witch. It'll be good for you."

OK Mary... I'm off to go Blair Witch in my studio.

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