Sunday, May 24, 2009

The 20 Hour Challenge - Join US!

How much time do I actually make art each week? The ongoing struggle for art time...

Honestly though, I can't blame all of my lack of completed pieces on the lack of time. Laziness, is of course, to blame for some of it!! So I'm jumping in with both feet (and both hands) into the "20 hour challenge" that fellow artist Lori Woodward Simons has created for herself and has tweeted about. Only I'm modifying with a more realistic 12 hours a week, being that I can't possibly do 20 hours with my more-than-fulltime day job and family responsibilities. That's still a stretch and I love the idea of us being accountable to our time pledge.

Not 12 hours of looking through art books.
Not 12 hours of chatting online with other artists.
Not 12 hours of blogging, tweeting or facebooking...even about art!

12 hours of hands-on art making. Each of us is choosing the hours we pledge, based on where we are in life and what we realistically can do. And we're going be accountable online, to ourselves and each other, and post our progess every Friday for a Friday Show and Tell on the American Artist Magazine forum on this page

We'd love you to join us, we can encourage each other and celebrate our successes! All skill levels, all media are welcome. Because I truly believe that increasing quantity of time will equal increaseing quality of work, not to mention finally building a body of work. I'd love to take advantage of show opportunities that crop up for me...

So c'mon! Join us! Get accountable! Pledge 10, 20, 30 hours of artmaking and let's see how we can change the world, one art piece at a time!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gallery Visit at the Print Center

I'm really lucky that I work a few blocks from the Print Center and can stop by to see exhibits.

Today I saw Pulling from History: The Old Masters. Eight printmakers were the first in a series of exhibits the Print Center plans to "explore the ways that contemporary artists are "hijacking" the hsitory of the printed image to create new work".

This really rings a chord with me, I LOVE how I can use the most ancient form of printing and give it life in 2009. Similarly, the more modern old methods were also employed skillfully by the exhibiting artists. However, as a woodcut relief printmaker, I was a little disappointed that only one of the two dozen prints was a woodcut.

But it was a dandy by Andrew Raftery, a chiaroscuro from five blocks in blue and gray. I especially enjoyed the linework in the darkest gray.

There were woodcut prints for sale in the gift shop, along with all other types of prints and photography, and all of it worth a look.

If you're interested in stopping in, hurry, because this exhibit ends on May 16, 2009. The Print Center is at 1614 Latimer, Philadelphia.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My slice of the pie

I think it was Tina who tweeted a post that suggested making a pie chart of how you spend your art time. (thanks, tina!) I've been mulling on this.

It's not just my "art pie" I have to manage (just how much is spent ACTUALLY making art?) but my "life pie".

When I think about how few minutes in a week I can actually devote to art, it's a very small slice, indeed! (If only my slices of pecan pie were so slim!!)

And even when I have the time to make art, the time isn't always quality. If I'm exhausted and it's late...what I make will be awful anyway. I have to manage my days better.

But I am resolved to tighten up my time outside of art to make more time for art. ("No sacrifice is too great for art", as Ray Davies says).

I'm finding a lot of success in not sitting. Truly! I usually like to have a nice cup of tea when I get home, but no least not sitting. If I keep on my feet, I get a ton done, and when I finally do sit, I'm half asleep. Half asleep but happy with what I've accomplished, whether it's from the life pie or art pie or both.

I know EXACTLY when I have to leave the house for work...and I straighten up the house every minute between when I'm dressed and I leave...less to do later when the potential to make art is!

And I'm resolved to never blow a whole day on the 'net...which I've done before. Lots. I wasted days arguing over whether the US should or shouldn't start a war in Iraq. Lots of good it did! It did nothing for my art, didn't move me along an inch, yet somehow since it was on an art site, it felt like "art pie".

So I resolve to look very closely at what IS art pie and what just feels like it. Some people want to make art. Some people just want to be artists. If my life pie can't fit in a generous slice of authentic art making...what am I?