Sunday, March 15, 2015
Studio Sunday-Learning Lessons
It is ironic that 4 days before giving one of my Art Lessons talks, I had one of the most frustrating days in the studio, all because I did exactly what I urge others not to do. Last Thursday, I approached the task of making the bases for four new Spirit Books with the attitude: This is my least favorite part. I’ll grit my teeth and try to get it done as fast as possible.
The books of the Spirit Books evolve organically. The paper is torn rather than cut. There are no exact angles or even edges. The bases are different. They are made from binder’s board covered with paper and precision is important. For me, the books are easy and relaxing while the attention to measuring and straight edges required for the bases is exhausting.
The next day I went into the studio with a completely different attitude. For starters, I didn’t look at making the bases as my least favorite part but as work that required a different kind of energy. I banished thoughts of inadequacy. I didn’t focus on the end goal of completion but took pleasure in working slowly. I stopped saying I want to get this done as quickly as possible and allowed myself to finish when I finished.
And now today, Sunday, I am almost done. Three of the bases are complete and one awaits attaching the layers which I will do first thing tomorrow morning. The very last step, naming the books, will be done on Tuesday. Tomorrow I’m saving my mental energy for preparing for my evening talk at the Nevins Memorial Library in Methuen, MA.
I’ll be premiering the four new Spirit Books, along with a selection of older ones with locally gathered cradles, on April 3 at the Remis Gallery at the Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA. I’ll be sharing them on the blog after that. Since they seem to evolve on their own, I don't feel it's bragging to say that I'm very pleased with them.