Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Knitting up a storm!

Since my last post I have been knitting up a storm - almost literally. My vortex piece is complete and constructed. In order to get the top of to open up I had to knit it on a long straight loom and gradually cast off the ends down to the same number of pegs as my circle loom has. It is approximately 24 feet long (I was hoping to get 12) but may shorten up some once I add the forms inside. This piece was constructed in three pieces then knitted together into one.

Those forms are going to be pillow-ish to represent figures that are being consumed/constricted. I am going to sew these together this evening and begin to stuff them - this is basically the last bit of trouble shooting to do other than installing.

I have put my flag pieces on the back burner so that I can do more research and decide which direction to go in.

Pictures will posted as the installation process has started!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Revised (and Revived) Artist Biography

The unique beauty of East Texas is like nowhere else in the world. Christy Adair first realized this as she explored the fields, lakes and creeks where she was born and raised. Christy received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Arts Education from Texas A&M – Commerce, and has been spreading her passion for the visual arts to her high school students for over eight years.
As a member of the Texas Art Educator’s Association, Christy has presented and co-presented workshops at the state conference for several years, and The Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council recently honored her with their HERO award for her outstanding efforts in arts education.  When taking a break from pursuing her Master’s of Education degree from Texas A&M – Texarkana Christy can be found in her home studio creating her medium scale fibrous sculptures or outdoors exploring the wonders of nature.

The Synectic Trigger Mechanisms

 As a result of my day job I have been reflecting over ways to enhance creativity. This week I was introduced to The Synetic Trigger Mechanisms, and I thought they would be worth sharing. This information was taken directly from here.

The Synectic Trigger Mechanisms: Tools for Creative Thinking

Subtract. Simplify. Omit, remove certain parts or elements. Take something away from your subject. Compress it or make it smaller. Think: What can be eliminated, reduced, disposed of? What rules can you break? How can you simplify, abstract, stylize or abbreviate?

Repeat. Repeat a shape, color, form, image or idea. Reiterate, echo, restate or duplicate your reference subject in some way. Think: How can you control the factors of occurrence, repercussion, sequence and progression?

Combine. Bring things together. Connect, arrange, link, unify, mix, merge, wed, rearrange. Combine ideas. Combine ideas, materials and techniques. Bring together dissimilar things to produce synergistic integrations. Ask: What else can you connect to your subject? What kind of connections can you make from different sensory modes, frames of reference or subject disciplines?

Add. Extend, expand, or otherwise develop your reference subject. Augment it, supplement, advance or annex it, Magnify it: Make it bigger. Think: What else can be added to your idea, image, object, or material?

Transfer. Move your subject into a new situation, environment or context. Adapt, transpose, relocate, dislocate. Adapt the subject to a new and different frame of reference. Move the subject out of its normal environment; transpose it to a different historical, social, geographical or political setting or time. Look at it from a different point of view.
Adapt an engineering principle, design quality, or other special quality of your subject to that of another. (The structure of a bird's wing, for example, has served as a model for designing bridges).
Transfer can also denote transformation. Think: How can your subject be converted, translated, or transfigured? (See also METAMORPHOSE and HYBRIDIZE.)

Empathize. Sympathize. Relate to your subject; put yourself in its "shoes." If the subject is inorganic or inanimate, think of it as having human qualities. How can you relate to it emotionally or subjectively? Offering helpful insight to an art student, the eighteenth century German painter Henry Fuseli once advised, "Transpose yourself into your subject."

Animate. Mobilize visual and psychological tensions in a painting or design. Control the pictorial movements and forces in a picture.
Apply factors of repetition, progression, serialization or narration. Bring life to inanimate subjects by thinking of them as having human qualities.

Superimpose. Overlap, place over, cover, overlay: Superimpose dissimilar images or ideas. Overlay elements to produce new images, ideas or meanings. Superimpose different elements from different perspectives, disciplines or time periods on your subject. Combine sensory perceptions (sound/color, etc).
    Think syncronistically: What elements or images from different frames of reference can be combined in a single view? Notice, for example, how Cubist painters superimposed several views of a single object to show many different moments in time simultaneously.

Change Scale. Make your subject bigger or smaller. Change proportion, relative size, ratio, dimensions or normal graduated series.

Substitute. Exchange, switch or replace: Think: What other idea, image, material or ingredient can you substitute for all or part of your subject? What alternate or supplementary plan can be employed?

Fragment. Separate, divide, split: Take your subject or idea apart. Dissect it. Chop it up or otherwise disassemble it. What devices can you use to divide it into smaller increments- or to make it appear discontinuous?

Isolate. Separate, set apart, crop, detach: Use only a part of your subject. In composing a picture, use a viewfinder to crop the image or visual field selectively. "Crop" your ideas, too, with a "mental" viewfinder. Think: What element can you detach or focus on?

Distort. Twist your subject out of its true shape, proportion or meaning. Think: What kind of imagined or actual distortions can you effect? How can you misshape it? Can you make it longer, wider, fatter, narrower? Can you maintain or produce a unique metaphoric and aesthetic quality when you misshape it? Can you melt it, burn it, crush it, spill something on it, bury it, crack it, tear it or subject it to yet other "tortures"? (Distortion also denotes fictionalizing. See PREVARICATE.)

Disguise. Camouflage, conceal, deceive or encrypt: How can you hide, mask or "implant' your subject into another frame of reference? In nature, for example, chameleons, moths and certain other species conceal themselves by mimicry: Their figure imitates the ground. How can you apply this to your subject?
Think about subliminal imagery: How can you create a latent image that will communicate subconsciously, below the threshold of conscious awareness?

Contradict. Contradict the subjects original function. Contravene, disaffirm, deny, reverse: Many great works of art are, in fact, visual and intellectual contradictions. They may contain opposite, antipodal, antithetical or converse elements which are integrated in their aesthetic and structural form. Contradict laws of nature such as gravity, time, etc.
Think: How can you visualize your subject in connection with the reversal of laws of nature, gravity, magnetic fields, growth cycles, proportions; mechanical and human functions, procedures, games, rituals or social conventions?
Satirical art is based on the observation of social hypocrisy and contradictory behavior. Optical illusions and "flip-flop" designs are equivocal configurations that contradict optical and perceptual harmony. Think: How can you use contradiction or reversal to change your subject?

Parody. Ridicule, mimic, mock, burlesque or caricature: Make fun of your subject. "Roast' it, lampoon it. Transform it into a visual joke or pun. Exploit the humor factor, Make zany, ludicrous or comic references. Create a visual oxymoron or conundrum.

Prevaricate. Equivocate. Fictionalize, "bend" the truth, falsify, fantasize. Although telling fibs is not considered acceptable social conduct, it is the stuff that legends and myths are made of. Think: How can you use your subject as a theme to present ersatz information?
Equivocate: Present equivocal information that is subject to two or more interpretations and used to mislead or confuse.

Analogize.Compare. Draw associations: Seek similarities between things that are different. Make comparisons of your subject to elements from different domains, disciplines and realms of thought. Think: What can I compare my subject to? What logical and illogical associations can I make?
Remember, stretching analogies is a way of generating synergistic effects, new perceptions and potent metaphors.

Hybridize. Cross-fertilize: Wed your subject with an improbable mate. Think: "What would you get if you crossed a ______ with a _____?"
Creative thinking is a form of "mental hybridization" in that ideas are produced by cross-linking subjects from different realms.
Transfer the hybridization mechanism to the use of color, form and structure; cross-fertilize organic and inorganic elements, as well as ideas and perceptions. (See also METAMORPHOSE.)

Metamorphose. Transform, convert, transmutate: Depict your subject in a state of change. It can be a simple transformation (an object changing its color, for example) or a more radical change in which the subject changes its configuration.
Think of "cocoon-to-butterfly" types of transformations, aging, structural progressions, as well as radical and surreal metamorphosis such as "Jekyll and Hyde" transmutations.
Mutation is a radical hereditary change brought about by a change in chromosome relations or a biochemical change in the codons that make up genes. How can you apply metamorphosis or mutation to your subject?

Symbolize. How can your subject be imbued with symbolic qualities?
A visual symbol is a graphic device which stands for something other than what it is. (For example, a red cross stands for first aid, a striped pole for a barber shop, a dove bearing an olive branch for peace, etc.)
Public symbols are clich6s insofar as they are well-known and widely understood, while private symbols are cryptic and have special meaning only to their originator. Works of art are often integrations of both public and private symbols.
Think: What can you do to turn your subject into a symbolic image? What can you do to make it a public symbol? A private metaphor?

Mythologize. Build a myth around your subject.
In the 60's, Pop artists "mythologized" common objects. The Coca-Cola bottle, Brillo Pads, comic strip characters, movie stars, mass media images, hot rods, hamburgers and french fries and other such frivolous subjects became the visual icons of twentieth century art.
Think: How can you transform your subject into an iconic object?

Fantasize. Fantasize your subject. Use it to trigger surreal, preposterous, outlandish, outrageous, bizarre thoughts. Topple mental and sensory expectations. How far out can you extend your imagination? Think: "What-if" thoughts: What if automobiles were made of brick? What if alligators played pool? What if insects grew larger than humans? What if night and day occurred simultaneously?
Creative transformation demands an iconoclastic attitude. To invent, one must be contrary and go against established conventions and stereotypes. Remember, inventors create great inventions only by breaking the "rules".

Art-Think: Ways of Working
1. Identity: Set the problem or task, identify the subject.
2. Analyze: Examine the subject; break it down, classify it.
3. Ideate: Think, fantasize, produce ideas. Generate options towards a creative solution. Relate, rearrange, reconstruct.
4. Select: Choose your best option.
5. Implement: Put your ideas into action. Realize it. Transform imagination and fantasy into tangible form.
6. Evaluate: Judge the result. Think about new options and possibilities that have emerged. Go back to Step #1.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Web page design

Last week I had the opportunity to meet with Stephen Petaia of Petaia Media and discuss themes and other ideas for my web page. We were able to take some photographs, interviews and other video. I am excited to see what is to come of this impromptu meeting! Look for the launch of www.christyadair.com in mid November!
Stephen and I not taking ourselves too seriously.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

First draft: Artist Bio

Christy Adair is currently creating a body of work that centers on the themes of personal and national identity, as well as spirituality using a variety of fibrous materials.  She was born in raised in Henderson County, Texas and currently resides in Texarkana.

Christy received her Bachelors of Science degree in arts education through Texas A&M - Commerce, and has been teaching high school art for eight years. She is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Texas A&M – Texarkana.

** This definitely needs some revision as it isn't very interesting and doesn't even hold my attention at all.. **

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Artist Statement

In the corner of my bedroom growing up was my mother’s sewing machine and scrap fabric pile. Among the ever growing mountain of fabric were clothes long outgrown, old curtains, sheets worn thin, and other fabrics that had a variety of roles in my life. As a teenager with a rather peculiar sense of style I once had to rescue my favorite, hideous dress from the depths of the scrap fabric pile; sentenced to impending doom. Out in the world today there are large amounts of discarded fabrics that have played prominent roles in someone’s life.
We spend approximately thirty six percent of our lives depositing hair, dead skin cells, various bodily fluids, and other proofs of life through our sheets into our mattresses while we sleep. The suggestion of spiritual death permeates through my knitted pieces with the use of discarded sheets. By choosing this media, I am alluding to how much of our lives can easily be spent on the ‘stuff’ of the world that we can quickly be consumed with if we are not mindful; things that do not matter when seen in the big picture of life.
In relation to the knitted pieces the flag pieces are an exploration of my thoughts, feelings and beliefs on politics and the state of our nation as it stands today. I feel that to be a responsible citizen of America you need to know what you believe politically and why you believe it. By exploring familiar iconography and texts I am solidifying my political beliefs why encouraging the viewer to question theirs.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sewing One Oh... Oh No.

I tried to learn how to sew today on this dinosaur of a sewing machine. The lady who was trying to teach me did a really great job of figuring out all of the archaic ins and outs of this thing. She finally got the thing threaded and ready to go, however the thread wouldn't catch the bobbin and even google coudn't even help us with that one. We surrendered. Time to call a professional - they better be old. Ancient sewing machine: one - the two of us: nada. We do live to try again another day, however. We will succeed.

Knitting is going well. My studio time consists of cutting sheets for an hour and a half and then knitting for a couple of hours. I usually spend  three to four hours at a time in the studio.

I am playing with the idea of getting this thing mostly constructed and dying it. I realize some of the underlying patterns and colors will show through, but I think it will need something to unify it. My previous knitted piece was tied in on itself and linked together, so unification by color wasn't necessary. Since this piece will hang from the ceiling and  have the two columns I'm thinking that it will need to have a similar color to them.

In each of the two columns there will be an abstracted mass that will represent an figure.  Think this form, but without the snake:

There will be a third column but it will be very short and no 'figure' inside of it.

The red knitting on is the start of the 'net' that the columns will hang from. I like knitting on the straight part much less than the round, but I think I got a system working out for me now.

The working title of this piece is Portrait of a Family Consumed and will represent my husband, myself and a child that we lost early in the pregnancy. This will also speak on how quickly and easily we can get consumed by the unimportant things in life: our wants and desires for things and stuff, and how if you give into that consistently and continually it could lead you down a path of self destruction and spiritual death.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Agnes Martin Gold


Someone scanned in one of her books! Worth the read.. don't try to print it out - they want a membership fee. Pft...

Artist Statement Stew??

Ginger asked if there were some good tips or advice for writing an artist statement. I found a few websites that help walk  you through the process. My artist statement will be posted when I have a little brain room to think about it.


http://artiststatement.com/ (this link references the first one.. )

http://www.artstudy.org/art-and-design-careers/sample-artist-statement.php Examples - some of what NOT to do.

http://10gallon.com/statement2000/ Brain dead yet? Fill in the blank and let this page generate your statement for you!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Knitters? Please... and some textile artists

Magda Sayeg

Dave Cole

Elaine Reichek

Barb Hunt

Janet Morton

Sally Spinks

Tom Deininger

Sara Rahbar

Liz Collins

Pippa Andrews

Looms Constructed

I tried to knit on some existing looms that I have last night, but it didn't work out. Wouldn't you know that the looms are specifically designed to knit yarn and not strips of fabric?

So, today I constructed the two looms I will need for my hanging project this semester. Let the knitting begin! The circle loom will be for two 6 - 8 foot columns, the straight loom will be used to create a 7'x7' square knitted piece to connect the columns and it is what will be suspended. Sketches to come soon.


I also bought my domain name today. christyadair.com is under construction. Things are starting to happen!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Food for Thought

Be calm and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Blaise Pascal

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dear Diary/Death in Art

As artists some people will ask you to do some interesting things. Hey, will you go to the nursing home to take a picture of my mom? Or will you draw a portrait of my dead dog? Usually it’s safe to just say no. Your picture of their mother will look like their mom currently looks – like she is dying in a nursing home. The dog portrait will look like a dog. It won’t be the most stimulating thing you’ve ever done and you will probably not do it to their standards anyway.
Today’s request was an interesting and heartbreaking one. Last weekend a person was beaten to death in this area. The police need some artistic help making a connection with some fibers and came to a dear friend of mine for assistance (so, I got to help her brainstorm and give hugs). My friend referred the police to Lois Gibson (http://www.loisgibson.com/) one of two full time forensic artists in the state of Texas and someone we have both been to workshops by. I really hope they can get what they need and this person can get justice.

Previously in the week I did have a conceptual breakthrough with the knitting I’ve been doing using sheets. Studies show that we spend roughly one third of our life asleep. If anyone has had a visit from the Kirby vacuum people (or done some bedbug research) you know that in every sleeping moment you are depositing dead skin cells into your bed through your sheets. Dead flesh. In Christianity if one follows the ways of the flesh will lead to spiritual death.

The knitting piece I am working on this semester has a working title of Portrait of a Family Consumed. It will be a large scale hanging and will represent how quickly we could become consumed by the ways of the flesh.

While it’s not offensive or breaking many boundaries (there is no flaming poo, after all) it is honest and insightful - or will hopefully be.

One of the questions this week was about what went through my mind to get my failure/offensive art so offensive. The key was what wouldn’t I create art out of? What would offend and repulse me? One of the issues with my flag piece was that maybe it was still too tame, and I didn’t push the boundaries enough. From then it was a natural conclusion to continue with the flag theme and use materials that repulse me.  Like seriously repulse me. From then it was a no brainer. The army men comment stuck in my mind about how it doesn’t need to be about a bunch of army men.. so let’s put those in the pile… and then it kind of became like a ceremony. I was walking through the house collecting these items, and laying them out sort of in order and at hand so I could use them when needed. Woodstock is an inside dog, so every time he goes outside he tends to go strait to the right spot to take care of business. I let him marinate in the house for a little while as I set up all materials and lay everything out. I used my Nikon cool pix camera and set it up on a pile of DVD’s pointed where Woody usually goes, turned the camera on and let it happen. I had to choke back some puke several different times. At one point I just sat back and watched it burn and was thinking about how this did not make me feel like a good person.

It was absurd and profound all at the same time.  I realized that if my flag art offends people, then it is bringing their attention to an issue I care deeply about. If they think some art about a flag is awful then they should really just think about what it is our country is doing to itself and see how they feel about that.

This is something that I would never do, so in doing it did I compromise my standards? Did I just succeed at another assignment, and what happens if you don’t like my ‘real’ art?  I want my flag pieces to have meaning and substance outside of sensationalism.

We Were - We Were the Youth of a Nation:

We are not a lost generation.

So, Saltz thought that the Venice Biennale had a weak showing. There could be multiple factors involved other than the artists have hero envy towards their teachers.  Maybe the curators had an off week?

One of the comments suggested that maybe the lackluster showing was due to grad students going straight into teaching and possibly don’t take the time to fully develop their own work. Could it be that their teachers didn’t push them enough? I was kind of shocked to realize that no one through my undergrad degree really challenged me and asked why I was doing what I was doing. No one (except one) really asked about my voice or what I was trying to say with my art. I just went through assignments. Due to the education part of my degree I didn’t have to take some of the upper level art classes, and I was trying to get out of there – so I didn’t. I didn’t make much art after I graduated, either – there were no assignments!

Frances Stark – The overall theme I get from her work is loneliness. Isolated figures and cold whiteness are repeating themes. It’s depressing. In fact she was so lonely and isolated that she had to go online, have virtual orgies with strangers and make simplistic Lego’s videos out of it. AND she said it taught her how to write again. I like some of her imagery due to is elegance and simplicity. She looses me when she starts making flower collages, though.

Christian Marclay – Art about time and sound. It is very thought provoking. I enjoyed how his video pulled some old time movie scenes in order to provide a time reference for every minute of the day. The one thing that I did think was amusing - I was watching an interview over his work and there was a clock on the wall behind the lady that was giving her statement. I LOL’d. I didn’t watch much of the sound stuff, though.

Back to the lost generation thing – all of our Great-Great-Grandparents thought that our
Grandparents were going to be the ruin of the nation. Now our Grandparents are saying that our kids will never amount to anything. When you look at the state of things in America now you REALLY have to wonder if they were right. What light isn’t shed on is the truly beautiful and good things that are coming out of our generation. It’s not sensational enough, I guess.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thoughts on the Presentation of My Work.

1st thought group: Oh no. That's not working. Time to get back to SERIOUSLY working out.

2nd thought group: I'm still doing that nose in the air thing. I hate that my glasses slip down my nose, and I guess all of that 'being conscience that you look like a stuck up brat when you do that' was long forgotten, because it does seem as if I'm looking down my nose... BUT, the camera angle IS low...

3rd thought group (and the only one that was really wanted): I wasn't really sure this was a Q&A type presentation, and I expected to just kind of go straight through it. With that being said I feel that I presented my work well and answered all of the questions honestly. I stayed pretty even keel emotionally and tonally. When the answers to some of the questions were 'I'm still trying to figure that out' or 'I'm not sure' I didn't come across as confident as I would have liked.

I do appreciate all of the comments and suggestions on my work. As a result of this lecture I'm at a fissure of what direction to take my work in next. I had originally planned on going in a pretty drastically different direction with making a series of headdresses based on different historical and cultural pieces but change them up so that they represent the things that we as a society and culture make important. So, if a headdress is something that is worn in ceremony and of important significance I would then be making headdresses to represent what we (and I) tend to put as the most important things in our lives. Money, technology, 'stuff', and sexuality were a few areas that I wanted to explore.

I do see the need to refine and continue to work with the fabric. There were a lot of questions that still need to be answered. What do you do when you create something and you aren't conceptually sure about?

 You create more.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Classmates Critiques

Since I'm the newbie here, I had no idea what to expect when you said your work involved sound and technology. When you showed the short clip of 'Critique Machine' I can honestly say that it took my breath away for a moment. Your work is smart, edgy, clean and beautiful. I know that's a lot of adjectives, but to say I loved it wouldn't be enough.

I liked hearing the story behind how you got to this point. I would like to see what happens if you consider how your work would live outside of the gallery. To me, a big part of your work I was attracted to was the wires and tangles, so would that still be apparent outside of the gallery? I can imagine some sort of lost and found/hide and seek, where you hear the audio aspect then search out and find what it is that creates it.

He who shall not talk about his day job.

Slow down, memory, metaphor, destructive beauty. I hear you, and I think I "get it" with your art. Any artist can begin creating with one idea in mind (or NO idea in mind) and when the work is finished it has become about something else that may or may not be related to where you started. PLUS, as people view your art and they project their own thoughts and feelings onto your art as well, so that also becomes part of your art. If you take a while to create a piece there are a billion things that go through your mind as you create them.

I would suggest you play a little. Get your sketchbook and your pallet. Throw down a few backgrounds then go outside and look at a cloud or some smoke and make a mark that represents that moment, memory and/or emotion, and do it quick! Do 25, times. Do it 250 times. Then, look at them all together. What does that become? How would that translate into your larger more realistic work?

 I personally tend to over-kill things when I work them too much, are you over-killing your work? I think the sample that you showed look very technically well made and beautiful. Are you getting across your message?

 The girl with the best laugh, ever.

I like that you are making a stand that you are working in the book format. I really enjoy your honest and relatable messages. I am also glad that you are working on the overall presentation; box or envelope.

As far as imagery is concerned, I am much more attracted to your portraits than the images in the book. I'm pretty sure it's the outline and lack of line thickness and depth. I don't have to guess or wonder about most of the images in your books - they are outlined nice and neat for me.

I'm even more intrigued by your work now that I've seen more of it. My first path down the creative line was with black and white photography, so that is naturally what I am drawn too. I can just smell the chemicals in your alternative process work.

Your graduate work is startlingly honest, and some of it has that creepy weird factor that I am really drawn to. So, a few questions for you. On Self portrait 2010 and Ugly Me1 I'm left wondering why you covered yourself at all? Does it tie into your theme and what you are exposing with your art (because I could see how it would)? If I am viewing these photos alone I'm not going to get that over all theme and I need to ask if this is a full nude shot or not? If it is, then do it - if not then put some clothes on! (Does humor come across in this post?) I'm interested to hear your reasoning for this.

I think the presentation of your work is smart. You know what you are competing against in the market, and you present yourself accordingly. When you stated that you aren't taken seriously as a competitor on sight, I wanted to argue with  you.. but I had to think about my first response. 'Oh, here is your friendly neighbor type lady who is bringing cake to class.. how nice. I'm glad someone is friendly! Get ready to see flowers in her art somewhere...' And then when I saw your work it was BAM! I WAS SO WRONG, AND I AM SO GLAD!  I am SO excited to see what is next!


I love that your work is performance based, I guess I didn't pick up on that this summer. I like the suggestions about the professional actors/dancers performing your work, AND more interaction.

You did shock me some with your statements about how the 'fly in' film was about how long you could keep your audiences attention. Would you say that your now is much more towards the study of people, and not about what it is you actually create? If so, then why these big pieces? How big of a role do these forms actually have if your focus is mainly on the viewer?


To make an informed critique I really need to see more of your work! I really enjoyed the prints that I have seen, and look forward to seeing how that transforms into your movies.

I'm not sure I agree with the suggestion about the phone video camera. When I think about it I can't think past 'yeah, but a 12 year old could do that'. How would that turn into art? I'm not really sure. I guess it would be worth a try!

I had actually read the story of Jericho  in Joshua on Tuesday or Wednesday. I couldn't help but wondering what the people inside the city walls were thinking. Did it go something like 'What? These are the people we have been fearing? Their God is supposed to be all powerful and all they have been doing is walking around the walls of this city for SIX days like idiots blowing their little horns..'  

I have to amuse myself sometimes.

I'm looking forward to seeing what's coming of  your work this semester!

Ginger Rogers? I think not.

I was asked if I had considered creating under a pseudonym at the end of class; which I  hadn't. The thought of creating art under an assumed name was spectacular and brilliant; considering my day job. I really embraced and latched onto that idea and thought of all the wonderful things that could be done with an assumed identity. I thought of Gunther von Hagens http://www.bodyworlds.com/en/gunther_von_hagens/life_in_science.html who is a scientist/artist who dresses like a doctor in one of Rembrandt's paintings, The Guerrilla Girls http://www.guerrillagirls.com who fight against the injustices towards women in the art world while wearing guerrilla masks to maintain their anonymity, Knitta(Please)  http://knittaporfavor.wordpress.com  who is a group of graffiti knitters, and The Art Guys http://www.theartguys.com who are a couple of guys who create art together. While not all of these artists are anonymous, they are still creating art under an assumed name or identity.

Brilliant, romantic, and some would consider freeing... but it's not for me. In all things I do I try to be honest and transparent. To those who know me will attest that I speak my mind and say what I feel. I offend people, usually unintentionally. I don't like it, it doesn't make me feel good, but it happens. The conflict, then, is with my art. I have been playing it safe. I haven't been as daring as I could be. My art doesn't match my personality. So, I'm going to go there - where ever 'there' is. I'm not going to bend on my core beliefs,  but I will push the limit of my art. 

Besides, trying to keep up with two of me sounds time consuming. I don't have the time or the head space. PLUS - I've tried it before in another aspect of my life.... it ended up with a broken leg and a broken team.

 The artist as Holy Roller: Roller Derby Queen

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Snails Need Love, Too

My response to Vaughn’s lecture on his work.

Does being an artist come with responsibility? Yes, it seems it does.

I was pleased that Vaughn seemed honest and transparent when he talked about his feelings towards his work. I once was in a workshop with a teacher who said that mediocrity did not leave his studio. I had to think if I had every created anything that I didn’t consider more than mediocrity. In his lecture Vaughn mentioned several times that he was showing his work to various people but would undermine his work by saying ‘oh, just wait until you see what’s coming next’. That is very relatable.

I haven’t seen pin hole photography in a long while. I think my last experiment ended up all black. I’m still a tad confused about the process. Do you process the negative in a darkroom, and then scan them into a digital file and have that printed somewhere? What does it mean by you do ‘everything wrong you can think of in the darkroom’? Where do the black border/splashes come from? Non photography inquiring minds want to know.

Over all of his art that Vaughn showed I would have to say that his earlier assemblages were what caught my attention the most. That is probably since I am a 3D’er myself.  He said that he would walk around looking for places to shoot and would come across these things that were beautiful. These things (corn, rocks, snails, etc.) eventually made there way into a series of assemblages that were smart and sophisticated.

My Response to DFW Whippersnapper Artists


I like that this article gives me permission to go angry, weird and basically go bat crap crazy on my art. (Did you notice the use of the word crap? I’m too polite to say sh*t in mixed company). But that is part of who I am. Does my art have to be angry and crazy to be good?

Just do it – more than likely no one will notice one way or the other! I love that, as a theory! While working on one of my sculptures this summer Joe told me I should take the ‘go big or go home’ approach. There was only so much of ‘going big’ I could do in a six weeks class without abandoning my other projects, but you can bet I am going to ‘go big’ now that I have some time, hopefully! I love the ‘just throw everything at it and see what sticks’ thought. I had the opportunity to go paint at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Teacher Institute for Contemporary Art a few years ago, and that is pretty much what was told us then. Who knows what the future will look back on and say was ‘good art’? Not anyone I know.

This is in stark contrast to the art that does well in my community. It tends to be very conservative and ‘safe’. There are some exceptions, but for the most part the art that does well is pretty, landscape or still life, and not very sensational.

I do not throw caution to the wind easily. Taking the ‘just go crazy’ approach isn’t normally my thing. I talk a big talk, but usually tippy-toe when it comes to the ‘walk the walk’ part.

I am making strives in the right direction; however. I mean, I’m creating art that is personal and meaningful. AND… I create the art that my husband tells me I should probably reconsider (and it is generally well received).

Oh yeah –  that’s me jacking stuff up and going weird. Throw ya’ rawk fist if ya hear me (but, only if you want too).

Response to How the American University was Killed.


College is pushed HARD to high school students, and they start being pushed when they are in junior high – if not younger. I admit that I am a pusher of college as well. Can you get a job with out a college degree? Yes. Can you start a business and succeed without a college degree? Yes. Does a college degree help? Yes, there is usually no question about it. I also agree that college isn’t for everyone, and you really need to have the right college for you. I spent a year and a lot of money at the WRONG college, studying for the WRONG degree for me.

As I read this article I began see how these concepts have played out in my own degree. As an undergrad I had an advisor that didn’t know a thing about my degree which he was advising me on. He didn’t know which classes I needed to take, in which order – and neither did I! It was extremely frustrating to have to try to navigate the system without a guide. Was it my advisor’s fault? No. He was micromanaged into that position. As a graduate student my education has been inconsistent. I really hate to say it, but my graduate degree has been heavy in busy work and light on rigor. I’ve written only one ‘academia’ paper, and that was my first class. One summer I took two online courses. The teachers were from out of town, and husband and wife. I only saw them one time. The works was submitted as a portfolio at the end of the semester and two weeks after grades were due, and there were thirty people in each class. I wrote 62 papers in 6 weeks. Do I think those teachers read more than 30 sentences of the 1.860 papers that were turned into them that summer? No.. no I do not. And these were education classes – teaching me how to be a better teacher! It’s been frustrating and exhausting.

I didn’t know that teachers at the university level were paid so little. I was actually taken aback by this. If I’m making x amount teaching high school, you think that the amount teaching at a higher learning institute would be higher. You have to have more education and more experience – but you get paid less? Who comes up with these ideas?

Apparently it is ‘the man’. The author of this article had an interesting spin on how colleges and universities were once the place to question things and challenge preconceived notions of the way our society is ran. Now these universities have become extremely expensive trade schools ran on corporate money. Did I mention these institutions were expensive?

I wish that this article would have touched more on some possible solutions. I appreciate that his injustice was pointed out to me, but now what? I guess that’s up to me.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It makes me want to gouge my eyes out...

I just taught my kids (synonym for students) the critical method of critiquing art. The steps included description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation. Most of my kids have never thought any way to look at art, and I like this method for them because it gives steps and is relatively easy to follow.

I do not have a little flash card in my pocket that has the steps of the critical method written on that I whip out any time I am looking at new art. I think I do what almost anyone else does – I rely a lot on instinct, and rely some on my education. I take into consideration my emotional response first. What am I feeling as I look at this art? I ask myself why am I feeling like this? What about this artwork makes me think that? Is there anything that I feel could be done differently in this art to make it better? 

When I am going around watching my kids create their art I am mainly looking for effort, attention to detail, and if they are following directions (if they are not following directions they need to be able to tell my WHY they are breaking the law and how it is going to improve their work). ‘What could you do to make this section a little stronger’ and ‘what’s going on here, what do you think you can do differently’ are some things that I say to my kids, along with some ‘nice jobs’ and occasionally a ‘that’s a hot mess’.

NO love, that dress does NOT make you look fat. However, it IS see through. You desperately need a slip.

20+ Questions

When do you plan on graduating?  I intend on graduating from A&M Texarkana with my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction at the end of Summer I, 2013.

What are your plans and goals for after graduation? Please be as specific as possible. How do you plan on making a living?
After graduation I intend to continue to work in my school district as an art educator while continuing to create and grow artistically.  However, the more I am working with the art department at TAMUC the more I am thinking more and more about the option of working in higher education, specifically in the art department. I am curious about the pros and cons of working at this level, especially the politics. I didn’t think you could get much more political than working in a high school.

Establish a budget for yourself, post-graduation. What does it cost to live in a manner that you’d be comfortable? Again, be specific. Do you have school loans, credit card debt? Need insurance? A place to live?  I have no student loans or credit card debt. My credit score is currently 0 – which is perfect in my eyes (thank you Dave Ramsey). My husband has school loans which we are making great strides towards paying off, and we just procured our very first car payment. Except for the car we will be debt free by the end of 2014 (or very near it). Our rent is not an ungodly amount and we work hard to live within our means, but it’s not without sacrifices. We do not have cable or satellite, and we shared a vehicle for two and a half years. We do not take big vacations and we monitor our spending closely.

Do you require any special equipment to make your work or start your business (for example, a wood shop, studio, video equipment, cameras, computers, printers) that might be cost-prohibitive or difficult to access after you graduate? If so, what kind?  I am so glad you asked this question. As an undergrad I worked some with metal and welding, and I really enjoyed it. After graduating we lived in apartments and were just scraping by, and welding in the apartment or renting a studio was out of the question. I was at a loss for a little while on which direction to go with my art. I love all of the equipment, space and supplies we have access to here on campus; however it is an ideal situation. Most new graduates will not be able to go by a large format printer, or have space for a wood shop. I may eventually need more space, but I basically have everything I need to continue working on my sculptures. Our house was designed to have a formal dining room, and since we are not formal dining people I ripped up the shag carpet, moved my studio in and the random crap that was in there out.

Name five people that will write letters of recommendation for you? Bryan Phillips – Director of  Community involvement at Texarkana Regional Humanities and Arts Council. Bill Harp – Principal at Plesant Grove High School. Brad Bailey – Principal at Texas High School, Angela Melde – Head of the department of art at Texas High School. Tonya Byrd – Childrens Director at Heritage Baptist Church.

What kind of job would you most like to find?  I would most like to find a job that involves traveling the world (expenses on the company) using my creativity skills in a way that I find stimulating and satisfying.

What kind of job do you expect to find? If I choose to change jobs I expect I could find a job fairly easily at a junior college or arts center. I would like to be able to compete for jobs at universities, or museums as education coordinators.

Name either a dozen potential employers, clients or galleries, depending on your goals.

Art Church Gallery – Hot Springs
Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council Gallery - Texarkana
The Silvermoon on Broad Gallery – Texarkana
Texas A&M Texarkana Library Gallery – Texarkana
The Blue Moon Gallery – Hot Springs
Taylor’s Contemporanea Fine Arts Gallery -  Hot Springs
Gallery Central Fine Art – Hot Springs

Potential Employers
Texarkana College
Texas A&M Texarkana
Texas Christian University
University of North Texas
Trinity Valley Community College

Do you plan to live off freelance work or commissions (perhaps in addition to a part-time job)? I haven’t to this point, but it is something that I would like to pursue.

What did you do this summer to move you toward your goals? I took Joe’s Summer II class and created 5 sculptures in 6 weeks. What art have you seen this summer? I was able to see the art of my classmates, and as well as various art online.  How much work did you make? I created five medium scale sculptures as well as maintained work in my art journals.

Do you have a portfolio of your work? Website? Blog? Can you tell me in 30 seconds what your work is about? Do it. I do not have a portfolio of my work, my website is in progress and as of today I have a blog. My work is about erasing the topmost superficial layer of humanity in America as well as in myself and exposing the deeply dark and breathtakingly beautiful things that are lurking there.

What artists, musicians, photographers, writers, movies, books have influenced you/your work?
Artists: Josh Simpson, Sarah Sze, Andrea Zittle, Shane Aslan Selzer, Kara Walker, Traci Bunkers, Angela Melde, Scott Smedley, Debbie Nicholas, Polly Cook, Nina Cork,  Nicole Briscoe, James Tisdale, Caravaggio, Gustav Klimt…
Musicians: Jimmy Buffett, The Dave Matthews Band, David Crowder, Florence + the Machine, basically any 90’s rock, I love all types of music and have the radio on a majority of the time.
Photographers: Annie Leibovitz, David Gibson
Movies: Any well made shoot 'em up kill 'em movie.
Books: The Bible, and I usually read fiction (No, I am NOT including The Bible as fiction).

Please share any important websites that you are referencing for art/photo competitions and/or information. Name at least five of them.

Ceramic Arts Daily http://ceramicartsdaily.org/
Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council http://www.trahc.org/

** I do not actually subscribe or watch these, but they showed up in my google search for Call for Artists

What do you feel is lacking in your education to prepare you for your future? What is lacking in your portfolio? Please be specific. I feel that I still need to create more work to really know what is missing in my portfolio. I would like to know more about the art world in order to know what to expect as I continue to create more work and market myself.

Why does someone want to hire you? What makes you unique? Someone wants to hire me because I am confidant in myself, and I know my business. I am friendly and personable, and I live by a moral and ethical code that I try not to compromise on (never say never, right?) and would like to say that I do not judge others who do not live or think as me (but really that is for others to decide).

What are your rules? Treat others as greater than yourself. More love for others and self.

Where are the boundaries? Rudeness with out provocation, someone trying to make me feel inferior, and jacking with my close friends and family.

What do you expect:
   From your professor? Consistency, honesty, fairness, and to push me when needed.
   From this seminar? To be exposed to new concepts, artworks and ideas that I haven’t experienced.
   From your degree? To enable me to be competitive in my current and future career.
   From your peers? Consistency, honesty, fairness, and to push me when needed.

What is it you want to say? That underneath the fa├žade that people tend to put up we are all very similar.
Is art the right language for the message? I believe it is.

Who do you align yourself with? People who tend to have the same values as me, and people who will love me enough to correct me when I’m wrong, and stand beside me to fight when I am right. I have a lot of casual friends, but few friends that I consider close.

Does craft matter? Cite examples. I feel that craft does matter in a majority of situations. In a way composition and design - either 2D or 3D is teaching a craft. It is setting a strong foundation that involves skill. There is also a lot of art that transcends craft and is purely expression. So, yes and no.

Is your work relevant outside the art world? I believe it is. I believe that when a person looks at art there is an immediate emotional response, and my art is relevant outside of the art world if for no other reason than to provoke an emotion.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Who knew?!

I didn't expect my graduate seminar class would be the thing that drags me kicking and screaming into the blogosphere, but I am here none the less. I will even reluctantly admit that there is a teeny tiny glimmer of anticipation that could maybe turn into excitement about keeping a blog. 
 'So what gives?' you may be asking.'It's just typing some up some stuff and putting it out here!' Well, I tend to over think things, juuust a little. When filling out my profile it asked for a tag line. TAG LINE? Like, 'that's what she said'? Nope, that's a punch line. So, googled 'tag line' and read a blog to help me on my blog. I've spell checked this thing multiple times already.

English buffs and grammar police need not subscribe.