Monday, June 9, 2008

Organizing and Prioritizing

It's hot hot HOT in upstate New York; about a week ago we still had the furnace on at night and suddenly the days are climbing into the 90's along with high humidity. That rapid temperature shift has left my too-thick blood and body sluggish. I feel the heat, even with the air conditioning on inside. I'll adjust to it but until I do, it takes a toll on my energy and level of cheerfulness. Even my poor car is in the shop after some weekend issues with the temperature gauge climbing when the air conditioning is on and returning back to normal when I shut it off. I just DON'T think this is the week to not have the air conditioning working properly in my car.

It's a good day, therefore, to organize my to-do list and start tackling the items. First, I'm finally working on finishing a book review of Terry Barrett's Interpreting Art for the College Art Association. I've got a solid first draft, a wireless network and a lap top computer, so after I exercise this morning and grab some veggies to grill with chicken for dinner, I'll find the coolest spot inside-- unfortunately my home office is always the hottest room in the house in the summer and the coldest in the winter -- and revise it. Since I've never written a 2,000 word scholarly book review, it's definitely a challenge. I almost turned down the offer because I didn't feel qualified to do it, but the author assured me that he thinks I can. I'm well aware of the tremendous learning strides that take place when we tackle something that we've never tried before and I've always been a fan of "the little train that could" approach to life, so I'll do my best! It's due at the end of the month. At the very least it's an excuse to sit quietly and still feel productive!

Next on my list is dyeing and printing new cloth for both new Parables pieces and Pages pieces. I'm think if I do a number of grounds simultaneously they'll have more continuity than doing one piece at a time. With the new ideas for marks I'll be implementing, I'll expand my array of fabrics for grounds AND cutting up for Pages pieces and letter forms. I actually am making specific lists of processes, color and value combinations and pattern scales to create so I will know exactly what I want to accomplish during my studio days. It really helps me save time and be more productive to start this way, then be open to modifying plans as I work.

I've gotten two excellent reference books to work from as I continue my mark making experimentation. A lot of these marks will become silkscreens or patterns for cut letter forms as well as practice for direct painting. The first book I got was expensive enough that I almost didn't buy it, but it has proven to be a great reference -- Experiments with Letterform and Calligraphy by Andre Gurtler. Another gem is Codici 1 by Thomas Ingmire.

Both these authors have expressed the very ideas about writing as drawings and writing as musical patterns as my own explorations have led me to develop. It's exciting to tap into my own inspirations and then build on them with research done by others who have developed their ideas more completely. Slow reading but thoroughly informs my work and process. More praises to the power of the Internet and these amazing search engines!

Tomorrow I'll hopefully have my car back so I can drive to to my studio and start mixing dyes for the new marks I want to paint and print on the cloth. Lots to accomplish over these next few weeks.

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