Day’s End

This Sunday is coming to a close.

We had breakfast:  bacon, sausage, biscuits (from scratch, not that I’m bragging), eggs, and grits.  I didn’t do the dishes or clear the table for that matter because…

daughter is home from college and had art homework to do so…

being the supportive mother that I am, I made art with her.

There is; therefore, no amazing “after” photo of the cleaned studio.  No apologies.  I stand by my decision.  Art first.  Dishes later.

I did manage to declutter my five for today:

IMAG1065A storage tote that used to hold something that I don’t have anymore.  I’ve been saving it and moving it from pile to stack just in case I could use it to organize something that I probably don’t need to keep.  Donate.

A pair of scissors that used to belong to a math teacher friend.  She gave them to me at least 13 years ago.  I’ve used them for art classes since then.  They are bent and cut on a curve.  I don’t need a pair of scissors that cut a curve.  Any art students I have don’t need them either.  Why did I keep them?  Just in case I didn’t have enough scissors one day?  Trash.

An almost empty and almost dried up can of paint in a shade of yellow that nobody could love.  Even me, and I love yellow.  Why was I keeping it?  I guess just in case I wanted to do a partial, bad paint job in a color that I don’t like so that I could make something I would end up hating and have to throw away.  Or not throw away because I might be able to fix it.  On the deck to finish drying out and then into the trash.

And a bowl that my oldest daughter found and bought last weekend.  It was beautiful and she was going to use it in her trailer/home as a wash basin. It came home from the thrift store and was carefully placed on the kitchen counter – with a package of hot dog buns in it.  CRASH!  Our master thief and acrobatic basset hound who loves bread in any shape or form knocked it off the counter and made off with the buns.   I saved the pieces in hopes that I could put it back together in some creative way and fix the damage.  In reality, all we would end up with is a patched together broken bowl and a memory of what could have been.  Letting it go.

IMAG1058And number 5:  a door that used to separate what is now the studio/classroom from the rest of the house.  We installed it when the oldest girls used it as a bedroom when they first started school and were living at home.  That was at least three years ago.  We cut it in half because I thought that it might be neat to make a…I don’t know…a cut-in-half-door that didn’t actually close off a room that we didn’t need to close off anyway.  That was almost nine months ago.  Out of here and on the burn pile.

Progress.

I Like It

Every once in awhile I make something that I like.  That I really like.  It’s not because it turned out as I planned or because I know it’s “good” art.  (Who the hell knows what good art is anyway?)

I hit a point in the process where I look at it and know that it’s complete and that I did a good job.  I made something that I like.  It’s hard to describe.  And the word “like” might not even be the correct term.  I like it…maybe it’s more that I’m content with it – or satisfied – or it fills a need that I didn’t know existed until I saw it right there in front of me.  Crafted with my very own hands.  Created from within me.  A small part of me that is unknown to everyone else and probably almost as obscure for me.

…That elusive quality that eludes description or explanation.

It doesn’t happen often.  When it does happen I sometimes find that the folks that look at the work don’t see what I see.  And conversely, when people like a work, I often can’t see what they see in it.

When it does happen – that piece of art – I’m sure that if Leonardo, Picasso or the person standing next to me said, “That’s a piece of crap” – it wouldn’t matter to me.

I just wouldn’t care because I know that this thing that I made is exactly what its supposed to be.

The other day when I was down and discouraged, I went into my studio and found a bowl in the uncompleted project pile.  I pulled it out and looked at it and started working on it.  And put it back down again.  Late last night I found it sitting in the middle of my work table and I picked it up again.

And finished it.  I like it.IMAG0917IMAG0918IMAG0919IMAG0920

The Bowl

IMAG0732IMAG0731This is a follow-up to this morning’s post.

The bowl has been “repaired”, worked on, restored.

When I finished and had taken these photos of it, I realized that I was ready to let it go.

There was no doubt in my mind, no difficult decision.  I just knew that it was time to let it go.  And it’s gone.

There are probably a lot of symbolic, psychological thoughts and discussions that could accompany this decision…but I don’t even feel a need to go there.

I just know that “process over product” worked and I feel lighter.  And a bit more free.

That is good.  Enough said.

Broken Things

IMAG0730I loved this bowl.

I like bowls in general –  I just like the way they fit into your cupped hand and the  symbolism they represent – empty waiting to be filled with something nourishing.  I like almost all bowls.

But this bowl was special.   I liked the shape, the design, the color and the tiny chips on the rim.

If I was to de-clutter to an extreme, I would have kept this bowl.

It broke yesterday.  I bumped a shelf in my studio and it crashed to the ground.

I’ve pieced it back together.  Enough of it is there that I could glue it and place it back on the shelf.  I could pretend that I didn’t break it.  But I know that it did.

It’s not the same bowl.  It would be the same shape.  I could still appreciate the design and color.  I might even be able to put something in it.

But I know that it’s not the same bowl.  The bowl has changed.

I thought about putting the pieces in a box to use in a future project.

I thought about cutting my losses and throwing it away.

I thought about gluing it back together and pretending it was okay.

And then I thought about what this bowl might represent symbolically.  About how I might relate it to my life.

The experiences in my life have changed me.

Things have happened that have “broken” me.

I’ve chosen to withdraw from life at times to avoid being hurt.

I’ve considered “throwing myself away”.

I’ve put myself back together and pretended like nothing had changed – that I hadn’t changed – and that everything was okay.

Today, I’m going to celebrate this bowl.  I’m going to place this bowl at the very top of my to-do list.  I’m going to use my creative abilities to make something new out of this bowl.

It won’t be exactly the same.  It will be changed.  It will be transformed.

Like me.