Friday, April 2, 2010

In The Groove


The other day I had one of those great artmaking days. I kept thinking “Stella found her groove” as the shop tunes were perfect and I was happily working -though when I googled it I found out the movie was actually called “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” I didn’t see the movie, but as time seemed to stand still, I really felt I was in the art groove. I LOVE those days –I wish I knew what can flip that switch because the day before I just was not feeling the love –then ZAP,

creative inspiration rained down and showered me with golden rays of creating energy! When I’m not feeling very inspired I know enough to just keep moving forward by printing tags, make deliveries, do administrative type of paperwork, clean-up the shop, replenish supplies etc. It helps to move forward or the dry spells can turn into more of a funk –which is not good for a full-time working artist.

The inspiration zap might not be as mysterious as I’d like to think. When I was trying to figure out what may

have triggered it (because then I could bottle it and save it for the next dry spell) I realized it might be as simple as a few of these things –good music, money, aesthetics and productivity -though I think it takes a unique combination of all four to flip the switch. When I make money I can buy more material and have WAY more options. When I see artful or thoughtful design and hear great music I’m easily inspired to create. When I have a productive and meaningful day I feel satisfied. At the start of my groove day I delivered a commission piece and the client was thrilled. Not only did I have money in hand but another order for a future wall sculpture. I went to see my buddy Peter at SteelFab to order some steel and talk about a new piece I need cut out and being around all that industrial steel can really

get me fired up. Everyone there (all guys –I liked being the only flame chic there...) were so helpful it gave me even more ideas for three other pieces I want to make! Their multiple gigantic shop areas are hubs of productive activity. I use SteelFab to help me cut the larger works because they have this enormous plasma bed cutter that works from an auto-cad program. I draw my designs out and their tech guy converts them to a DXF file and shazam! Most of the work I do on the big bed cutter is a

bout ¼” steel plate, too thick for my machine. Lighter gauge stuff I can cut at my shop/studio with my hand held plasma cutter. The max I can cut is about 18 gauge because I like smooth, fast cuts.

My artmaking groove produced a new sculpture that I’m in love with and was inspired by some tiny spore type mushrooms I saw. I’d been germinating (no pun intended) this idea and design for a while and then the design and fabrication all came to me in one fail swoop! I also had another idea for a free standing sculpture that is called “Creative Sentinel” based on my experience that happened the other day. When creativity hits I thought of the sculpture as a lightening rod harnessing and capturing that ZAP, then spreading it’s power to awaiting artists. The spore sculpture (I don’t have a better name for it yet) is about 6’ tall and

“Sentinel” stands over 7’ tall. I’m going to create a feature clay piece that will be suspended from the center steel circle on “Creative Sentinel” –it just hasn’t hit me what that will be yet…

5 comments:

Patricia Griffin said...

Love those days when the ideas flow and start getting actualized! Look forward to seeing what the clay piece looks like for "Creative Sentinel." Here's to more days in the "groove"!

ang said...

those are great days indeed...happy grooving, love the 'legs' of that piece def adds space and it looks like things are warming up too..I'm sure that will help things along!

Linda Starr said...

I have standbys I make if inspiration hasn't hit me, but when it does it is definitely a feeling of high; your sculpture expresses that feeling to me so well and I love your thought of it spreading the spores around to other artists too. Our next door neighbor's daughter Kiah found a little white button mushroom with tiny bumps all over it in new our front yard; she and I had a great time looking it over and thinking about spores yesterday. I see the hands being a kind of lightening rod protectant (must be my worry about all the lightening they get here in Florida). Can't wait to see what clay piece goes in the center. Happy Easter to you and your family.

Judy Shreve said...

You definitely hit your 'groove' - those sculptures are truly inspired. I think you are on to something when you say it takes a balance of things to flip that 'switch' on -- music definitely is one of my switches too. Looking forward to the clay addition on 'Creative Sentinel' . . . .

Christine--RHP said...

wahoo! for groove days!! (boy, do I know what you mean) the muse shows up out of nowhere, and you better be ready to dance with her. Clear the decks, order takeout, call off all other plans, you'll be in the studio all night long....
I love these pieces!