Thursday, December 2, 2010

Finding Inspiration

A friend of mine once noticed the longish title of my blog and asked why name a blog which is about my artwork a "wastepaper basket". I guess guess one of the things I should have explained in my first blog post is why it has its name. Well, the idea of this blog is not the finished product of why work, but rather how I arrive at the final piece. This blog is meant to be a mangled conglomeration of events, ideas, and people I get my inspiration from. Some things I hang on to and others I toss out. So the blog is really a catch all for the unorganized craziness that goes on in my brain.

Recently an addition to this wastepaper basket that's my brain has been my weekly art meetings with my friend Nicole. Most every other Tuesday the two of us (usually joined her and Doug's 3 dogs Ralph, Josie, and Kaiser Roll)bum around for a few hours trying to exercise some of our creativity from our undergrad days. Unless we get too distracted by episodes of Billy the Exterminator these meetings have been pretty fruitful. We haven't been doing anything big- no steel fabrication or large scale paintings (yet). In art, it seems to me, that the little things can be just as important or even more so because they engage you in the creative process.

In art education one never ending debate is "product vs. process". I am big time process oriented. Problem solving and working out ideas takes me forever. I think it is a really important to your growth as an artist to get completely involved with your corner of the world- this means scrawling things on napkins, taking pictures with your cell phone, or just taking the time to really notice what is going on around you. It is from all these seemingly insignificant things that the real magic starts to happen. This is why at every graphic design show I ever went to at USM had me looking more at the process notebooks than the actual finished product.

My point is, take time to cultivate your creativity. This isn't just limited to visual arts people- it is the same thing for writers, musicians, crafters, and performance artists. As the old cliche goes, "If you don't use it, you lose it". So set a side a bit of time during the week to do whatever you do to get your inspiration even if it's just two minutes. (Easier said that done, but hey, one minute of giving your brain a workout is better than wasting your time watching some commercial you've seen 19 dozen times.)

I recently learned about an artist, Marisa Haedike,who formed an arts business out of devoting her Thursdays to being creative. You can check out her website and blog here:

It's really worth checking out. I really suggest you look at her blog it has a ton of great ideas in it.

Happy creating.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Art for Fun?

I had the privilege of listening to sculptor Donald Lipski speak at UGA yesterday. He has some pretty incredible work centered around everyday objects he's either found, bought, or had donated. One story told about his work really made me thing. Mr. Lipski explained a piece he did made entirely paint brush handles. Well, an art critic a reviewed this piece, going on about the symbolism and the strong message he was trying to convey by cutting the bristles off the brushes. Reality: Lipski found crates of those already bristle-less brushes in the dumpster behind his New York apartment building and thought they would be something neat to experiment with.

Now isn't that something? Making art to just play around with different materials. I think as artists we are under a lot of pressure to make something that has a deep, dark serious meaning or shocking social commentary behind it. There is definitely a place for pieces of that nature. During my undergraduate career the bulk of my sculptural pieces were based on distorted body image and the hell of living with an eating disorder.Somethings people have to work out through their art or they would go crazy. But whatever happened to the days when we made art just to have a little fun?

After nearly a year of being on an artistic hiatus, I think I finally some motivation to start painting again. (Painting, because I have no money or storage space!) I don't want to work with any particular meanings or intentions; I just want to be able to approach the form of the figure in different ways and play with color. No fluff. No show. Just paint because it makes me happy. I need some happy in my life.

In fact, I think we all do.

Here is some of Lipki's work for those who are curious...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Art

Back in the Burg and back to a computer I can actually use for uploading pictures. Here's a random sampling of some of the ceramics work I did last semester. Most of the pieces featured in this post are from my raku firing experiments. For those of you who don't know raku is one of the oldest firing techniques dating back to 16th century Japan. It is a pretty simple method and yields some very interesting glazes.

Here's a video clip of how it's done.

Not a bad video. I just wish they showed the final pieces.
On to my stuff...

Raku Tea Bowl Set

Small Raku Bowl

Box (high-fired)

Vessel (high-fired)

Sculpture (high-fired)

Sculpture (high-fired)

Sculpture (high-fired)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


It has been such a long time since I've made a post on this thing! Since I have two free months before grad school, now would be a good time to update more regularly. The last few months have been really busy both personally and professionally. In February I was accepted to graduate school at the University of Georgia to pursue a masters degree in art education. I also took two additional studio classes after graduation to keep my hand in painting and ceramics.(I am going to try to get a few images up from these classes in my next post.)The past month or so has been devoted to getting moving all my things out of my current apartment and sorting them for the next move to GA.

While the past month has been busy making preparations for moving, I have had some very needed weeks of pure downtime. Artistically, I've been insanely burned out. I have not so much as touched a pastel or piece of charcoal since the night before final portfolios were due. I was also planning not to take any studio classes my first semester at UGA, but I think a graduate figure drawing class I read about in the bulletin may put a stop to that one. It would be really great to draw from a live model again. I just don't want to over do it with taking on too much at one time. I made the mistake of doing that in undergrad and I swear to never do it again.

I've been doing some dabbling into areas of art beside the studio aspect. Recently I have developed an interest in arts administration (which is one thing I can do with a masters in art ed). The PR and collaboration with the community sounds like something I'd really like to get into. There is a lot of business knowledge involved with this part of the arts. I picked up a book about small business law at the library and am trying to wrap my brain around some of it. It has been really wonderful to have the time off to follow some new interests outside of school. Hopefully I'll learn a lot I can use to help my future career, whatever it may be.

Take care all.
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