Thursday, March 26, 2009

Twitter: The Good, The Bad, The OMG! « QuinnCreative

At last, a creative person was able to explain twitter in a way the was understandable to me. Maybe this will help some other technologically challenged people.

Twitter: The Good, The Bad, The OMG! « QuinnCreative: "If you don’t use Twitter yet, but have a burning desire to know about it, maybe I can help. Maybe not. By the time I click “Publish” on this post, everything may be different. Still, I’m going to try.

Twitter is a website on which anyone can write about anything as long as it takes up 140 characters or less. (A character is a keystroke.) Posts are called tweets. People who use Twitter are called Tweeple. Twitter users are a real slice of life–there are serious business people, scammers, stoners, intelligentsia, cat lovers, event-goers, and at least one mature writer-trainer-artist. (That’s me.)"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How long did it take to make that?

Alyson Stanfield posed a question last week on her blog. The question was how do you respond to people who ask you how long it took to create a painting. I decided to respond. My first answer was "my whole life". After thinking about that rather curt answer, I decided to respond again.

Here's what I said,

"Yesterday I gave the ultra short answer: My whole life. Today, I'm thinking that the question of how long did it take you to make that painting, goes to a much deeper question.

We all know that to be an M.D., a lot of schooling and practice is involved. It's standardized. We know there is a difference in the amount and kind of training to become a G.P. and a surgeon, etc.

What does it take to be called an artist? There is no standardized way of determining this. Anyone can call themselves an artist. And who's to say who is and who isn't.

In addition, we live in a society where artists aren't understood or particularly revered for the most part. Art education is not a standard offering in schools. So we have lots of people out there who say they are artists and lots of people who have no clue what that means, or how to make an educated judgment about what they are seeing.

The question of how long did it take you may be the only way a viewer can verbalize the broader questions above. Of course, when you see your doctor, and he/she spends 5 minutes with you and charges $150, you don't question it because you are aware that it was 5 minutes plus many years of training and experience. When a person sees a piece of art, there isn't a standard frame of reference.

I think we owe it to our viewers to try to step beyond being annoyed by the question to each of us coming up with a way of educating the public about the process of making our art. If every artist had a good, thoughtful and educational answer to that question, and helped to demystify what their art is about, it might help to reduce the chasm between the artist and the public.

I think it was Alyson who recommended the book BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Horn Without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus. I'm reading it now. I recommend it. I'm going to use the information in it to work on my personal answer to the question of how long did it take me to make this painting? because I think it's a really important question.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Life With Cables - Abstract City Blog -

I saw this on the New York Times website today. It relates to my frustration about technology, only he's talking about physical cables as opposed to things that somehow float around out there and interconnect in some mysterious way. I think I might prefer cables.

My Life With Cables - Abstract City Blog - "My Life With Cables"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Technology: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Blogs, Website

I just spent Saturday at a workshop by Don Giannatti on new media marketing. The workshop was designed for photographers, but what we learned was applicable to artists, as well. In addition to this workshop, there are the many messages I get from Alyson Stanfield and others in the art marketing field who are saying that using the internet in all it's various ways is critical for getting the work out there for people to see.

Well, I've been doing this blog for awhile. It's great fun. Now I'm all set to do these other functions, too. It's exciting. It's also exceptionally frustrating for a technologically challenged person (that would be me). I'm sure I'll get the hang of it all, but right now I'd just rather be working in my studio!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Organizing Space, Saving Sanity

It occurs to me that working in a studio is similar to cooking in a kitchen.

When you are in your kitchen, the last thing you want is to be hunting for a critical utensil while something is about to overcook on the stove, or to be unable to find the oven mitt as your cake begins to burn in the oven. Or to trip over a stool you used to reach something in a high cabinet and forgot to put away. It takes a long time to get a kitchen functioning so that you can concentrate on the job of cooking, rather than the frustration of finding stuff.

The same is true in a studio space. In my mind, it's even more critical, because in hunting for some tool or tripping over a painting and losing concentration, who knows, you may never quite be able to recapture that spark of genius that was moving your work forward before being so rudely interrupted.

Getting a studio functioning well is also a long process. I moved into my current space in October. After all the unpacking and shelving and shuffling around, I worked for a few weeks. Then I discovered that the light was better on the opposite side of the studio. So I reversed everything, hauling all my painting supplies to the west end of the studio and dragging all my printmaking and other stuff to the other side. Since then, there's been more moderate readjusting to increase the smooth functioning of the space.

I started on a new series of paintings in November. I went to a workshop (see previous posts), learned a lot, and began working on a number of paintings at one time. Seemingly out of the blue, I had upwards of 20 paintings in various stages of completion underfoot. They were multiplying like rabbits. I was tripping over them. The studio looked like a crazy person was working there. Suddenly I couldn't stand it anymore.

My friend Eddie happened to be working on a project in the space next door. I talked him into figuring out a way to secure my paintings on top of the shelves on the south wall. He came up with a quick and clever solution using salvaged materials. I labeled all of my canvases and panels and put them up high, out from underfoot. They are easy to get to, much better protected, and my studio looks twice as big.

Stopping work to get reorganized was hard. I really didn't want to waste time. A lot of time can be frittered away with spurious organizing efforts that might not accomplish much. All of us creative sorts know about our various ways of avoiding the important work at hand. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between using time wisely and wasting time. In this case, I feel like I can breathe. I can't wait to get into my studio every day to pull one of those neatly shelved paintings down and get to work!

Thank you, Eddie!