I had a couple of days of very strange, intense, nearly overwhelming moodiness. During daylight hours, I determinedly powered through it by keeping myself physically busy; the nights are another matter. Last night, flailing through a dream, I sent the tall bedside floor lamp crashing to the ground, and it didn’t even wake me. In any case, I did get one of the remaining tasks on (S)Edition finished: the final covers are all embellished.
I’m also much closer to having my hectic summer schedule solidified, and I hope to be able to announce the shows soon. (I’ve pretty much decided not to go for the sixth show, in a rare fit of rationality). Though I am searching daily, I am no closer to finding paying work. Nor to filling local classes, though the out-of-town ones have waiting lists. Nor to remotely finding a balance between running and restoring a shared house, doing copious admin, and integrating studio work into home life with any form of efficiency. It seems to be all or nothing in any given direction. So the new-life adjustments continue (as I fully expected them to, while secretly hoping they would easily resolve themselves). Today will be (must be!) spent on the house, which gets trashed alarmingly quickly while other tasks move forward. We do manage to keep the kitchen running fairly well.
While waiting for e-answers and working via online conversations, I’ve been able to keep uploading batches of photos in short bursts. This is good for me (not only because I then clear the the photos off my hard drive). This long re-adjustment period I’m in the thick of requires a lot of re-examination regarding how, where, and why I make my art, and how other activities factor in. Here are a few:
- Working almost exclusively on residencies not only provided the dedicated time and space the programs intend, it also added a certain defined motivational factor, if only that of a deadline to share with fellows. It also narrows choices. We call this combination of factors focus.
- I think with my camera. Though I do not use photos directly in my work, they are a hugely important contributing process. What I choose to frame and shoot triggers memory in a conventional sense, but also fixes a perception in my mind even when I am not actually looking at the images or attempting to recall a specific image. (The photo above, of THE lichen, is the most overt example: in preparation for making LISTEN, I studied and studied my images of this type of lichen, and then did not look at them at all immediately before and during the actual production. With most of what I shoot, this phenomenon is much subtler, much less deliberate).
- Sharing how and why and what I do is also an important part of the process. Partially because I am deafened, I think, the blog is a part of it, taking the place of what, with earlier functioning ears, would have been long group conversations. For better or worse (and it has decidedly proven to be both), I have this need to put things out here: travails as well as triumphs, ennui as well as excitement, warts as well as beauty.
So, here are two sets of photos from Scotland that are still currently acting on the next works I will make: a productive afternoon in an old graveyard, and strange and beautiful trees in Inverness. There are also two more travelogue-like sets up, here and here.
The graveyard photos include this image below, from a few of possibly the most personally profound photos I have ever taken. (So much so that it felt a little weird to publicly post them; I’ve savored them alone for nearly two years). They say almost everything about my work. Essentially, this could be my entire artist’s statement. (Addendum: in fact, now it is).