100 Day Project: Week 2

100 Day Project, Projects

The spine, the backbone, the skeleton, the outline, my guide….

  • Use the blog to reflect on the work daily, posting content weekly.
  • Work at a 5 x 7 size on paper
  • Multi-media works
  • Use inspiration from travels, literature, and anywhere else I can.
  • Explore elements I work with already. See where it goes. Reflect on what those elements mean.
Progress of whole so far…

Day 8: January 29

I had to work fast this morning, today is a travel day and I needed time to let paint dry. I chose to explore another aspect of my current paintings: fabric texture. I’ve been adding scraps of fabric onto my paintings allowing the threads to unravel, also assisting in that unraveling. sometimes letting the patterns peak through, usually painting over them with a second coat of white acrylic paint. But why? Out loud now Taryn, why are you doing this? I savor the subtle difference in textures. I like how the paint takes to it differently. There is something about fabric I am also always drawn to. I love the texture and patterns. I’ll never be a sewer that is clear from my clumsy attempts, but I do look for ways to incorporate fabric into my work. Unraveling threads also bring to mind the fates of mythology. Or the long tradition of women working at the loom weaving cloth. I had a period of time as a child when I worked with small weavings, but weaving lost out to drawing. I am a woman attracted to using cloth, but I like it unraveling. That says something about me indeed. I will control the unraveling.

Day 9: January 30

Another Day on the road. We found a place to park very late last night. I was tired and ideas came out tumbling of my head, as they do during the worst possible times. Some early trials at Polaroid emulsion lifts fell out of my sketchbook and I decided to use them. I like to do that, find ways of using experiments that would otherwise sit around.

One of them was a print of a digital photograph I lost the original file for. I was very excited to find a way to use that image, even though all I had left was the poor quality Facebook shared image. After I went through the emulsion lift process I thought I would try to give it an embroidered border, because using thread in art looks cool. I like the added meaning behind it. I should try it right? NO TARYN, you should not. You hate sewing, remember? I never finished my little experiment. For which I am glad, because it works even more for the piece, with the thread swirling away from the work. Escaping, forever unfinished to remind me: I hate sewing.

Day 10: January 31

Not much time today either. I thought I would this evening, but everything has gone wrong and we are still driving. Last night I went to pull out paints, but found my computer sideways and pulled that out instead. I backed it up on it’s hard-drive once I saw it was fine. This morning I prepared some photos for reference. That’s all I was able to do today. And this quick check-in while on the road.

Day 11: February 1

Between naps of neural recovery from the stress of yesterday I managed to experiment with two pieces based on the same raven image. One using pastel, pen ink, cotton cloth and acrylic the other skipping the pastel for more line work. I don’t know how I feel about them. I may have been too drained to be creative today. Disappointing because I so looked forward to finally working with those images.

Day 12: February 2

This morning I had nothing. I hated my work from yesterday. I didn’t want to do art today. This, I thought, is why I never committed to the 100 Day Project before. So I started a new piece of paper and did just lines. Then I put some thalo blue paint over the ink drawing of the raven from yesterday and I liked it better. I pulled out my “wet box” finally. Started using some cement stucco textures. I can see where this 100 Day Project is useful now. Off to see some of Death Valley.

Day 13: February 3

This morning I did a little here and there, even using different colors. I was finally able to get into my paints. The important thing that happened was some thinking. I’ve been getting whiplash from all the different ideas and ways of making art. From instagram there’s always someone new who has a new technique. I started following galleries, websites and magazines that promote artists. And my head just wants to explode from all the different ways of creating. AM I DOING IT RIGHT?

Then I finally got to listening to this podcast The Jealous Curator after an artist friend sent me the link. It’s been full of wonderful information, but then this:

What is it about you that is special that you want to share?

… that changes everything.

I want to show the world what I see. I want people to see a dead tree and see how beautiful its structure is and continues to be. How life keeps going on around it even after its life is technically over. I want them to make that connection to their own lives. Green burial anyone? I want one. I want to go back to the earth.

I want people to see the intelligence in an animals eyes. I was trying to get photos of a raven yesterday and a man asked me if it was bothering me. No, I was bothering him. I want people to see them as sentient beings, living out their lives alongside us.

There’s more. But I’m tired. I’ll have to keep thinking about this topic.

Day 14: February 4

I finished up the red/yellow piece this morning with oil pastels and tried out about idea from on of my playa photos; we’ll see. I wanted to lay everything out today for photos and put out the weekly blog. Since I haven’t been taking progress photos this week and it’s the end of the seven day stretch! However, it is still windy here in Death Valley so no photos are happening. And I’m currently without internet connection. I’m putting my thoughts down and I’ll get it put together when I can.

Update: I was able to get the writing uploaded. I’m still waiting on better weather conditions for doing the photos.

Week 2 progress, finished works
Another look at Week 1, just the finished works.

100 Day Project: Week 1

100 Day Project, Projects

January 20, 2020

I have considered the 100 day project a little more.

  • Use the blog to reflect on the work daily, posting content weekly.
  • Work at a 5 x 7 size on paper
  • Multi-media works
  • Use inspiration from travels, literature, and anywhere else I can. I am an omnivore and a scavenger.
  • Explore elements I work with already. See where it goes. Reflect on what those elements mean.

Day 1: January 22

Where to start? With procrastinating of course! So I opened my new book titled: A big important Art Book; Now With Women, and the first thing it did was prompt an exercise doing self portraits. So why not start there? But first I have to lay the ground work.

  • Made a template instead of measuring each piece of paper.
  • Playing with texture by laying the paint down differently on each paper.
  • I didn’t paint each paper yet, just enough to get started. Don’t want to lock myself in.
  • I started working this way on the sketchbook project. (I am in the digital sketchbook library). I really enjoyed the results of those mixed-media pieces. I have four sketchbooks in the Brooklyn Art Library, three mixed media. I enjoyed doing them and knowing they are there in Brooklyn, New York being seen. I get emails notifying me.

Day 2: January 23

I picked up again last night, excited by the self portrait. I’ve been doing polaroid emulsion lifts to document my travels and new film was delivered last night. I printed from my polaroid lab and chose one of the papers layered with acrylic. (was wondering about that texture and the Polaroid Transfer for some time).

At first I tried to pencil in words around the image.

Scrapped that idea real fast.

I decided to combine the polaroid portrait with an original love: ink doodling. The gatekeeper that launched my head and heart back into art making. I am pleased with the balance.

  • Strathmore 400 mixed-media paper 186 lb
  • Titanium white acrylic paint
  • Self Portrait taken with iPhone
  • Printed with Polaroid lab on I-type 600 film
  • emulsion lift process
  • Faber-Castell ink pen

I tend to hate images of myself, I was drawn to one that was just a partial of my face. I edited it to black and white to see how the color of the film would interpret it in print. This time it came out nearly sepia. In the drawing portion I added spiral symbols. Something I’m drawn to subconsciously and consciously.

Lifting image in water onto paper.
Image after drying and working on it.

Day 3: January 24

All the ideas I had swirling around my head fell out somewhere. I turned to doodling on the paper I prepared. Four ink doodles. Two with a white acrylic ground, two without. They’ll be the start for something, I just don’t know what yet. Doing ink line work is meditative and intuitive. I can disappear into the flow until my brain is inspired. Nothing this early morning. It’ll come.

Day 4: January 25

96 bottles of beer on the wall, 96 bottles of beer… I’ve never once gotten past about 90 in that song. I am too distractible.

I’m still feeling stuck. I painted thalo blue grounds, experimenting with the acrylic application. I have been impatient to try oil pastels over acrylic. It is not my favorite piece. Doesn’t feel like me. Maybe I’ll feel better about it in the future.

  • Strathmore 400 mixed-media paper 186 lb
  • Thalo Blue acrylic on paper
  • White posca pen
  • Oil pastel
Trying to capture the essence of the saguaro at night.

I think my second experiment of the day was more successful at combining old and new ideas with different media.

  • Strathmore 400 mixed-media paper 186 lb
  • Thalo blue acrylic ground
  • Faber-Castell black ink pen
  • White Posca pen
  • Oil pastel
The thought in my head while doodling: connect my old style of working with a new way.

Day 5: January 26

Today I am keeping the theme of connections going. All day I kept it in my head to get back to the camper and pick up one of the pieces I ink doodled on dry paper (I ran a small test to see if it would stand up to submerging in water). I wanted to use one of the photographs I took of the spiral petroglyphs and combine it with the spiral doodle. Letting it dry overnight now.

Today I also picked up an art print by Raina Gentry that I admired both for its differences from my work and its similarities. I am reminded that I need to give myself permission to make the art that I want to make and to quit second guessing myself.

Day 6: January 27

I bounced last nights experiment off of my husband. He did not like it, so I decided this morning to push it further and then asked him again. “I don’t get it.” I don’t know if that means it’s genius or crap, but I find the results interesting enough to keep. Maybe even continue to push further.

  • Strathmore 400 mixed-media paper 186 lb
  • Faber-Castell black ink pen
  • Black and white polaroid
  • Nikon D7200 image using iPhone to Polaroid Lab print
January 26-27 experiment with lines and polaroid emulsion lift. Idea: connection.

Day 7: January 28

One week feels like an accomplishment. Ninety-three days to go. I did a little more with line work on one of the thalo blue painted papers with a white Posca pen. I believe I intuitively did this in response to doing so much line work in black ink. Then I spread out my weeks work for a look. (After spraying the pieces using oil pastel with a fixative).

First Week. Top row: probably finished pieces, middle row: mid-thought, last row: potential.

New Years Intentions (Resolutions) For the Artist:

Art Journal, Artistic Growth, process, Self Reflection

Organize

One of the best things I did was organize for living on the road. I was sort of organized in my studio… sort of. But now everything is in repurposed tackle boxes and tool boxes and everything. goes. back. where. I. found. it. It has absolutely has to, and I hope these habits continue. I lie, I’m sprawling a little bit into one drawer in the main part of the trailer, but still organized!

Purge

We artists are always collecting materials. Now is a good time to let go of the supplies we know we are not going to use. Some communities have art swaps. Help an artist out?

Plan a body of work

Why not sit down and plan it out. A new body of work. Or try something like the 100 Day Project to get you started.

Write

Reflecting on your thoughts and working through them intentionally will help any artist to really articulate all the thought going into their work. Journal when you’re working and then use that to help with your artist statement.

Read

As artists, we need to know about business, trends, art and find inspiration. I say make it a point to read across the spectrum. Read something to develop you professionally then read something just because it is interesting. I am also on GoodReads. I like keeping track of all the books in my head.

Find Galleries/Venues for potential shows

If you are like me there is this wall here. Let’s make this the year we put together a new thoughtful body of work and while we are doing that let’s look for those venues our work will fit. It is easy with Instagram and LinkedIn to find galleries and get a feel for what they are about.

Above and beyond venues I dare you to dream? I challenge you to look into fueling your creative soul. Are there residencies out there for you? Further education? Destinations with workshops. Are there new skills you want to learn?

Attend Art Events

Just do it you social butterfly you. Opportunities come to those who are present.

Social Media

Figure out how social media can benefit you. Choose your platform, or whittle down platforms and focus on putting quality content out there. It’s free advertising that can bring people back to your website or even generate sales.

Website

It isn’t as bad as you think it is. They make it easy now with tools like WordPress. It’ll be a learning curve, but I promise it’ll be fine. If you have a website this is your reminder to update it.

Get it Together Checklist

  • Bio
  • CV
  • Artist Statement
  • Business Cards
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Current Body of Work: Documented for Web & Portfolio Use

Do you have any intentions set for yourself as an artist for the coming year or decade? Is there something you think I can add?

Sink or Swim: What I Learned From My First Art Fair

Art Journal, Thoughts

Make it easy

My work to the right

Out of necessity I had to get clever about the placement of my display panels. I ended up jutting away from the tent a little. This I’m sure increased my sales. People often stopped to buy a piece off of my rack and put their blinders on through the tent to pay for it. I didn’t do this intentionally, but I will make use of it in the future. Make it easy for the casual browser.

Having Prints

There is an interesting psychology of having an original work (or large print) that everyone loves but is pricier than they want to spend and the prints to go with. I knew it was important to hit different price points. I had a mix of originals and prints ready. But I was intrigued by observing people admire the original and then purchase the print of it.

Forget sex sells: Cute sells.

I made cards for the Outback Art fair that I was certain would sell well to people who were familiar with it. The ‘Larry’s Chippy’ image was used on the previous year’s Blueberry Fest poster (Marquette, MI) and was very popular locally. What I didn’t expect was for it to be so popular with everyone. I sold out.

‘Larry’s Chippy’ Cards that sold out

Presentation

I believe that the presentation of my work also helped with sales. I had all my work packaged nicely in sleeves and matted to standard frame sizes. I have decided on one change. I will type up my price tags instead of handwriting them on stickers. I’m looking into a different way to hang them than clips, a few mats were damaged by people rehanging them.

Works on display

People love a story.

I never knew how much hearing the story behind a work would move people to purchase a work they admired. A customer would comment on my Corvid Study prints and after telling them the story about the reference bird they were more likely to buy one.

There’s a reason everyone’s setup is white on white

Not only do the white tents look clean and neat, but the artwork displays better. And we were cooking under the colored tent. It also looked cavelike with the dark panels. The artwork didn’t have the chance to shine that it would against a white background.

A good tent will more likely survive the worst

The entire weekend was fretful with forecast watching. Now that YOUR work is out there with a flimsy tent to cover it you start to think about these things. On the last day I went to check out tents and learned there was a whole world beyond the ‘easy-up.’ Tents that survive weather: Trimlines and other such wonderful beasts.

Consult the gods of Pinterest

Oh ho ho… of course I should have looked to Pinterest for a concentrated plethora of information on anything visual. Afterwards when I felt there had to be better ideas and approaches I consulted Pinterest to find that yes, I could have:

  • drawn up a layout before hand so we had a plan before getting to the site
  • found all the different ways a booth can be configured and planned and found the one that worked best for us
  • found creative ways to display art cohesively
  • thought about decorating the tent for added interest

I would love to hear from you. What lessons have you learned? Any resources you want to share with me?

Originals and Prints on display

Identity Crisis

Art Journal, Thoughts

Today I question who I am as an artist vs. who I want to be. My head is cleaved with ideas I want to pursue and my shoulders weighed down in reality. There are a few things that I know to be true:

  • I get inspiration from literally everywhere. I want to capture the world with my eyes and hands.
  • I cannot create everything.
  • Yet I keep harvesting new inspirations from artists, my environment, online
  • In the future I will have limited space for creating works and storing them.
  • I get bored working in the same medium, I like to explore. I am compelled to.
  • I forget myself and try to make work that will please the world. When I do this I usually fail.
  • I am not a photographer, but I like to take digital photos.
  • I pay attention to textures.
  • I’m drawn to expressive works, but my work is highly controlled and representational.
  • Today I focus on wildlife in my work, but in the past I created emotional biographical works.

Media I have worked in:

Corvid Study no. 1
  • Photoshop
  • Digital photography
  • Acrylic Painting
  • Oil painting
  • Pencil
  • Ink
  • Alcohol ink
  • Up-cycled wood boxes
  • Found beach objects: flotsam mobile type works
  • Acrylic and alcohol ink on up-cycled windows/ canvas/ mixed-media
  • Block printing
  • Clay

Themes that interest me

  • Water
  • Places people leave behind
  • Death and our relationship to it
  • Archetypes
  • Symbolism
  • Patterns in nature
  • Birds
  • Cats
  • Up-cycling
  • Trees
  • Textures
  • Wabi Sabi

What I want:

  • Harvest new experiences and work them into a new body of work
  • Document the metamorphosis
  • Use media creatively, wisely and expressively
  • Narrow down my media choices
  • Find myself as an artist
  • Create fine art, but still have it accessible to a wide range of people.

I am overwhelmed by all the possible ways I could make art. My brain is drowning in ideas and I am paralyzed by choices. The more cerebral I get about the task at hand the more paralyzed and indecisive I am.

Who am I? And what is my art about?