100 Day Project: Week 14

100 Day Project, Projects

Day 92: April 22

Lines.

Day 93: April 23

Where did this day go? It’s amazing how long and short the days are.

Day 94: April 24

Literally put one line down today. I’m so frustrated. Nothing feels right. No idea I’m working on is coming together right. Binging tv instead.

Day 95: April 25

Bringing some ideas full circle.

Day 96: April 26

Finished up a piece from yesterday with lines. So close.

Day 97: April 27

Nada to say.

Day 98: April 28

98/100 Days

100 Day Project: Week 11

100 Day Project, Projects

Day 71: April 1

I’m struggling to maintain interest amid everything.

Day 72: April 2

Productive. But, I’m not sure this is the direction I want to go? I continue to play with plant textures. But maybe I’d rather get back to skulls and ravens???

Day 73: April 3

Feeling trapped by this direction. Definitely. Will have to break free of it soon.

Just when I felt over it all. Inspiration. I found a feather floating around my house. A new experiment.

Day 74: April 4

Interesting results today. I am placated.

However. I don’t know that I’ll commit to a hundred days of anything again. 27% of the year. That’s a lot of days. A lot. Look what can happen to the world in 100 days. I’m a commitmentphobe (is that a word?) and I fell for that optimistic feeling seventy some days ago that said: you have time to commit, it’ll be fun. Maybe it’s that I feel I’ve learned what I set out to learn, with twenty-five days to go… what investment am I making with my time now?

Day 75: April 5

I lost a day again??? I guess I didn’t have an important breakthrough.

Day 76: April 6

I brought in fallen oak leaves. They are a nightmare to work with. But something new.

Day 77: April 7

Working up to it today.

Days 77/100

100 Day Project: Week 8

100 Day Project, Projects

Day 50: March 11

A little color study. Not the sexiest work, but the best way to systematically understand the colors. And of course I had way too much paint left over… so more of those spare paint types of pieces will probably be in the works.

Color study.
Spare Paint Color Study.

Day 51: March 12

I also worked yesterday on some texture studies. Which I continued this morning. What a frustrating challenge to get things to stay in place. Today I white washed the pieces to make the textures pop out. To be continued.

Work in progress. Pine Needles and Linen.

Day 52: March 13

Lines. Lines. More lines. Struggling to find some new insightful thoughts to regurgitate here.

Day 53: March 14

Is this mid-project exhaustion? 53 is so many days.

Day 54: March 15

I about ruined a piece this morning. Added spare paint to it to cover areas I didn’t like. Then it got out of control. So I washed it all off. I like the way the lines look worn now from being under water.

Covid-19…

Detail.

Day 55: March 16

In the spirit of exploring textures and with the inability to find supplies on the road, I worked plies of toilet paper onto a piece last night with paint and added lines to it today. Can’t find hand sanitizer either. It’s going to be a long road home. I don’t know what further measures will be taken to slow the spread of this virus and I hope we don’t get caught up in it on the road.

Day 56: March 17

That didn’t go as planned. Again. Tuesday’s never seem to be a good day for one reason or another to lay the art out for documentation.

Days 56/100.
In progress.

Essay: Letting Go

Art Journal, Self Reflection, Thoughts

I’m in the middle of re-learning a life lesson about letting people go right out of my life who, when it comes down to it, are not adding value and quality to my existence. Invest in those who want to invest in you, right? Today a memory has come crawling out of the cobwebbed corner of my brain to resurface. It is time to share this tale and how it’s lessons relate to my art life. Gather round…

I have a sister. A partial sister. An older sister, eight years older. We share the same father. And for a short time she lived with us when I was a child of four or five. I’ll not name her and she doesn’t share my last name. She. She never could be nice to me for more than a few hours it seems. Her visits were few and far between. And I was always so excited to see her, this exotic woman from the west coast with colored hair and a musical voice. Yes she went to school on her voice and sometimes when she visited she’d sing, but not if I asked. How I just wanted a sisterly bond with her. Tragically I will seek that missing bond in all my female friendships (hint: I won’t find it, it is never there).

Years go on and I live my life in Michigan and She lives hers on the West Coast. I’ll try to reach out to her and it’ll fail. When our father becomes ill She comes to visit. Each visit is more contentious than the last. Once we had to be in a car for nine hours together to see our father who was flown to another hospital. I am surprised we made it. When I told her about going to college for fine art her retort was “what are you trying to prove.” I’ve been criticized for being too negative. Told even if I was the taller, my hips were wider. I had a crisis on my first trip by myself when I had everything stolen, She happened to live somewhat near, I asked advice and got “what do you want from me.” Well, we didn’t talk much. Years at a time go by so…

Imagine a beautiful perfect summer morning. I’m on my deck drinking coffee. I have finally adopted a group of artist friends. I have finally started making art again (about ten years out from art school). I am selling work. I am curating shows and doing social media promotions for this artist collective and for myself. This is huge for me. And my sister sends me a message after a year of no contact telling me I’m appropriating her Mother and Step-Father’s Art.

I didn’t mention they are all artists? Established artists, I had to look them up after the confrontation. Two very talented artists with rocking careers that have nothing to worry about from me.

That’s because I’ve never met them and it is so far outside of my reality that I needed that part of the story to kick you in the head the way that day kicked me in the head.

It was a long day. At the end of it I said my piece and severed all ties with my Sister. I have tended in my life to allow people to wipe their feet on me. I have allowed myself to be in borderline abusive relationships. I knowingly allowed myself to be used and conned.

However, attacking my art practice hit a nerve that I didn’t know I had. See, art is my god, worship and meditation. It has saved me from myself over and over. I’m afraid of where I’d be in life without creativity.

I have not missed my sister. She was never there.

It would be a long long long time later that I would realize with dismay the what ifs. What if my sister liked me? She may have had it in her power to introduce me to established artists, galleries and other art world gatekeepers. It never occurred to me all the people they could be connected to. It does now, perversely.

Oh well.

I’d rather have my small art practice and healthy boundaries. And remember to let people go that don’t want to be here and that are not enriching my journey.

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.

100 Day Project: January 22, 2020 – April 30, 2020

100 Day Project

I’m going to attempt this for the first time. Just the thought of committing myself to this is inconceivable. One hundred days straight of artistic practice… oof.

For those unfamiliar, the 100 day project is a way artists commit to developing an artistic practice. I’ve come across this project in online communities and in the local arts community in Marquette, MI (which is the one I registered mine with). This year has a theme of “Secret Places.” I’m not going to over think it too much. Every artists head is a secret place, even to themselves and that is exactly what I’ve been trying to suss out for myself. I’m going to dive in and commit to this. And hopefully I’ll come out the other side with a clearer view of who I want to be as an artist.

I want to use the 100 Day Project to:

  • Blog:
    • Document progress
    • Write about work
    • Aiming for a once a week post
  • Jumpstart a new body of work based loosely on my travels going back to October 30, 2019.
  • Create Small works of mixed media art

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