'Treats' Acrylic on wood assemblage ©robinrkent

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Folk Art Diary, chapter 1

Weeeee!!!  I'm flying!
I gave up on clearing the work bench. Already found some shapes from the shard pile to use in my 'swinging from the rafters' housewife sculpture, or is it a folk art mobile, maybe? This is the first of a few pieces for the Diamond Barn Gallery, the gallery inside the Shelburne Museum. www.shelburnemuseum.org  It's located near the Steamboat 'Ticonderoga,' and across from the Lighthouse where friend and neighbor Warren Kimble has his work. It's an impressive museum, known for their huge collection of folk art. (Warning: It can take at least two full days to see most of the collections if you don't run out of energy first. Wear comfortable shoes.)

Suspended from ceiling, notice hand clamp

Back to the Creative Process:

Here's what I've done so far: I started with the swing. Then attached her lower torso (aka butt) to it; building from the ground up, so to speak. I knew I wanted to show motion so I needed her to tilt back and not just be sitting static. The most sensitive part of the task was to make it well balanced, but still able to wiggle. Had to figure that out by hanging it from my workshop ceiling and work the finer points out from there.

Next round paint and critique.  To be continued....
Art lover Callie and new piece, before lift off

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Contemporary folk art musings: No point to it

'Tumble Home'
acrylic on rough board
I have favorite brushes that I use while painting contemporary folkart. I wish I knew what made them my favorites so I'd buy more just like them when the time came. But, like everything in life, you don't know how they'll react until you get some miles on them. The one thing they all have in common is they lose their points. Some became really splayed, some look like a spikey hairdo. And they take on a different attitude when put to the canvas, or wood. They knew what would happen. They've been there before. That's what I love about them.  I was reluctant to replace them when they lost their appetite for paint because it can be so expensive.  But then I found I liked that they didn't have any point. It forced me to use their resources as best I could.  I built a style around it. It kept me loose. And soft. - Perfect.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Smock as touchstone

Dressed for work

I may dabble as I walk by in the shop. Or push paint around on a momentary basis. But as soon as I put my smock on, I get down to business.  Smock is serious attitude. I have a relationship with my smock - I become committed to the task as soon as donning it.  It carries the memories and colors of long ago sold folk art.  And over time, new colors appear. I used to be able say what year that color joined my smock smear, but I don't keep track anymore. Still, those colors have added artistic ancestral strength as the layers increase. It's my armor (and fashion diversion) signifying me as one of many Creative Soldiers.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Great Abyss

Sorting chaos

Lots to learn about blogging.  Got feedback to my first post - less than 24 hours old.  All said the same thing - can't comment. Kinda loses the point of it all in that case.  Hope I pushed the right button to allow comments now. 
Next up is sorting through the chaos in the shop.  Spring cleaning sounds so delicate compared to what I'm about to tackle. When the cast offs of other projects start pushing their way into the valuable, but fragile work space, it's time to attack the shard pile. Hate this part because I have to let go of possible arms, legs, tails...for future assemblage or sculpture pieces.  Can't think that way or it'll take months to do what could be done in a morning. 'If you love it then let it go and it will come back if...'  No problem with that.  I think it regenerates itself and is creeping from the barn to the house. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jumping in without looking

Funny way for an artist to start the first title of the first blog.  Artists are always looking.  Of course seeing is a better term. And the risk of jumping in - always an artist's obvious secret passion.  
I hope this to be a place to connect with like minded art lovers. If you're one, consider yourself in the minority.  I know my work is authentic, but not for everyone. I hope to comment on what inspires some of the pieces, how it comes together, and hopefully leaves.  This first visual is my image.  Not really, but like all my art, it exemplifies how I feel about the subject.  This one is me in action: painting, hammering, sawing (ear protectors for my bandsaw) while one of my cats dubiously observes.  I have two.  They are usually my audience.  Jim, my art critic, lurks in the wings, off canvas.