'Treats' Acrylic on wood assemblage ©robinrkent

Friday, November 30, 2012

Folk Art Diary: From Dark to Light

Did I miss something? Ahh, err... Yes. Been super busy, thus tired, thus missed writing a post. Hard to type with my eyes closed. 
Still haven't gotten used to the time change and early darkness. It really saps energy. I suppose it's a good time to catch up on sleep, but holidays and deadlines can get in the way. Hibernation will have to wait until February.
And when it is bright out, it's at such a severe angle, it's hard to see. This is the time of year to wear baseball caps, even if out of season. (A good time to root for the Red Sox.) And eyeglasses that turn dark. Maybe grey days are the best. If not for morale, at least vision.
©robin r kent 
The dark takes on an otherworldly ambience. It appeals to the emotions. And spirituality. Reaching through the dark to connect.
When painting, I usually start from a black field and paint from dark to light. The dark helps define the image. I use chalk to sketch in my drawing, correcting with a damp cloth. Then start painting the inside areas. When finished I erase the chalk lines with the damp cloth to reveal a black outline. Simple and striking. Especially in darkly lit rooms.
Above: My assemblage angels in gallery window, after hours. Recycled bamboo rakes, antique planks, furniture pieces, electrical wire, acrylic paint.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Folk Art Is People's Art

I try to describe my work to others. More than likely, that doesn't work. So I pull out a business card with photographs on it (painting on one side, assemblage/sculpture on the other). That helps the conversation continue.
Take a card...
I went to an art show recently where I am usually an exhibitor. I took this year off. Being a customer felt strange. I wanted to stand in someone's booth and write up sales.
I met a folk artist there whose work I had recently discovered. She was very friendly and forthcoming with her process. Maybe we connected because we are both folk artists. We compared notes. Both of us work in mixed media with wood as the base. We're similar but different in our style.
When discussing folk art definitions, she said you know it when you see it. That's what a folk artist would say. She can join my club. It's people's art.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pocket Reference for Artists

Artists' pockets are useful for storage. Always an added bonus to find the newly acquired pants have 'deep pockets.' Deep thoughts can easily reside in there.
  Pockets as folk art subject  ©robinrkent
Lists of things to do, tools and screws to be returned, paper napkin drawings, loose change. I'll know what needs to be done next when I pull the winner out from my pocket. They become the saddlebag to my pack animal. Safe and secure when migrating, say from one side of the house to the other. 

But as the season gets colder, and I add layers, pockets become too much of a good thing. Too many hiding places. I've found  things I've looked for all summer in my spring/fall jacket. Like little memory scrap books they turn up reminding me of escaped thoughts. 

I always forget to look in the previous season's pockets. But I expect all will eventually come out in the wash. Those loose pennies are so hard to retrieve from there, though.

Left: 'For Your Consideration'
Acrylic on Barn Board

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Time Traveler

'Time management specialist' will be added to my resume after 'artist' and 'caregiver.' As a kid, I never kept track of time. I often got 'stuck'. Friends had to break my trance for me to stay current in our fast paced childhood world. I'm paying now for all that random dreaming. Glad to have the extra hour today! Never enough time is turning into a problem.
Wall assemblage tracking time at home  ©robinrkent

Viewing problems as creative challenges can be successful and usually fun. Here's my plan for rolling one solution for time and art together:
I want to create simpler art - whether assemblage sculpture (a la Marisol) or painting (Milton Avery). Being mindful of editing and simplifying might also take less time.    Bingo!

When asked recently 'how long does it take to make my art,' I described how some works can be unruly throughout. Not a linear process; many sideroads to get to the end envisioned. They thought differently recalling how they watched a family friend/artist start a huge painting and finish it the next day. Hmmm. I know artists I admire who can do that also.

I'll give it a try. Nothing to lose but some time.