10 January 2008

"To Continue"

In an attempt to get myself out of a mid-January funk (also known as Artist’s Block) I was looking through Inspiration=Ideas: A Creativity Sourcebook for Graphic Designers by Petrula Vrontikis. The book asks successful designers from around the world to share what they are inspired by and how it informs their work. Although the book is geared toward designers, I found just reading the lists submitted by the designers to be very insightful. And I got thinking about what inspires and interests me at the moment. So here is my list:

1. Chairs. I have had chairs in the back of my mind for a couple of months. The vague idea that chairs can serve as surrogates for people. Empty chairs imply the absence of someone-- a guest, a visitor, a friend, a lover, an enemy. So I did some visual research and went to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford and visited their collection of 18th century furniture and found some delightful colonial specimens.

2. Richard Serra. I went to Dia:Beacon in New York, last weekend and on installation view are Serra’s Torqued Ellipses. They are perhaps my favorite pieces of contemporary art. And I rediscovered Serra’s “Verb List Compilation: Actions to Relate to Oneself” (1967-1968). A list of 108 verbs to describe what sculpture can do. It fittingly ends with “to continue.”

3. Bird Watching. I have been sitting in the window sketching the birds at the feeder outside the kitchen window.

4. Speedball 2” Brayer. I’ve been using my favorite printmaking brayer as a paint roller for gouache with delightful results.

5. Henry the 8th and all his poor wives. I am an anglophile at heart. Hans Holbien was court painter to Henry the 8th and his portraits are so rich with detail and a harsh frankness.

6. Graph paper. I love working on graph paper. I recently found a new type of graph paper used to practice calligraphy so the whole grid is slanted.

No comments: