air_n_darkness: (boo~)
All finished, and since I'm too wired from finishing them to sleep right now, I'm going to go ahead and toss the pics up for perusal.

Many large pictures under cut. Not great pictures, because photographer I am not. But you'll get the jist. )
air_n_darkness: (reject reality)
I belong to the artists/papercrafter's group Meeting of the Muses. It was started several years ago by some local ladies who have since realized their dream and bow get to make a living working for themselves in the industry. I'm one of the people who helps keep the community moving in their absence, and regularly host swaps within the group.

The concept of an artist swap is pretty simple. Whatever the challenge is, you make enough for the number of people in the swap, plus one for yourself if you want one. This time, I decided to really push people, and hosted an art doll swap. To make it even more of a challenge, I didn't just theme it to Valentine's Day, I said to pick a line from movie, book, or song that speaks to them of some aspect of love, and use that as their inspiration for the doll. The line had to be incorporated into the doll some how, but did not have to be completely readable. I encouraged mixed media work, and stressed that it wasn't a paper doll swap, but an art doll swap.

Only five ladies hopped on board, but I wasn't expecting many people. Mixed media tends to scare people. Anything that can't be easily planned out or copied from a Sommerset magazine scares most of them actually.

The swap is taking place on Friday, and I'm about half done. For giggles, I thought I'd throw up some progress pics. What the hey, right? Some people might find it interesting.

Many pictures with commentary under cut )
air_n_darkness: (The light!)
Once upon a time, I defined myself as an artist. If a random person asked me what I believed myself to be, what the definitive term to describe me was, I'd still say "artist"; I just wouldn't feel it as a truth. Somewhere in transitioning from child to adult, I lost my creative connection. Creating became about productivity instead of about creating.

I honestly can't remember the last time I made something just for the sake of it. I can't remember the last time I had an idea in my head that would not let me sleep until I put it on paper, or built it, or brought it into being somehow. Making art at some point became all about justification: justifying the time, justifying the expense, justifying my ideas. What is my vision? Why am I making this? Do I think this is commercial? Can I make money if I do this instead of that? Oh yeah, and my favorite: what statement am I making?

Gah! I never cared about any of that; at least, I didn't until I got to Art Collage&trade. I just wanted to make the visions in my head reality. I wanted to learn techniques, to learn everything I could about what I felt called to do. Instead, from almost the beginning I was pressed to decided on an artistic point of view, a meaning, to pick some driving force and "greater meaning" behind my work. After the first year course work, there wasn't any structured technique lessons; instead, you said "I want to make this" and the teachers would show you what you needed to know to maybe make that. Or they'd tell you to drop it because it was out of your league, or wasn't "real art."

What's so wrong with wanting to make lovely things? And maybe, just maybe, to make lovely things that people appreciate and want and admire? Why must it always be about "deeper meanings"?

To paraphrase, sometimes a flower is just a flower.

It isn't that I don't admire those artists who do have a Statement to make. If that's what they feel they need to use their gifts to do, then power to them. I don't always get it. I admit, I fail to see the "art" in a lot of Modern Art. I fail to see the beauty in the macabre testaments some artists make for and against whatever social issue they focus on. And while I appreciate the abstract movement, and would certainly be in awe of seeing say, a Pollack or a Picasso in person, I do not find them attractive. Wait, let me amend that- I find some of Picasso's works quite fascinating, but strictly from a technical standpoint. I would not desire to have one of his works handing in my home. Ever. Pollock's works will always just be paint splatters to me, even though I understand the work that went into them.

Nothing and no one will ever convince me that Frida Kahlo's works are beautiful. I see no technical merit in her works. I just don't, and this even after we spent a great deal of time studying her in one of my history classes. Do I understand her place in art history, etc, etc? Yes. I simply don't like her work.

Mondrian and Matisse, now, I like their works. Mondrian, because much of his work speaks to me structurally- it evokes a 3-D connection with a 2-D object. Matisse because of the sheer flow of his drawing style. Then there is Klimt. Oh my god, Klimt. I have this overwhelming and crazy desire to one day turn The Kiss into a 3-D metal sculpture, a master copy in different media. All those little, detailed metal panels...

But I am digressing.

I miss creating. Yes, I work in a crafts store. Yes, I regularly make things for swaps, gifts or whatnot. But...that isn't the same. I like what I make. I enjoy the process. I damn sure enjoy collecting supplies. But it isn't the same. It isn't me really. It's just...stuff. I'm always tempering it down to work within the tastes of the group, or sacrificing an idea because I lack funds or time or space.

Time's the big one. I feel like I'm wasting time when I just sit down and putter with things. There are so many other things that "need" doing. So many people pulling for my attention. It feels like wasting time if I'm focusing on art now. I'm unsure when I adopted that attitude, but I wish I hadn't.

I'm trying to fix it.

Somewhere toward the end of last year, I started getting the Urge again. The urge to actually makes something, to work through it as one would work through a problem. I actually sketched a few things down, which is huge for me. I haven't been able to properly utilize a sketchbook since I started MCA and started getting graded on how much I utilized one.

It excites me, having this urge. It won't be sculpture in the classic sense of the word, but yet, it will be. On top of that, it has a Place and a Purpose and a Person to which it will go. Not because I am forcing it to have those things, but because it is simply part and parcel of the project itself. The Belonging comes hand and hand with the Being, and that is something that has not happened for me in longer than long. I've even started gathering the materials.

It will be quite the undertaking, and I'm expecting some technical snags along the way. I welcome then actually, for it's been far too long since I've truly challenged myself with art. It will take some time, because some aspects are very specific, and I will have to wait and hunt for the parts and baubles that will fit each particular need. But that's okay. I have no deadline.

I can't wait to get started.
air_n_darkness: (Bumble)
Gah, so they aren't made yet. Doesn't matter. I have them planned, and they will be made in the next two weeks. So....

Making my annual Christmas/Yule/etc, etc Card Call. If you want a handmade Holiday card from me this year, please e-mail your address to me at cj1875 AT gmail DOT com. Or you can drop your address as a comment. Comments are screened.

If I have your address from last year, and it hasn't changed, you're automatically on the list. if your address has changed, then please let me know.

air_n_darkness: (reject reality)
I'd just like to direct all the artists, writers, designers, and other assorted creative people on my list to an excellent rebuttal to the argument currently revolving around the Googlebooks fiasco. by [ profile] satyrblade aka Phil Brucato. Gaming buddies, you might recognize the name, as he's been in the industry for quite some time.

And if you don't know what fiasco I'm talking about, here's a link to one of many articles on the subject.

And yes, yes, I know I haven't made a post of substance (ie about me) in ages. Getting to it. Promise.


Oct. 23rd, 2009 09:50 am
air_n_darkness: (mermaid:transition)
I don't often cross-post between my facebook and LJ, mainly because so many of the same people are one it, and I don't want to be spammy. But gods, this is beautiful.

Watch this in full-screen if you can. Not only is it an amazing piece of performance art- sand painting on a light table in time with orchestration- the raw power and emotion it invokes...I'm crying. Seriously. If you have even a smidgen of passion in you, artistic or otherwise, it will get you.


Sep. 13th, 2009 10:50 pm
air_n_darkness: (Default)

Awesome sculpture work from reclaimed tires. Thanks to Quinton Hoover on Facebook for the link.
air_n_darkness: (teehee-chesire cat)
[ profile] draconisferret was kind enough to take pictures of the two commissions I finished yesterday and today, as well as one of my own altered clipboards (Thank you, thank you, thank you!). My own camera is currently having issues. With luck, I'll be able to afford a new camera after the first of the year.

To the pretties! )
air_n_darkness: (maleficent- witch please) artsy day!

I shall finish my Christmas cards and get started on commissions. I may be feeling to achey to clean house, but I never feel to achey for art.

Join me! Do something creative today and tell me about!
air_n_darkness: (teehee-chesire cat)

I'm surprised. And touched. I wasn't expecting anywhere near that big a response. Thank you all for your interest.

Since I have had a quite a few questions, I'm clarifying a few things here, including price ranges, shipping, etcetera.

Cut, for the uninterested. )

Hopefully, that answers most questions. Again, my e-mail is cj1875 AT gmail DOT com, if you're interested.
air_n_darkness: (Default)
I'm trying to scrape up money to make a settlement on one of the "business debts" that was solely in my name. So, I'm accepting commissions for handcrafted items. If you're looking for a unique gift for the upcoming holidays, or something for yourself, I've got a variety of things I can make up, such as:

hand-made, hand stitched blank journals
altered composition books
handmade card sets
ceramic coaster sets
3-D hanging ornaments (if you were on my card list last year, you likely got one of these)
custom-colored glass ball ornaments
altered clipboards
One of my custom fairies,
which you can see here
. I can make these in an color combination, for any season, and can even make a goth fairy with spiderweb wings.

If you're interested in commissioning anything, let me know, either here, or drop me an e-mail at cj1875 AT gmail DOT com
air_n_darkness: (PoOcandles)
[ profile] wood_artist is an amazing artisan. The projects he takes on his wood shop continue to boggle me with their beauty and intricate details. I can get rather intense on a project myself, pick things that require take full advantage of my anal retentiveness, but really, nothing like what he does.

With his permission, I'm re-posting this video from his journal of one of his most recent pieces in action, a rather intricate gravitram. There are some great shots of all the little twists, turns and switches, and for me at least, the beauty and amazement comes from realizing that all the tracks and such are turned wood. Gorgeous, delicate turned wood. Enjoy, because I sure as hell did.


air_n_darkness: (Default)

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