What’s New With You?

We’re regular readers of American Craft, a fine journal that provocatively explores the intersection of art and craft. The current issue records answers from a number of people to this question: “What new material or approach are you planning to explore in 2011?”

What a great question. Artists of all kinds know what it means to look for something fresh in their work and to be aware of how their art is evolving.

Here’s Bruce’s answer: “My collages are based in nature, both in the subjects and in the materials I use. In the past I have purchased artisan papers, but more and more I’ve been using paper I’ve made myself with Clarksburg artist Jill Reinhold Jarom. As I continue that trend in 2011, I’ll also be looking around for plant materials in this area—particularly invasive species—as sources of fiber to use in making paper by hand. The exciting thing to me—in addition to the involvement in the environment—is that the material itself will begin to suggest and even shape the subject.”

And here’s Gerri’s answer: “Learning photography has been a wonderful journey in refining how to look at what I see and how to make an image that faithfully captures my emotional involvement. Much of that journey has involved acquiring technical skills and learning how to keep technique as the background support of my intent. In 2011 I’ll explore the challenges and possibilities of digitally layering images to explore the possibilities of reaching into the ‘mind’s eye’—recreating for the viewer my own experience in looking and experiencing the moment.”

The other day in a conversation at Tucker County High School with art teacher Linda Moser and principal James Hamric, they talked about one of their hopes for 2011: a beautification project in the school courtyard. The new approach they seek is student and public involvement in creating a piece of art as a point of pride in school and community life. They are eager to hear from any and all about what they might contribute to this project in terms of materials, design, and elbow grease.

Now here’s the point. Thoughts about the New Year are expressed as individual motivation, but we get our ideas and encouragement from each other. Other people would actually like to hear from you—from artists of any kind and from those who care about the arts in our community. What might motivate your art or your participation in the arts in 2011? What’s your individual answer to the question or to the challenge from the high school?

What’s new with you?

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About bruceandgerri

Bruce is a paper artist and Gerri a nature photographer who work from their Deer Run Studio in Tucker County, West Virginia.
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3 Responses to What’s New With You?

  1. Katie G. says:

    I’ve never really considered myself artistically inclined. Lacking gross natural talent and without the patience to practice something until I get it, like a musical instrument, my dabbles in art have been few and far between. Mostly they’ve just been doodles on the sides of a notebook.

    But what I do really like are stress relievers. I’m sort of a high strung person, and I need to find things that help me relax and forget about things for a while. The first one I found was running — taking an hour to hit the pavement or trails or treadmill and physically beat the stress from my body while my mind wandered. Then in college I took a ceramics class, which became a new sort of stress reliever.

    I like feeling productive in my down time, so playing with clay to make a (very lopsided) pot was right up my alley. Plus I could mush and mold the clay which is pretty therapeutic. Anyway, I started taking another class this year and hope to continue it into 2011. It’s such a different activity from most of the things I do and definitely a welcome break.

    So I guess in a round about way, what I’m trying to say is that art for me — how I incorporate it into my life — is as something to help me forget for a minute or two everything else I’m doing.

    PS Great post guys!

    • Bruce W says:

      Katie,
      You make some points that really resonate with me, particularly about letting your mind wander while running and liking to feel productive during your downtime. I used to be a runner and loved the way my mind would drift into uncharted territory. After retiring and finding myself with time that wasn’t structured by my job, I found great satisfaction exploring what I could do with my hands. It was productive, and like the physicality of starting and completing something. Now, the more I get into the multi-media paper arts, the more I am able to get to that state where my mind can wander freely, often coming up with unexpected results. I think I am happiest when I’m immersed in that process while listening to music. And while I still enjoy the satisfaction of completing things, I’m most fulfilled by the doing. When you say that while you have never felt yourself to be artistically inclined but nevertheless are drawn to ceramics, I think you are saying that art is a way of becoming. I’m committed to the belief that art in that sense is available to everyone. Thanks for your response.

  2. Pingback: Reaching Across a Divide | CreateTucker

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