Saturday, September 5, 2015

Wabi sabi

This Fall is all about photography for me. I'm taking an online photography class called Camera Craft. Our first assignment is to post a photo expressing the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi. This aesthetic embraces and finds beauty in imperfection and impermanence. It emphasizes the simple, organic, accidental and incomplete and also invokes a feeling of solitude and loneliness. I've discovered the season of Fall is filled with photo opportunities of wabi sabi.

I took a walk last night in the drizzle, along the Rio Grande, with my sweetheart, taking in the lush result of a rainy summer in the desert. This is my wabi sabi photo:

Thinking about the aesthetic of wabi sabi I've thought more about my favorite photo subject written about in past blog posts- the old and decaying truck. And realized my love for this subject is really a love for the wabi sabi idea of beauty in aging, of authenticity in imperfection, and meaning in impermanence.

Often in making art I will see something as a mistake but as time goes by I see it as beauty. A happy accident of imperfection and chaos lending itself to a whole. I have a photo app on my phone called Diana. It will randomly combine 2 photos from my camera roll into one image and add an interesting filter to it. I get lots of hours of fun out of it. The random combinations resulting in more than the sum of their parts continue to amaze and bewitch me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Why create?

I'm thinking about a few quotes lately. This one from Georgia O'Keefe,
"Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant- there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing."

And this one from the just out, new Brene Brown book,
"Creativity embeds knowledge so that it can become practice. We move what we're learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands. We are born makers, and creativity is the ultimate act of integration-- it is how we fold our experiences into our being."

And this one by Robin Laws,
 "At times with art I feel like a mere passenger on a journey that I have no meaningful compass or ability to navigate. Art has been functioning as a portal through which all the disparate parts of my life and self are trying to connect"

I appreciate this idea of creativity making our inner unknown known and providing an avenue of integration for our experiences. And I love the idea of art being a portal through which we can connect the disparate parts of ourselves.  Many people express this idea about art and I believe it is true.

When I get too hurried integration fails to happen. Bringing the threads of my experiences together doesn't happen. The tapestry doesn't get woven. Stopping is so very important and so rich. Surprises always emerge. Just like in dreams. Creative time allows for a bubbling up of the unknown to then mull over and digest. For me this is fuel for self knowledge and a meaning.

This is why I stop and create. My mom is a creator/artist/maker with textiles mostly. This is one of her quilts. She has taken the time to weave the tapestry figuratively and literally bringing together the threads of her inner life in the form of her art.

This is a recent painting of mine- strange and ugly beautiful at the same time to me but you can be the judge for yourself. The process started with a sketch.

This was the painting beginning. 

And she evolved into this. Clearly Frida remains in my thoughts. Always a surprise.