Thursday, August 5, 2010

3SIXTY5 for Monday, August 2: Organisms

Today during lunch, I crossed two of Pittsburgh's many bridges (should've only been one, but I took a wrong turn) and went to Arvey's on the North Side, purveyor of all kinds of commercial papers and other goodies for the printing industry. I've been shopping there since the 1980's. I wanted some archival, 100% cotton rag  paper to play with in my color printers, and some acid-free printer paper in a nice warm, ivory tone.  I also found some translucent 30 lb text vellum in 8.5 x 11 sheets!!  I used the vellum and the ivory papers for tonight's collage (yeah, I'm 2 days behind. Blame it on my best friend's wedding this past weekend, which was a blast!) I am not unhappy with the results, but the vellum didn't perform the way I'd hoped. It buckles like crazy and is very difficult to glue down, unless used in small pieces. It also has a tendency to turn dark where it is glued. Thus the text piece in Organisms is well-glued only under the other images. It worked much better in smaller pieces. I love how you can see through the dragonfly's wings.

I also got some protective acrylic spray to use on my earlier pieces, made B.X. (Before Xerox--my son found a color laser printer for me on Craig's list for an incredibly reasonable price) because the inkjet images will fade pretty rapidly without UV resistant treatment. Since I'm now offering many of these collages for sale on Etsy, I want to do my best to make sure they'll hold up over time. I opened my Etsy shop last fall, in a rush, but didn't really put in much inventory until last month. I haven't sold anything yet, but I've gotten a great response from the other sellers! My shop's been hearted by several people and 3 of my collages have been included in Treasuries (temporary galleries of selected items from other sellers), which is good publicity. I want to make a Treasury of my own--I've discovered some awesomely inspirational work on Etsy--but I'm still learning all the ins and outs (of which there are many) so haven't gotten to that yet.

I've realized that a lot of my 3SIXTY5 works are just exercises. Due to the self-imposed daily deadline, I can't spend the kind of time I'd like to on these collages, to really explore my ideas and take more care over production. So I've come to think of it as sort of heavy-duty sketching. Instead of just roughing out my idea, I actually go ahead and  Make the Work. Total commitment! I think the results are, on the whole, reasonable, sometimes quite successful, and only occasionally totally disastrous. It's been interesting to lock myself in this artbox every night and watch and feel myself thrashing around in agony as the hours pass and the tiredness punches me in the head and I keep pushing to bring something forth, then rush to scan it and post it to this blog. Which is why there is sometimes no text to my posts. Fortunately, not all my evenings follow the above pattern, otherwise I'd probably give up! On the whole, I am enjoying this and look forward to my daily art-making.

I look forward to revisiting some of these pieces later on when I'll hopefully have the time to develop their potential (and my own.) I've tried to imagine how I'll approach art-making post-3SIXTY5. I know I'll never again go for years without being serious about my artwork--I've reached the age where I measure time in years instead of decades, for one thing. And I don't think I'll ever again be paralyzed by facing a blank piece of paper, board, canvas, whatever. Here's to the future!

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