letting it all hang out: the creation station.

Drawings, Paintings, Writing

balancing the creation station.

this weekend, Dan and i finally transformed our new place into a home by adding some finishing touches. one particular area that needed some extra TLC was our spare room.

when we were apartment hunting, extra space was a key factor in our decision. Dan is a music teacher rockstar and i have more paint than i’d like to admit. we both needed a door to close and a space to accommodate our creative needs.

the end result?

my own little space.

my own little space.

after stepping back to admire the space, i found myself wondering why we hadn’t done this sooner…and why i had never dedicated a place where my supplies were easily accessible. Dan pushed for our ‘gear’ being out in the open. “if you have to unpack something, or take it out of the closet, you’ll never paint.”

he was right. it’s easier to find an excuse when your paints aren’t staring you right in the face.

how creepy are these guys?

creepy paint #suedle.

after watching an interview with artist’s James Victore (from The Story Of Telling) i kind of figured out why i hadn’t prioritized this room. finishing this space would mean that i wouldn’t have an excuse. i was, as Victore puts it, “resisting what i needed most.”

producing and creating on a regular basis means letting it all hang out, having no excuses and preserving the space and time to do so.

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scribbles during the interview.

good thing i have three nice little shelves, a bunch of paint and a Dan to remind me that my work is a gift.

an exercision.

Paintings, Writing

on sunday morning, i participated in The Color Run held in Brooklyn, NY. The Color Run is literally my dream come true. it’s a leisurely 5k race, open to all levels of runners. the atmospheric excitement is a lot to handle as participants get ready to “race” through stations and have colored chalk thrown at them. the end result looks something like this:

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hi mom!

it’s addictive, exciting, and just a good environment – literally the perfect race. i would highly recommend participating if there is one nearby.

yesterday was a ton of fun for me. however, it was probably one of the worst races i have ever run. the heat and chalk made the environment difficult to breathe and it took a larger toll on me than i imagined. i wound up walking for a fair amount of the race.

after spending some of the evening pretty disappointed in my performance, i had a little revelation. running is a lot like creating a new piece to me. you can’t just pick up a paintbrush after a few months & expect your first creation to be genius material. and you definitely can’t sit on your couch for two weeks and then expect to run a 5k in 90 degree heat. if i train for runs, just like i ‘train’ the creative side of my brain, the outcome will show how hard i worked.

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a breakthrough piece in 2010.

i created many duds before i produced the piece pictured above. i believe this piece was created because i failed many, many times and pushed through that. when the time was right and my training was done, this piece was the result. if i want my running career to echo my creative one, it’s time to dig deeper.

on to the next race!

 

 

untitled

acrylic and marker on canvas

3 feet x 3 feet

fall 2010

perfectly imperfect.

Collage, Paintings, Writing

this one goes out to all the perfectionists out there.

i have never been the competitive type. there are half marathons medals hanging in my office, not for having the fastest time, but for race completion. i tend to be quick to reflect, not so much to judge. i have more faith in the journey more often than the destination.

i think some of those lessons came to at head during the creation of this piece:

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see that piece of string wriggling its way under the purple paint? that little sucker mysteriously made its way onto my work the day after i left it in the studio room to dry. to say that i was aggravated was an understatement at the time; my artist (read: personal) development was in a state of flux and i was trying to control it all as best as i could. i had finally gotten some positive feedback about my work and then this happens. it set me off.

i clearly remember my professor coming over and asking why i looked like someone had just stolen my lunchbox. as i started to explain why, i pulled a typical-sue move and started to tear up. he looked at me, smiled, and simply said, “things happen, you just have to embrace it.”

as we move towards busy season this year, this statement resonates with me in so many ways, both personally and professionally. mistakes are okay, random strings in your painting do happen, and yeah, it is important to embrace it – and then let it go. (isn’t the best part of an embrace looking at the thing you care about after you let go anyway?)

here’s hoping that the next few months are ready for some up close and personal embracing.

untitled
march 2008
five inches by five inches
acrylic and mixed media on canvas

vulnerability & the in-betweens: the draft strikes back.

Paintings

a few weeks ago, i wrote about a secret that i would like to share.

my secret is this; i am terrified to show you a piece before it is finished. this post was a first for me. editing your work can be tough, but allowing someone to see a draft of your work is a whole new ball game. being vulnerable is a messy business.

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my friend Lisa recently participated in a TED conference. if you haven’t seen her talk, please take a moment to check it out here. parts of her presentation really hit home, particularly the bit about being afraid to succeed.

when you draft a piece, and its ‘okay,’ you move onto the next and try to improve. but what if you create something amazing – something people love? you are recognized & expected to do just as good the next time around. you know you have it in you. failure isn’t an option.

vulnerability reminds us that it’s okay to slip up now and again. and that its okay to show the drafty side of yourself.

so, here’s my secret – my draft, all mine, in all its vulnerable draftiness.

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untitled
3 ft x 3 ft
in progress – february 2013
acrylic & mediums on canvas

touch & go.

Collage, Paintings

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my brother, sister and i used to play monopoly a good amount when we were younger. i played the role of the banker in almost every game. i am not really sure how that worked its way into this piece, but i guess that memory now has a colorful home.

sometimes, stream of consciousness in the creative process is just what the doctor ordered.

untitled
six inches x six inches
february 2008
acrylic, sharpie & tape on canvas

vulnerability & the in-betweens.

Paintings

all week i have been wanting to paint. you can only ignore the itch for so long before this happens:

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the concept of vulnerability and how difficult that state of being can be has been floating around in my mind lately. i gratefully blame the conversations in the #SAimperfection chat. they have sparked my imagination surrounding the topic in the last few months.

between my itch and my imperfections, i would like to share a little of my own vulnerability. below is a piece that in is draft form – i started it tonight. i have always been a fan of ‘raw’ art, but it certainly is tough for an artist to show something that they consider to be incomplete. that being said, i would like to share my creative process with you in hopes of displaying a little bit more of me.

enjoy the in-betweens.

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draft, untitled
3 ft x 3 ft
acrylic on canvas
in progress – february 2013

the sweetness.

Collage, Paintings

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i was asked a question on friday that stuck with me the whole weekend – how does creating art make you feel? it was a simple question that i had trouble answering. after rummaging around my brain and my apartment, i finally found the answer.

cathartic release is a term i use frequently when discussing art. however, most of my artlove comes from getting lost in the process – setting up paints, pumping up the music, and ‘working’ on a piece for the next few hours. i recently finished this book by John Green and his quote, “i fell in love the way you fall asleep. slowly then all at once,” perfectly describes how i fell for creating.

i fell so hard, i even shared my dessert with this piece.

untitled
five inches x five inches
march 2008
mixed media & paint on canvas

reflection.

Paintings

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reading through several reflection’s today (thanks Becca, Amma, and Chris) led to some unintentional thoughts about my past. being that the beginning of a new year seems to lead to these thoughts – wanted or not – i thought it seemed appropriate to share my favorite kind of reflection. the visual kind!

above is a piece of art i created five years ago. this piece is Untitled – as many of my pieces seem to be – and was created at a time when i was inspired by the size of a piece. this particular work is on the sue-sized-side of things.

enjoy.

Untitled
fall 2007
five inches x five inches
acrylic, glass, paper, and mixed media on canvas