All original images and text are copyright 2008-2018 Liz Sweibel


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Change Default

My default thinking is about my jobs:  constructing a final exam for my art class in my head, making a mental note to talk with my boss about staffing.  While I'm fortunate to have jobs I largely enjoy, I need to be in my work when I'm not in the studio ... to have the studio be my default.  Getting traction feels nearly impossible.  I have to start up again every damn weekend.  I'm rarely building, and the pressure of time works against random experiments and having more than one thing going on, which is how I work best.

What to do?  I'm not writing just to bemoan or observe, but to strategize.

I've been thinking of taking my own photos for the collages for awhile.  My cell phone camera is too limited for anything more serious than Flickr.  I have a good, though bulky, studio camera.  And my sculpture?  There's no motivation to make it in the studio space I have without a site to install it.  The videos on my Web site are the form it's taking.  I want to keep that going.

I need to commit to (1) carrying the camera anyway; (2) finding the discipline and reserves to work one or two nights during the week; and (3) calming the hell down about being 52 and still struggling with identity and fearing the struggle won't be productive and I'll be writing the same blog five years from now.

OK then.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Of Postcards and Birds

I wait all week for time in my studio, and this weekend is a good stretch.  As it's turning out, a good stretch to be discomforted at not knowing what to do, at seeing every move as forced and superficial, at fearing there won't be any potency and it'll be Monday again.  The collages feel stale (again).  I signed up for a postcard show to nudge myself into working bigger.  Yet a 4 x 6" field offers no entry point, whether untouched paper or a piece of architectural drawing.  It's anonymous, like there's too much space for a small gesture to have an impact, yet a larger one is false and vacuous.  It's like going to a big new city and having no idea what to do, or even what there is to do.

I've considered an accumulation of small gestures and feel ready to move back to work; I'm just without a vocabulary - though birds now come to mind, given last week's events.  And my adoration of the Brooklyn parrots that live near me.