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


Thursday, January 5, 2012

The flatness of last night's post troubles me; just as my work escapes flatness, I seem to be embodying it.  Despite my self-cajoling, I'm struggling to summon enthusiasm for much of anything and instead am acting as if.  It's more or less successful in that I'm meditating, running, in the studio, and accomplishing the necessities.  The imposed structure of teaching may command my time and attention, but it also helps me stay psychologically organized.  With less time to slosh around in my own thoughts (or slosh around at all), I seem to have more energy and a more positive outlook.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The semester finished before Thanksgiving, and once again the break has enabled me to get back to work.  I'm making new sculpture for the first time since 2007, before the Troutman Street loft vacate.  I'm using painted wire discards from 2007, which is a nice piece of continuity.

Liz Sweibel, Untitled, 2011
Thread, wire, paint

(It must be said: I gave it away last semester - gave too much of my time - and am resolved to set better boundaries.  Reading and answering college e-mail on weekends is self-sabotaging, and something I entirely inflict on myself.  The experience of being needed is so seductive!)

Liz Sweibel, Untitled, 2011
Thread, wire, paint

My friend Lisa Tubach visited last month and posed the right challenges.  Much of my work, including the pieces above, cuts right to it rather than remains in question for long.  It's opened and closed in a single session, avoiding extended uncertainty and discomfort.  So I began a more open-ended exploration:

Liz Sweibel, Untitled, 2011
Thread, wire, paint, paper, graphite
It doesn't feel so pat and I'm not even sure I like it.  I know I don't recognize it in the same way as I do the two above.  Extending the materials (even just to paper and pencil) opened the process to more possibility and anxiety (I'm so easily overwhelmed!), but I see that willingness as a good sign.  I'm not dead yet.

Also important:  the most authentic, realistic strategy is for me to prioritize exhibition opportunities outside NYC and residency opportunities around NYC.  It's a relief to see that clearly.  I've again made my home studio more functional and engaging.