Where will your art be in 80 years?

This postcard was made in 1932 by someone local to Patea. I think it is a lovely image that exemplifies how people saw Patea at that time. The image was sent to me by Ron Hughes from the Tauranga Postcard Centre; he’s a lovely dealer who sends me images from time to time that he thinks the readers of our community newspaper might enjoy. This postcard was mailed to someone in Australia in the 1930s and Ron found the postcard in Uruguay.

When the artist created this postcard cover almost 80 years ago could they have imagined it would still be being viewed 8 decades later? Did they dream it would reach Australia, Uruguay and then end up back in New Zealand – but also be published in a newspaper and on the internet? I doubt it somehow, after all, the internet wasn’t even a distant dream then.

As you create work do you have an eye to the future? Do you think about people viewing your work 80 years from now, or publishing it to mass markets in ways we have not even thought of in 2010? Or do you create for now, for the love of it, and without an eye to the future?

I guess for me the answer is both. I create because I can / must. I create for the joy of it and because I’ve things I can only share with the world through art. I do think about who may see the work, and how it can be shared, but I don’t have a very long-term view. All I can say is that I try to create the works with quality materials that will last, and in ways which don’t in themselves damage the world for future generations (such as being careful with chemicals).

Crusade #43: Text Messaging

Michelle’s challenge for the month over at the GPP Street Team site was to use found text in a page. As always, I was keen to have a go – the Crusades are a good way of trying out new ideas, and being reminded of old ideas you haven’t used in a while. Sort of like digging into the bottom of the tool box…

As many of you will now, I have a busy life. My pages reflects my desire to be more organised so that I have more creative time, and more time with Tony. These are both goals that came out of our trip to Dubai and Italy. The steps I’ve taken so far have helped, but there’s a long way to go yet. So, here’s my Crusade entry for the month, which is a page in my art journal:

Collecting other artists works

As an artist I love seeing other people’s work, and believe we should support each other. One way to support each other is through networks such as the NZ Art Guild, and on social networks like Facebook. Another way is to purchase other artists work if you have the means. I’ve limited funds to put towards artwork, and am very particular about what I buy. I made a decision a long time ago that I would rather have more works by less artists than a whole load of works by different people and I have stuck to that ideal. It hasn’t always worked; one artist I started to collect simply dropped out of the art scene for quite a time. They’re back now but I am not sure if they’re in it for the long haul…

Mixed-media artist Tanya Dann lives in the South Island where she is a doing her Masters in Forensic Textiles. She is an Admin Assistant for the NZ Art Guild and has a Certificate in Creative Studies. Anyway, I have enjoyed Tanya Dann’s work for two or three years now but had not bought a piece. Money, other commitments – all the usual reasons. Recently Tanya organised an exhibition in Dunedin that I sent some works too. My paintings didn’t sell and after the exhibition closed Tanya emailed me to ask if I would be interested in doing a swap. One of the pieces I had sent down was one she had commented on a  few times but could not afford to buy. Would I be interested? Heck yes!

So, I am now the proud owner of a Tanya Dann original and couldn’t be more pleased. I agonised over which one to choose. When it arrived and I opened the packaging I knew I had made the right decision. I haven’t hung it yet; we’re repainting my office soon and I’ll hang it once the room is finished. The work is titled ‘Layered’ and it’s in lovely greens, reds, browns and neutrals.  I think my office walls may end up off-white or cream so I can hang all my artworks. Now that I have one of Tanya’s pieces, I will add more over time.

Layered by Tanya Dann

For the record, the other artists whose works I collect are:

American born but London-based artist Tina Mammoser. Tina paints amazing works of the English seaside and has an ongoing project where she’s cycling round the British coast. I love her colours, and the feeling of depth she achieves.  I follow her blog because reading about her dedication to her work practice is very inspiring. Sadly the Kiwi dollar does not favour me buying work from the UK so I only have one piece at the moment but will definitely be adding to it. Maybe even this Christmas … Tony might like to buy me one? The piece shown is not the one I own but is similar enough to give you the idea.

The Boating Lake by Tina Mammoser

The other is American artist Martha Marshall whose blog I have been following for years now; I admire her passion for her art and generosity with sharing her knowledge. I started collected Martha’s work in 2006 and have 5 ACEOs and two slightly bigger pieces. Each time I buy an ACEO I get it framed exactly the same way so they all hang well together. Here are just two of them.

Framed ACEOs by Martha Marshall

Seeing inspiration in the everyday

There’s no denying that our trip to Italy and Dubai was inspiring; I will be looking at the photos for years to come. Sure exotic people and far off lands are exciting as an artist, but we can’t be forever on holiday (not with my luck at Lotto anyway!).

Much of my inspiration comes from the land around me – the buildings, paddocks, the distant view of Mt Egmont, the waves crashing into Mana Bay at Patea Beach. Places that are accessible and affordable to get to. I try to have a camera with me most of the time so I can take a photo when something grabs my attention, often because of the light. I have a semi-organised filing system on the computer for my photos and also save some to cd in case my computer ever dies.

These two  images are a digital combination of three photos; Mt Egmont, the waves crashing into the sand at Mana Bay and a cabbage tree at sunset. When I play round with the images like this I’m not necessarily wanting to achieve a particular end result. It’s more about knowing the subject, feeling comfortable with the shapes and just letting them seep into my brain. I know that I paint differently – better and looser – when my brain really knows the subject and can let go of some control.

NZ Art Guild challenge

This fortnight’s NZ Art Guild challenge was “Experiment with shape and colour to communicate meaning. Choose a sound and convey it in an artwork using a maximum of 3 colours (you may also use black and white in addition to your 3 selected colours)”. I use the Guild challenges as a chance to free up and have a play. These are the details I posted on the Guild forum with my piece:

Title: The (art) noise in my mind
Medium: mixed media – paint, ink, rubber stamps, coloured pen
Size: 210x135mm (in one of my art journals)
Colours: Red, blue, pale aqua

The writing  says “I need to spend time on my art each day or gradually the noise from all the ideas becomes louder and louder till I can’t hear myself think anymore.”

The (art) noise in my mind