Ms. Muse and I along with one of my friends went to the infamous NE Minneapolis Art-A-Whirl (an art crawl) this past weekend. During the foray sometimes I pushed and prodded Ms. Muse to join me in the studio and at other times, she excitedly swept into the space and squealed with delight at her new discoveries. Unfortunately my friend was so engulfed with the new experience; I did not have time to get her together with Ms. Muse for any in depth conversation.
What I did notice was Ms. Muse’s total lack of enthusiasm for anything created as a flat two dimensional piece. I was absolutely shocked how quickly she tired of the black and white photography. I did manage to get her into a couple of studios in the beginning of the day, but now that I think back on the whole Art Crawl expedition, she literally wanted to run by them. No, wonder I never had any real success in creating new exciting work with the medium. What she commented on was the total lack of creativity she found in photographing yet another dilapidated building, barn or some rusty Minnesota prairie icon. At one point I caught her reflection in the glass of a framed photographed barn and she placed her index finger against her nose and twisted in the American Sign Language symbol for boring, stuck out her tongue at me then ran off into the hallway completely mesmerized a huge hanging wire fish mobile installed in the hallway.
When we began the crawl, she fell in love with a lovely eclectic prayer card and it is now hanging upon my refrigerator. At another point we talked with an artist who in her own words was jokingly “squatting” in the warehouse corner. She was actually teamed up with another member in the NE Artist Association. This "squatting" artist introduced us to Christians in the Visual Arts organization (CIVA) and Ms. Muse whispered in my ear, “Perhaps there are more visual stories we can wrap around these Christian ideas?”
During two points of the trip she discovered a hopscotch grid and tried to engage a game for our amusement. One hopscotch grid was in a very large two dimensional mixed media piece, which she enjoyed because it had three dimensional found objects affixed to it. The other hopscotch was actually chalked on the steps to on of the warehouses entrance and she did hop, hop double hop her way into and out of the building.
All in all Ms. Muse was extremely satiated and our “Feed the Eyes” art crawl outing for the NE Minneapolis Art-A-Whirl art crawl.
The brick wall and Lady Liberty are dry enough to paint. I will add the royal icing as filler and will spray paint them this week.
Ms. Muse has been extremely quiet the past few days…. Sometimes she is very selfish and forgets to tell me when she goes on vacation. She usually disappears for a few days to recharge her batteries after we have had some intense brainstorming games. It must be one of those times.
I am hoping to see her sometime this week to talk to her about the cockroaches from Animal Planet.
The stand has been purchased! It is not what I had envisioned but sometimes these little surprises turn into happy compromises.
Last evening I went into my creative zone. It is an intense time where what is happening around me does not matter and the only thing I see is my vision.
Lady Liberty part of the "American element" and the wall were created and are now drying. They are at the ugly stage of conception for The American Melting Pot sculpture. This is the point in the creative birth process that I hold onto my faith and vision tightly, because if I don’t I will abandoned the piece, usually the next day when I look at it with fresh eyes. Hopefully my very ugly, bald headed, toothless, drooling, rubbery infant creation will start to emerge as a butterfly.
My next sequence will be to paint it and then start creating the other visual elements as the "melting element" to the piece.
I’m not sure if other sculptors have issues about sculpture stands, but I am not sure what type to use for my new sugar piece. For my Sacred Heart I figured the stand was the piece of the sculpture that was actually going to be used to hold up the sugar and wood was the best logical choice.
The American Melting Pot has me flustered. I have checked out creating a candy "plate", or buying flat marble, acrylic trays, plastic bins, tile, or flag stone and I am now more confused as ever. Next is the big super do-it-yourself stores where I will walk around in a daze not knowing which way to turn. This decision really needs to be worked out in advance and not look as a complete afterthought. Sometime the piece even needs to be created around the stand/support structures.
I’m so very lost and Ms. Muse only comes out to play when the idea is being created. I really could use some of her advice right now.
The design for “America the Great Melting Pot” has been worked out with Ms. Muse and all the material has been purchased for the sugar sculpture. The only thing left is to actually create it. I will begin with the piece this evening. The “brick” wall will need a few days to dry out before I am able to manipulate it in any fashion. I believe I will paint it also…….so back into the studio for a stint.
Ms. Muse gets very bored easily. She fidgets and turns, she twists and bounces. Very seldom does an actual television program capture her attention. She once told me television was a middle-of-the-road, common place entertainment babysitter for adults and children alike. I replied, “Yes, but some pieces created with the mediocre video or film turn out to be the some of the most interesting things.”
“True.” She quipped, “but it takes so long, and has too many commercials to get to that point with a majority of the creative endeavors.” I gave up the argument and handed her the remote control, “Fine, here switch to something that interests you,” I said.
Ms Muse flipped the channels until she landed on the Animal Planet. “Look at those bugs!” She was very fascinated. Ohhhhhhhh, cockroaches! She asked, “What could we do with cockroaches?” She turned and looked at me and asked her eyes large and dilated with excitement, “And what art shows do you see coming up on the horizon.”
I am working on “America the Great Melting Pot as you know,” I said. She rolled her eyes, and in her most prissy voice whined, “I know, that is completely done and created in your head and we can actually see it finished. Now all you have to do is make it and that is that,” she sassed while brushing the invisible crumbs from her hands and looking at me as if to say, “Done with that project and onto the next one.”
I wasn’t sure where she was going with the cockroaches from the Animal Planet, but I’m sure it will be interesting; the television program was forgotten and she was talking a mile a minute with new ideas popping and our world was once more electrified.
Ms. Muse tossed her rock into square eight. Hop, hop, hop, double hop. She picked up her rock and hopped back again.
“Your know Ms. Muse, we can’t have a plain white wall for Lady Liberty formerly known as Cowboy. Right?” I said.
"Mm hmm”, she agreed and nodded.
“I was thinking that the back side of the piece should be a brick wall with graffiti.” I broached cautiously, however she was winning at Hopscotch so she would be more agreeable than usual, “and I have a saying to spray paint on the Lady Liberty sugar sculpture.” I tossed my rock onto the square.
I turned slightly to watch her face and said, “What do you think of saying, All the Warning Signs Were There & Nobody Cared?” I asked as I hopped two, three, four pick up my rock, turn around and look at her again and hopped back.
“Wonderful!” she was so delighted in my plans she actually clapped her hands together. “Then let’s spray paint a wavy flag and the words United We Stand on the other side.
I never actually asked her about the donkey’s colors the other day….but I could see she was not very interested after the wavy flag decision. It’s a done deal I thought. All that was left was to actually create the piece and she is hardly ever interested in that process.
“Ms. Muse” I said, “have you thought about the show called Dirty Little Secrets yet?” Oh yes, she replied, but we need more time, I will come over to play a new game with you and we can talk about it. Right now, I won at Hopscotch, because you step out of bounds.” And so I had. Goodbye, we will play later.
Hey Ms. Muuuuuuuuusssssseeeeeeee, where arrrrrreeeeee youuuuuuu?
I want to tell you about another call for artists for a show call “Dirty Little Secrets.” Haven’t we created pieces in installation photography around this theme? Margot Asquith once quipped, “She tells enough white lies to ice a wedding cake.” Wouldn’t that make a great theme about little secrets?
Ms. Muse came over to my house today. She wanted to swing on the swing set and see if we could touch the clouds with our toes.
“See that big, fat, fluffy cloud over there?” I pointed at it with my toe as I went up, up, up meeting the sky. Ms. Muse giggled and said, “Yes, I see it.” “That cloud looks just like a cookie elephant for our new sugar sculpture.” I stated.
No, no she shook her head and stopped swinging. I dragged my feet and stopped swinging also.
“Maybe,” she started twirling her swing this way and that, “maybe it looks sort of looks like a melted white chocolate elephant instead of a cookie.” Then she smiled. It was the brilliant dazzling smile of one of her secrets she shared.
“Hmm, what about a tiny bit of color…a little blue and a little red so it is not all white?” I asked. “Yes that will do.”, she mumbled over her shoulder as she ran home, because she was done playing with me for the day.
Thank goodness that is settled I thought and started thinking of all the chores left for me ……but at the back of my mind nagged the question, “Would she agree that the donkey would be white with a bit of blue and red also?”
Ms. Muse wanted to play with me on a new piece. It is an artist’s perspective of America.
I suggested cookies shaped like the political symbols for part of our sugar sculpture and she declined. She thought we were getting a bit fat. But now she was “IT” and we played our game of tag……she ran and laughed and then thought she would introduce the Cowboy into our game to add more fun. He was hidden in a bronze sculpture. She pushed him forward and said, “What if we create a new sugar sculpture like him and turn this Cowboy into Lady Liberty?” Then she shoved Cowboy into me and shouted, “Tag you’re IT!”
Now I had Cowboy in my hands and I turned him this way and that. Yes, Ms. Muse was right. He would make a great Lady Liberty. But I still want my donkey and elephant cookies. Should I throw a tantrum I wondered? Sometimes she wants to play the game with only her rules and other times she will share my rules.
“What mood was she in today?” I thought.
Ms. Muse, I yelled over to her, I still want my cookies along with Lady Liberty. She laughed at me and over her shoulder she yelled back, “But they will break.”
Yes, she was right.
Tired of the game, I grabbed Cowboy by his bronze stand and told her we were going into the house. We can play later.
Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to draw and play with her imaginary friends. Many people including her best imaginary friend Muse, told her the pictures were lovely and that she was naturally creative. Then she grew up.
When she went to art school, many, many people were more creative, more talented and better equipped at this art thing then she. The little girl who grew up tried ceramics, paper making, drawing, watercolor, oil paints, video, film, and finally got her BFA with photography and all the instructors were exacerbated and glad she was finally leaving. She was a mediocre art student at best, a half – artist fledgling who had some potential.
Over the years, she tried to keep up on black and white photography and she worked a big project or two and showed her work a couple of times, but knew she was an average run-of-the-mill photographer. And she was very lonely. There wasn't anyone to talk to about her average oh-hum pictures. Eventually the photography product became too difficult to find and purchase. She eventually stopped creating.
Her imaginary best friend Muse came back home to stay and got very angry.
The Muse chased, tormented and teased her for years, until one day the little girl who grew up saw a program on the television about cake sculptures and thought, “Hmmmmmm, I could do that.”
She suffered through some miserable local craft store classes and thought, “Why?” Her Muse gored her onward teasing her with promises of lovely creations. Finally she signed up for a special sugar cake sculpture and she was excited, that was until she saw the class prototype. It was ugly and she cried.
Hating her Muse and her desperate desire to create something worthy, she planned her own similar cake sculpture and then made it. It turned out nicely and was a decent attempt to create lovely things again. She has never looked back.
Everyday, her Muse whispers fresh new innovative ideas and thoughts into her ear. And they share secrets. She knew that Edgar Degas stated: “"Everyone has talent at 25. The difficulty is to have it at 50.” The little girl who grew up just turned 50. The two of them, the little girl who grew up and her Muse are dancing to the song of creativity. She is very happy with her lovely pieces and finds others are inspired also.
She and her Muse live happily ever after while creating lovely sugar sculptures with lots of newly found 50 year old talent.
Yesterday I delivered my Cake of Soap to the Altered Esthetics gallery for the upcoming show “Art for Other Senses”. I created a cake based on an antique box of Ivory soap working with a play on words. This show really intrigued me and even though it was actually my first application for submission to a call for artists’ entries it was my third piece in an artist show.
The whole system fascinates me. The show I had my Ninygo Artist Doll in Mora last November was a juried show, meaning there were show awards but was open to all artists. This show with my Cake of Soap is a selected show, meaning the gallery had to select my work. The show with my Sacred Heart is a selected/juried show, meaning my piece was submitted and selected for the show and the show also had awards. Whew!
For my Cake of Soap, I created an actual cake sketch and photographed it and was thrilled when I was selected for the show about a month ago, prior to my submission and subsequent opening of the Sacred Heart Sugar Sculpture for the Christian Art Festival last week. On the artist “Call for Entries” The gallery printed,
A familiar smell can trigger stronger memories than a picture. Our fingers can sense tiny details our eyes cannot always see. Music and sound have been said to reach the deepest parts of the soul. And yet, most noted artworks address primarily a visual aesthetic. Altered Esthetics would like you think outside the visual box and join us as we hold a truly unique and innovative exhibition, "Art for Other Senses."
The "Art for Other Senses" exhibition will focus on interactive artwork developed not around sight, but around smell, touch, taste, and sound. Special features of this exhibit include art you are encouraged to touch and art you can smell, “Art of Coffee” and “Art of Wine” cuppings and tastings and a variety of music and sound studies!
I thought sugar art was particularly well suited for Art for Other Senses and especially a cake.
For some reason, I have gotten very bold and thought why stop there? Why waste your education? Your have found a medium that is truly sensuous and fascinating at the same time. So, I have researched several possible avenues to show my work and will be very busy with upcoming deadlines.
As an alternative sugar artist, it is my intent to surprise and delight my audience with sculptures that depart from everyday boundaries, thus creating rich dialogue around objects of edible art.