Thanksgiving Break is over. I’ve binged on chocolates and everyone else’s cooking. Although sick with a fever and cough, I was able to carve nine tiles in five days (and load two student bisques) for the upcoming Southern Sampler Exhibition making a grand total of eighteen southern-specific works. I needed to produce more than the thirteen promised pieces since I realized so many were Tennessee-centric. I’ve got locations, stereotypes, southernisms, and traditional crafts represented.
Before foot surgery I rolled 23 blanks out for flipping and compressing thinking that would take me through Fall and Spring semesters. Fortunately, I’ve been pretty darn focused (or don’t have a life while in art mode). I’m down to five tiles left and Fall 17 isn’t over. If only Thanksgiving break weren’t three days longer. I fantasize about what I could accomplish if I had sabaticle! The foot doctor is making me go back for another recheck to determine when and if foot two will be operated upon. I need to roll out another 200 lbs of blanks before that happens at this rate.
My hubby and I had a good talk. He is my harshest critic. We discussed the use of pattern and reduction of pattern. I’d love to hear what you all think about this as well as the narrative element. Do you prefer the more hidden narrative or obvious? Are you connecting with this series or more interested in the quick summary of exotic locations? What draws you in and holds your attention? Comments and thoughts are always appreciated. I want to grow.
If you would like the titles or translations of the southernisms, drop me a note. If you have suggestions for southernisms, “holler!”
Off I go to wash the dust off....
While most get to spend a holiday relaxing, I finally catch up on carving. It has been such a busy semester. Now that two of my students’ senior shows are up and craft sale items are fired, I feel the deadline for exhibitions approaching. The end of the fall semester is my major money-making moment funding my travels through mug and ornament sales. I’ll post all of my carvings completed over break on Sunday. Stay tuned!
I love Fall Break! I turn into the nastiest studio rat working all day and night catching up on carving. I live in my PJ’s, drink coffee till I’m jacked up and work like a dog only taking pup-bonding breaks. Below are some new pieces done thus far.
Home: Elmwood, TN, 2017
Middle TN: Shelby & Lynchburg 2017
East TN Music: Dolly 2017
Stay posted. There is a temporary pause on new art due to midterms & recruiting events. I’ll be in a grading hole with portfolios, exams, rubrics, and kilns to stack and fire. I only get two days off for break but I plan on working my tail off...and there’s tons of that!!!
Above is a picture taken by one of my students from our annual recruiting event, the LC Arts & Letters Day.
Tonight was bitter sweet. It was our last scheduled day to draw Etta before my student Allison’s senior show. Above are the 20 minute drawings I completed. I came into the class a bit on the edge with foot pain but quickly got lost in line and form. Drawing has the ability to wash your problems away. I’m hoping to get a group together to continue monthly figure sessions.
Back in the studio after surgery working on southernisms.
I’m as Nervous as a Long-Tailed Cat in a Rocking Chair Factory, 2017.
I’d love to give a huge thank you to all that sent well wishes including flowers, cards, and presents! I feel very fortunate to have a great support group. After almost a week of sitting in my butt, the foot doc said I can get back in the studio as long as I don’t lift anything. Today I’ve carved two pieces on southernisms. These two are some of my favorites. Above is “I’m as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a rocking chair factory.” Below is “You’re grinnin’ like a fox crappin’ a peach seed.” These two will be going to the Southern Sampler show in NY. Tell me what you think. I have a list of more southernisms but I’m about to go back to southern music influences. I’ve been researching piles of Dolly images.
You’re Grinnin’ Like a Fox Crappin’ a Peach Seed, 2017.
I always feel like I'm on an art high after a good session of figure drawing. My model, Etta, is an MMA juditsu fighter. Here are a few drawings from tonight.
I've been working myself into a hole the last five years. When I notice the pain, I push on through. It goes with the territory of being a ceramicist. Now I know why state schools pay for a part time lab assistant. Now I know why I had a work study job during undergrad strictly for making clay and tending to kiln shelves. Ceramics is tough on your wrists AND your feet. I've gotten plantar fasciitis and heel spurs from repetive heavy lifting in the lab. After four rounds of injections, it's time for surgery Monday on foot one. Wish me luck. I am on a lifting lockdown for three months meaning their will be a lot of scooting on a wheeled chair and finger pointing instructions to those around me. I'm not used to having to ask for help. Luckily I have @Sydceramics and @allisoninspires ready to show the rest of the students the way.
Below: Charleston, SC #2 9/24/17
I made several pieces for an upcoming group show called Southern Sampler but I ended up putting them into the show at Waterworks so I've begun again. I've got a lot on my brain and hope the NY audience will understand the humor in some of the ideas I'm working upon. I'm finally attempting some southernisms. That idea had been shelved for years. I'd love to hear your favorite southern sayings to see if I can render it.
More later. I'm just pooped. Worked in the basement studio of 6am till 8pm.
Above: That Dog'll Hunt (southernisms) 9/24/17
Tonight I took a student to Spartanburg to go to two gallery openings and artist talks. I was feeling guilt because I had been asked to do work during the school's Ren Faire but after meeting Susan Lenz and Christina Laurel, I wanted to support my new art friends. "Prolific" is one of the words that popped in my head for my impression of the artists. Both of these artists are in three...maybe four exhibits at a time!!! I am motivated to mirror their drive, determination and stamina. Go to art exhibits. Take your students, friends and family. Listen to their talks. Be inspired. In the words of @SusanLenz , "get work done...finish it!" My Mama used to preach that in two southernisms: "Talkin' ain't doin'" and "shit or get off the pot." Don't talk about wanting to produce art, do it. Don't gripe and complain about the struggle. We are going through it with you. Know that the stress is worth it all in the end. The completed work is the prize. I'm so pumped @allisoninspires and I made the trip!!! For more information on the artists in these exhibits, go to: http://www.susanlenz.com/default.shtml
Author: Carolyn Ford
Artist, world traveler, yarn spinner, and lover of random things.