Saturday, January 22, 2011

Defining Art

My friend and fellow rookie art therapist Aimee posted this on her facebook and it reminds me of a blog topic I have been sitting on: What is art?

So I've read a few books on art and creativity, because it's part of the art therapy grad school deal, but when I read about how art is defined by the snobbish and experienced with a great deal of anxiety and apprehension by the maker I think something along the lines of "What? Come on! Who thinks that? Why? What's the big deal about Art."

I have a pretty casual relationship with Art. We're so close, I wouldn't even call it Art, because that's too formal for the two of us. I'd call Art something like scooter pumpkin pants or sweetums... you know something intimate and gross due to our long love/like-quite-a-bit relationship.

So, what is Art, eh hem... uh, I mean scooter pumpkin pants to me? It's not a product or a practice. It's an emotion. It's a zone. It's like a sense of mania, without any of the trouble-causing parts. It's high energy and productivity focused on expressing something. How that comes out is based on our histories, skills, needs in the moment, available materials or whatever. That means if you hit that high coloring, you're with scooter pumpkin pants. Refinishing hardwood floors... scooter pumpkin pants. Making paella... scooter pumpkin pants. I'm sure some people who make a living creating Art that sells for thousands might find my Art theory completely offensive, but Art is relative in my mind. It's not so much about doing it well as feeling it well.

Good, bad, on exhibit, in the trash... so what? Just make something. Art or scooter pumpkin pants, it's all just semantics anyway.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kermit Vanderlederhosen

This is what I have been up to the last couple of days.

Kermit Vanderlederhosen
Socks, 2011

Kermit Vanderlederhosen is the sole survivor of the Royal Vanderlederhosens of Lufthansania. He is also a shifty-eyed cantankerous crapbag, egotistical and grouchy to his fluffy core. Although 127 years old, he can still throw a mean tantrum, which includes javelin chucking, operatic screeching and nostril biting. He is not a dude to cross, or even mildly annoy. It is best advised to hide when in his presence or, if cornered, just do what he says. His typical demands include groveling, macaroni and cheese making and bathroom tile scrubbing. 

Psychologists hypothesize that Kermit's poor attitude is likely a defense mechanism developed as a young Lufthansanian heir who was regularly bullied due to his youthful feminine appearance and flower birthmark on his right buttock. This has resulted in Kermit's need to maintain facial hair and never remove his single navy and leaf striped, jack-russell-hair, fighting legwarmer, a symbol of perpetrating rageful butt-kickings in Lufthansania.


Kermit is actually a three-dimensional "sketch" since I am trying to come up with ideas for the fiction part of the Fiction Project. I thought it might be more stimulating to just make something familiar and see what ideas it might come up. It seems I enjoy "dialoguing with my art" when my art has a sense of humor. I have a couple more characters in mind. Hopefully they can make it easy on me and come up with their own story, so I don't have to think too hard.

I'm feeling rather Dr. Seussish after this.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blast from the Past

This weekend has been a real pleasure, non-stop festival of joy and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible, because I tasked myself with organizing old images and stuff on my memory card. I found some scans of work from last year that I am going to post rather than think very hard or write about what's on my mind now. I also worked two overnight shifts in a row. I'm not feeling particularly bright at the moment. I'm just trying to stay awake long enough to go to bed at a reasonable hour at this point.

So here are my old sketchbook sketches based on theories readings.

Watercolor Pencil, 2009
Watercolor Pencil, 2009
(Reading Winnicott)
Existential Countdown 
Watercolor Pencil, 2009
(Reading Rollo May)
Watercolor Pencil, 2009
(Reading Winnicott)
Jarvis Experiences a Sense of Grounding in Pilates Class 
Watercolor Pencil, 2009
(Reading Freud)
Jungian Twins II  
Watercolor Pencil, 2009
(Reading Jung)
Watercolor Pencil, 2009
(Reading Neuropsych)

For my integrative final for my theories course I decided to create a sculpture based on what was going on in my head during the semester that looked like this.

And this part really does make me happy, no sarcasm this time... I got someone to agree to let me cast her face! Rhahhh ha ha ha!!!

WARNING!!! This is an example of a very terrible art therapy directive! You probably should not do this to anyone's face while in art therapist mode EVER, because panic attacks and ingestion of toxic purple slimy chemicals may ensue. My model was fully at peace, however, as you can see here.

It resulted in this...