Martha's Blog

looking back

In my studio this week I have been playing with some things that I still have left from my MFA days.  I kept some remnants of projects from those days as there was still something resonant in them for me, and I just couldn't let go (okay, I am a little bit of a studio pack rat).  Between working on some new paintings I revisited them, and am thinking of making a new piece from the parts I have left.  Here is one version I am considering:


These are ceramic "pears" I created and fired in a pit over 20 years ago, along with some old wooden foundry patterns that were used to make a dam in Oregon.  Here is another version:


So what is it that I am responding to in these?  I like the shapes and colors against the dark background.  I like the repetition with variation.  In my paintings lately I have been using more dark colors, contrasting the bright colors I usually work with against a dark area painted with browns and deep blues and reds.  The colors really pop when a dark is introduced.  I am also incorporating more definitive shapes in my paintings.  Perhaps this is why the shape of the "pears" is so appealing to me right now.

When I am done with this piece (if I decide to make it) what will I do with it?  Probably live with it, enjoy the playfulness of it, the contrast of it, the memories it contains.  I will make it for myself only.  This is part of being a creative person I think, allowing your ideas to stretch in all directions, forward and backward.  Letting the muse take you where she wants to go.

Do you allow yourself to follow creative paths that might lead you to make something that doesn't fit in with the rest of your work in style or content?  Do you ever work in ways that you use to when you were first discovering something or experimenting in your early days as an artist?