Monday, April 13, 2015

Everyday Inspiration : Blue Light Abstract and Ponderings

 Blue Light Abstract (1)

This was a broken glass bowl that shattered on the kitchen counter recently.  
I purposely moved the camera as I took the shots to blur and streak the color.

This one kind of looks like a school of flying fish jumping and leaping --
like in the fountain at the Detroit airport. (Gosh I love that fountain!)

As I get older (into bifocals now, so maybe it's just harder to focus), I have more and more appreciation for abstract art -- especially textures.   Color, texture, movement, even a mood.  They can be quite complex with many layers incorporated.  And yes, they can have an emotional impact, too.  But sometimes, I just want to settle down and enjoy the abstract -- the colors and the textures without a big important and heavy message to change the world.  I don't have to DO anything with abstract textures.  I can just enjoy them.  Sometimes, I just want the Calm. 

I used to think -- What's the point of abstract art?  What's it's trying to tell me?  What's the hidden meaning?  Maybe there isn't any -- maybe it is just a feeling -- calm or chaos, or something else ... 

I've been thinking about the emotional impact of my photography -- or rather, how to get it?  What makes some pics get so many likes, and others barely get any?  Not just mine ...  In some of the photography groups I'm in, some of the posts are really wonderful--well composed, well-executed, well done--a complete package, yet they hardly seem to get noticed.  Some are just blah, and they still get lots of likes.  Maybe it's who you know, or how you market it?  It's all in the networking and connections these days, right?  Maybe this Like-economy isn't all it's cracked up to be?  It's not really a popularity contest, or is it? 

There are times when I've really done it well--gotten that emotional impact that connects with other people.  The barns seem to do it -- Is that because people get sentimental with a past that is no more.  With barns falling down around us, they are no longer the center of most rural families' livelihoods. When I do manage to hit that holy grail of emotional connection in my art, either I know it and love it myself, or it looks and feels so foreign, I barely recognize it.  

Other times, I make something, and I absolutely love it, and no one else seems to notice or care.   Maybe those are the times that I myself may know the emotional impact of a piece which is why it's so powerful in my own personal mythology, but doesn't quite connect with other people who don't know the full story.

Other times, an image or symbol is so iconic, it connects with people because the myth or stories about it are so well known, it's almost a cliche.   Those are things that need no introduction, as everyone knows the context. 

I do know that I don't hit that home run of great art and emotional connection every time I finish a piece.   In reality, no one does.  Maybe I just need to do more work to hone my skills in whatever medium I'm working in?  Ira Glass, Patty Smith, and Neil Gaiman [Sheila -- Pay attention to the NG link.  There are some gold nuggets for you there, too.]  say : Do the work.  Keep putting your stuff out there.  Hone your skills.  Make good Art--with a capital A. You'll only get better ....  It just takes time to master these skills.  It's not a contest.  I only have to be better than I was.  And I see the progress I've made over the years -- just look back at all the stuff in over 700 posts on this blog.  I am always learning, developing a sense of composition, and what works, and what doesn't (I don't post the disasters too often--I'll spare you that!)  Good taste.

And I have to ask myself : Why am I doing this?  I'm not seeking to make a living from my art.  I do it because I have to ...  If I didn't make stuff, I'd go crazy (Been there, done that in post partum days.  Not a happy place--and not a good place for my family, either.)  It brings me great satisfaction to know I've brought something beautiful into the world--my work.  My process.  My journey to make it real--whatever it is.  And in the end, the only one who needs to like what I see, is ME. If someone else likes my stuff, that's just icing on the cake.  But not expected.  Just me in my own little world.

Then again, part of the point of Liberate Your Art is to put your stuff out into the world and to share it with other people.  Kat had another project called The Photo-Heart Connection --- those photos were not necessarily great art, but they did require a heart connection.   Two very different things.

There's a skill to putting out what people will like (and be willing to purchase) vs. just doing what pleases me.  I'm not about to start posting LOL Cats or Hey Kitty-type cutesie stuff, so it's good I'm not counting on my art to make a living.   I don't do cutesie.  Still finding my voice ...  and I don't think it's in still lifes either -- at least not at the moment.  

Maybe my work just hasn't found it's audience yet?  Kind of an ugly duckling scenario (Weren't we talking about personal mythologies a little bit ago?)

Blue Light Abstract (2)

Although the texture pieces can be layered into other photos, sometimes it's just nice to look at them on their own merits.  They hold their own.  This one is kind of like shooting stars, or a meteor shower.

I do know that I'm feeling more comfortable sharing my abstract texture pieces.   It's a chance to just BE and not have to DO.  Breathe and enjoy these quiet moments, and quit talking so much!  That feels like HOME these days, so come on in, sit down and have a cuppa tea with me ... We don't even have to talk -- just bask in the blue and golden light of these new textures.


Anonymous said...

The blue abstraction
is very nice, good combo of colors. Almost makes me glad I broke that


The Idaho Beauty said...

What an excellent post - so many things I could respond to but I think I would just be repeating what you have so perfectly said.

I struggle too with trying to understand why some of my artwork or blog posts seem to produce nothing but crickets while others unexpectedly generate comments. Maybe I've just posted on a bad day for the viewing public, when they were positive about what they were seeing but too tired or too busy to say anything, or perhaps felt no response was necessary or that they couldn't think of anything special to say. Who's to say why people react the way they do? So many reasons.

I'm even more puzzled by what generates likes and especially comments on my Facebook page where I rarely post about my art. Such a different audience, such different expectations. I try not to let any of it influence me too much anymore, like you, doing it more for myself than for raves. But a key part of doing it for myself really is the sharing with others, and it's nice to at least occasionally get a little love back. ;-)

I think about my time in school, never feeling very popular and wondering what that key ingredient was for the girls who were. And then I look at where some of them ended up and think, well - I didn't do so badly after all... And I also must remember that while I was feeling unpopular, I had a close group of friends that weren't mainstream popular either and they were the best at supporting me. So perhaps popularity is a relative term. You're very popular with me!

twil123123 said...

Most excellent post Michele, so much to contemplate! It is nice to connect with so many fantastic artists through LYA.