Thursday, January 3, 2008

Reflection - Listening

[All quotes & images used by permission of the artist.] Shhhhhh. Shhhhhh. Yes, that's it, shhhhhhhhhhhh. Art is ingenious at somehow silencing, however eventually, the raw, the coarse, the blunt negative voices that hover in our brains. Shhhhhh. You see? They're gone! But what do we do with our open mental meadows after the dark weeds retreat underground? Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Shhhhhhh. It's all right to be still. It's good to be hushed and grateful for a moment. And then?
ASK YOUR ART: What do you want? Because it's not quite the same as asking yourself, "What do I want?" Strangely, our art is both ourselves, and not ourselves at all. WHAT DO YOU WANT?
The artist Vanessa Valencia was recently featured in the article entitled 'Paper Dancing' [Jan/Feb 2008 issue of Somerset Studio, pages 80-83]. No artist's work has struck me the way Ms. Valencia's beautifully elegant, dancing, and dressed paper-pieced women have. I wrote a list of words in my journal, in response, because individual words were all I could manage: silken. lilt. wistful. fragile. lace. breeze. sultry. womanly. airy. private. pirouette. multi-lingual. And those are just the first twelve of a list that went on for a page and a half in my comp book. Finally, I sent Ms. Valencia an email, asking if I could please [please! please!] use images from her blog for my own 'Reflection' series. Vanessa emailed me back almost instantly. "Oh Toni. You made my day, my week, my month, my year (hahahaha). That sounds positively perfect! Yes, you are given carte blanche to use what you wish from my blog for your little feature." And then I boldly asked for a quote, because while I loved the one in the article, I didn't want to steal from Somerset Studios. "Okay, let's seeeee ... How the paper dress girls came to be. One day I painted a girl ... and she swung so happily from a swing, but she felt incomplete to me. I always have papers and glue on hand. A thought popped into my mind! Paper dresses!!! And there you have it. I have not been able to stop since." Shhhhhh. Vanessa listened to her art. All of us have an artistic instinct which helps us sense when a piece needs more, or less, or when it's done. But LISTENING! ["What do you want?"] This allows the art to speak, to let us know, "I need a dress" -- when we might have believed it needed a kite and 2 birds. And when we've listened, we too might find ourselves unable to stop.

2 comments: said...

Oh Antonia, I love your outlook on art and our artistic abilities as individuals. Yes, we all have it, if we just take the time to listen... Cheers! ;) Vanessa (ps: Thank your for making me a part of such a lovely idea, truly)

Veronica said...

wow oh wow, is that just newspaper she used on the dresses.? I am so off to check her blog out. Those are amazing. How cool is that?

yeah toni