Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is this the Future, or the Past?

These new pieces, all small (8x8" or far less), are done on paper or on thin illustration board.

Since they are all experiments, I used whatever I had lying around for the base, giving no thought to how they might be mounted in the future. All I wanted to do was get ideas down as soon as possible and think as little as I could.

While I'm happy with these, I still don't feel like I'm ready to create items for sale. I don't feel I have found my place yet. I so want to break away from grids and right angles, but somehow I feel chained to them. I feel comfortable with them.

My fear of going in the wrong direction was increased about 10,000% after reading the latest issue of Somerset Studio magazine, and saw paintings by Jesse Reno:

Rain - by Jesse Reno

rain drops - magic in the water - left overs from a giant - a bears arms - hibernation - nothing is certain - shortfall - long run - windows all around - play the game by the rules even if it bends your judgment as they will do the same - they will teach you to be a bear and a shark - remember to be - when heart guides spirit - if it was finished there would be know question - it is finished

48" x 48" on wood
acrylic, oil pastel, pencil, collage $4000.00

Have a look at his website.

I was absolutely floored by his work. Such energy!!! Such freedom!!! What the heck am I doing then, if I am so inspired by this? How can I keep on going with the grid?

I'm wondering if I can translate some of my favorite fiber pieces to paper. Free it up from the grid. Add some spontaneous marks and painting instead of relying on just stamping.

Wise Women, 42 x 11" ©2009 Kim Hambric

Why does overlapping and spontaneity freak me out so much? Is it a fear of failure? A fear of making a mistake (or many)? Am I afraid that someone will yell at me for wasting supplies or making a mess? Am I just too damn repressed?

Am I so concerned about where I end up that I don't know where to start?

Where do I start?


paula said...

i can't speak for you but i know any fear about the unknown in art, for me is always about wasting time and materials. always.
i like your new work and comparing yourself to this other artists work is a waste of time. i get it but i'm telling you your style is yours and no one else can do WHAT YOU DO THE WAY YOU DO IT. i like their work but honestly...there is a lot of it out there like that. its great work, but i dont see what you are doing everywhere....keep that in mind. do what YOU want and not what you think you should.

Susan said...

Kim, I agree with Paula that this is YOUR style and you should not abandon it completely. You love grids and right angles. But if you want to break away from stamping, try exploring thrift stores, the outdoors, garbage and any other place you can think of for objects that you can incorporate into your work that fits into your style. You can start your base out of wood, an old cigar box, stretched canvas or whatever and build your piece from there using your papers, paints, fabrics and whatever else inspires you. Maybe to break it up overlap a bit more. But don't abandon who Kim is, because you are something special.

Martha C. Hall said...

If you're thinking you want to stretch and try something new, I say go for it. Paula is right, don't compare yourself to others, but if they inspire you to see differently that can be a good thing. You have a developed style and I don't think you'll lose that even if you try things 'off the grid'. If you're worried about wasting stuff, well Susan has the right idea - found objects and cheap junk mail paper etc. I don't think experimenting will waste your time though 'cause you'll learn or discover something new.
My vote is to try out some new things because you sound motivated and inspired. I look forward to seeing them on your blog!

Bridgette Guerzon Mills said...

Yeah, his work is pretty amazing, especially for those of us who like the grid. I am a grid person too. But I like the grid- I like the stability, the order, the repetition. Think about why you do grids, is it out of habit or maybe it's something deeper?
It would be fun to break out and do something totally different, just for fun! But just because something is different than the way you do things, doesn't mean it's better.
I've really been liking your new pieces. I sense more freedom in them actually. Maybe you don't see it yet, but I definitely do!

Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

Kim....your work is beautiful and there is much to be said for the grid....infinite possibilities! Maybe you don't have to let go of the grid at all, but let yourself play with it! I'm very drawn to work made with an underlying grid...Donna Watson (her blog is Layers) comes to mind right away and I've recently been drawn back to Agnes Martin, the painter who always worked with the grid. I know that torn place of wanted to make work like someone else and being disastisfied with your own. It's true, only you can make the work you make, but it can still evolve over's wide open...allow yourself to play. No one has to know and you don't have to show anything to anyone until you're comfortable. I think the answer is in just allowing yourself to play.

Sweet Mess said...

Sometimes when I feel stuck in a certain way I use a material that can be forgiving, and play with my fear. Often the painting will lead back to what feels safe, but in my heart I know what is inside it. And each time I take a new step towards unfamiliar movements it is a little less scary.

That said, your work and your grids are beautiful to me. Of course, it only matters if it is beautiful and fresh to yourself.

I took a leap into selling my art before I felt "ready" in terms of who and what I wanted to be as an artist. Sometimes I wish I had a more solid body of work~ a polished etsy store, and a greater sense of what my art is trying to say. But, I have never been that kind of artist.
I don't regret that leap, and it is always a journey. So many people have helped along the way for me, and if I hadn't put myself out there, I would never have known. I am sure a case could be made for solidifying your "brand" or style before selling, but it is interesting and raw to jump in and see where it leads too.

Gosh, who knew I had that all in my head. Sorry for the rambling...
Best of wishes for freedom from self imposed limits!

aimee said...

i used to look at boxes and borders as things that held me back from being spontaneous. i look at them differently now. they are defining lines that give me a place to start on my drawings then the pieces flow from there - and that's a kind of spontaneity in itself. but it would not have happened if i had just set out to go with the flow on a blank surface. sometimes you gotta have the girders!

but it sounds like you are ready to let something burst out of you, and that's good too. maybe try a totally different medium. that's what i do when i want to go totally spontaneous. i went bonkers with paint on a plain white mailbox yesterday and felt great. probably because i had no expectations. and i had a time limit.

i think it's interesting how many substantive responses you've gotten here. goes to show a lot of artists think about this. you aren't alone!

Unknown said...

You're great!


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Thea Belecz said...

I thought of you yesterday as I printed off a series of photos onto fabric using very expensive inks... for a new adventure into my fiber art. Waste of time? Waste of money? Oh yea, I think about it. And EVERY time I open the latest Quilting Arts I feel as you do - I see artists I think are way better or doing stuff I SHOULD be doing. Fact is, we're all unique in our style and no one else can do what WE do. And really, Kim, I LOVE your work and will likely buy it again! It is fresh and beautiful.