Wednesday, October 24, 2012

it's like riding a bike

Most people have heard of and probably used that simile before: learning x is like riding a bike, once you do you'll never forget how to do it.

Recently I spent an afternoon trying to teach my friend how to ride a bicycle. After a few mishaps and lots of advice from passing power-walkers ( sorry my bike seat does not go down lower, no matter how many times you ask me) I watched things finally click for him, and off he pedaled down the path and around a curve. Is there anything like the thrill of finally understanding how to do something, that light-bulb moment, the "ahh here I go!"

Making art is very much like that for me. A discovery or often a rediscovery, something I learned that remains as a muscle memory, ready for me to use whenever the moment presents itself. Skills do get rusty though, and like stiff joints they can add hurdles to reclaiming that bike like thrill. A few days after my bike teaching adventure I spent an afternoon making things because I wanted to, because I wanted to feel the heady feeling of stretching those art muscles and just going.

I sprayed a board with spray adhesive and drew lines with twine. 
(notice the drawing underneath that just wasn't going anywhere)

Then I sprayed a mixture of cheap black ink and sepia ink onto the board. I've been really into spray bottles recently.
I pulled prints from my twine drawing on nice blank paper

 The top 2 were dry prints, the bottom one I wet the paper first

 I did 2 prints on color photocopies of some of my distemper paintings

Then painted into my prints and original board
 gold sky!
More color and an abandoned space pack

The photos above are a bit blurry but show the gold in a way that the scanner just didn't pick up, which means I should probably go back and do a second coat!
simple and bleak
I can imagine going in with color pencil and getting some detail in to contrast the blurriness.

I took off some of the twine to see what kind of effect it would have, and while there are parts I like, I do want to work more into it- something needs to change with the white crater holes.

I'll be cruising around town and letting these and other ideas percolate for the next crafternoon.

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