30 April, 2024

On a bottom shelf in the corner of my studio, I have a collection of  accordion files that hold echoes of a life in the studio – ephemera, scraps, postcards, tear sheets, this and that, what nots. The physical archive is slowly dying out – I certainly don’t accrue like I use to before I had the world at my finger tips in my pocket. But even so, twenty-four years into the 21st century, I still seem to gather, store and sift through stuff.  

I use this archive in all kinds of ways but I often use it as a starting point, and this week feels like a I’m starting to slowly form some ideas for what’s to come. I pulled out a few fragments I want to play with and look at over the course of the next six months or who knows, maybe the next couple of years: 

  • the blue and green of Dr. Spock and Captain Kirk  
  • Lavender fields in France
  • Stacks of storage containers
  • Begonia red and oakleaf hydrangea pattern
  • Mark Morrisroe
  • Poppy in the rough
  • Copy machine glitch pattern
  • Line drawing over neutral wash
  • Painting with arched lines – neutrals with color
  • Colors in a Munich napkin – maps
  • Stack of circles
  • Still from movie Sweet Life
  • Note to self: drawing marks to canvas

I’m also thinking a lot about art and ambiguity.  

Someone recently asked me “what does your art mean?” and I was struck frozen like a deer in the headlights. 

It made me think back to a fantastic studio visit I had with a fellow Memphis artist who asked me so many great questions about my process and how I generate ideas.  Just before she left I said with relief, “We talked about so much but you never asked me what my work means.”  She shrugged, as though the meaning is obvious – it’s in the process and the meaning is ambiguous at best.  We burst out laughing. I’d never before felt so seen as an artist.