Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Virgo Goes Back to Basics

Last week I wrote about my desire to strip my work back to basics as my friend Beth suggested (or, as she put it, "how about just painting something you want to keep?")  I wanted to go in a new direction, but wasn't sure how to get going. Being an ex-multitasker but practical Virgo, I was also thinking about how to come up with new work for an upcoming exhibit. I cleared up my studio, (always a good first step), reminded myself that I could keep whatever I made, and began. I put all my work in process up on the wall and decided to work on each one only as long as I wanted, so that I could flit from one to another much like the hummingbirds outside in my garden. What fascinates me now, a week later, is that by giving myself permission to keep the work, a strange paradox occurred. I was able to free myself of "Ms. Practical"  and instead, a more romantic, fanciful and humorous side of me found her voice. By the end of the week, I had accomplished more in a playful way than my alter ego, Ms Practical could ever have. Here is one of the pieces that emerged: April Rose, ©Hannah Klaus Hunter, 2010


  1. Right, if we are working only for ourselves we have fewer critics on our shoulder, fewer inner voices and doubts of worry over pleasing the "other(s)" out there.
    The words in this could be saying "Trust Myself"
    I like what looks like a combination of paper and fabric here. Can't wait to see the others.

  2. I have given myself permission to play all winter and had tons of fun with it. I feel like summer is when I have to go back to "work" and try to market and do production work and move inventory.
    I was moving into new mediums as well. My humor definitely emerged when I started doing collage.


  3. You know Lynn, this is going to sound funny. I really did cut the pieces of paper in the rose book at random! My goal as an artist is to find a way even when I'm working towards something--to maintain the strength of that connection to my inner self.

    Kim, It sounds like you gave yourself lots of room to grow in. How does it affect the summer "production" work? Do you see a connection there?

  4. How I love your collage!

  5. This IS a very romantic piece- not at all "Miss Practical"!

  6. Thank you Sigrid!
    Lynn--Yes, I know--and it feels good to let that side of me speak!

  7. Luscious! Very sensual.

    I only do art for the fun of it. I used to do shows and exhibits, but it's so boring...and such a big hassle. I don't make a living from art so I don't have any reason really to do art to please anyone but me. If something sells, cool. Mostly I give stuff away or I donate to fundraisers. Since I'm involved in dog rescue that means donating lots of work to the silent auction and so on.

    I used to feel guilty about this. I thought atht maybe it was a failing in me that I lacked ambition. But I'm not really lacking in ambition--it's just that my ambition is personal. I want to feel like I am making the stuff I am meant to make, to get into that creative zone. It's nice to get my stuff out of my house and into other people's houses of of course.


  8. I've been thinking about what you said Laura. On the one hand, like you, I don't make my living from selling my work, but instead by working with art as a tool for healing. Therefore, I don't have the pressure to sell my artwork. On the other hand, I want others to see my work--and to respond. And as soon as I think about that, I begin to alter the art, much as one would edit the thoughts in one's head before speaking--and yet I try to hue closely to that internal vein of desire that runs through each of us. It strikes me that I could actually make work about this with the titles: "on the one hand" and, "on the other...--and bring the conflict out in the open.

  9. I can't work for an audience. The minute I startthinkinng that way I freeze. It could be selfindulgence or it could be shyness. One thing I have learned to accept about myself is that I am an extreme introvert.

    Your idea of "on the other hand" is really cool. It would take a great deal of self knowledge to figure out the extent to which your work is influenced by what others think and the extent o which it is an individual act. But it's a very interesting idea.

    I don't have that much of a need to share except with Paul. I have written three novels, for example, that hardly anyone has read which is OK. (They aren't good novels!)My plan is to be famous after I'm dead like Emily Dickenson.

    I work with sick people, too, but I don't mix art with that. I taught art for two years but I was a lousy art teacher. I was a good special ed teacher, but not a good regular ed teacher. I just don't know how to mix art with my relationships with other people. Just writing on this comment thread is a stretch for me.

  10. Thank you for your honesty. That takes courage. It seems that you have a deep understanding of who you are and why you are making art--and have come to terms with it. For me, accepting my introversion is a continuous process which gets easier with each year--yet, I find myself still feeling out the boundaries, testing my edges. That's where the issue of showing comes in. I'm waiting for a "burning bush" moment, but I suspect it's more a work in process...

  11. Hi Hannah, I'm Diane--your newest follower. I found your website first--I admire your artwork so much!! BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for sharing your talent!

  12. Diane--thank you--it continues to amaze me how interconnected we all are through this invisible network. I'm glad you discovered the website too!