My former studio space has a new tenant!
Artist’s like to share their work with people, but sharing can take on multiple meanings in the day to day life and space an artist inhabits. Does your garage double as your studio and share space with bicycles, cars, and household necessities like mine does? I organize a garage sale each year to militantly protect my precious territory from ever encroaching outgrown children’s equipment that threatens my art space. My husband has graciously offered to make me movable walls for my studio to make my space seem separate and serene. May they expand and not contract. My former studio, which is now inhabited by my son now doubles as a guestroom complete with bunkbeds and CARS comforters. Guests must love children. I have also enjoyed participating in an open studio painting class at the Lawrence Arts Center from Louis Copt to stay connected with other artists while motivating myself toward deadlines. I must function in multiple working capacities to maintain my artistic life, but I am not willing to “let it go”. Give it up for the right reason or for a short time, maybe, but not just let it go… This creative life is something worth keeping and sharing. Sharing in a variety of ways, as mentioned above.
PRAYER CHAIN papercuts by Shannon White 2008
MAHATMA CADEN leftover tempera on construction paper by Shannon White 2007
Last year my son was in the hospital for a third of the year, so I had to be satisfied with sketching in my sketchbook, using his leftover tempera paint on construction paper to paint his portrait off of his palette during hospital craft time, scavenging and drawing on the backs of slightly used disposable hospital gowns, and finally letting Henri Matisse’s and Peter Callesen’s paper cuts inspire me to make my first small scale installation work out of construction paper. The theme and title for this installation was SIMPLE MEDIUM, and it already had its first showing. I am still transferring the year’s small sketches into large paintings and bodies of work, into finished drawings, multiple completed series, and finally beginning to show them. These challenges have inspired me to innovate, to expand my visual vocabulary to reflect recent experiences, to keep creating, expressing and sharing. I have three group shows in the next few months (KS, CO & Bleeker Street, NY), work in an Oklahoma gallery, a portrait I am finishing and am hoping to have some solo shows, soon. The past year was worth its weight in paint and relationships, shared time and space. In tight spaces and seemingly hopeless places, vision can thrive. The intensity of emotion, the condensation of concept, the urgency of expression can increase in these pressurized environments. Capsules of life emerge. Records of personal culture, inner turmoil, everyday life, the hope we hold onto surface and vitrify to be kept and read like cuneiform tablets preserved through fires. This very difficult process is how we determine what is truly worth keeping and sharing. May you all keep creating, living and sharing from whatever environment is available to us at the time.
FOUR FIGURES IN THE FIRE papercuts by Shannon White 2008