The other day I responded to a question on Facebook by Renee Phillips of Manhattan Arts International. She asked artists to comment on the post “Dear Artist, What’s a favorite art supply, material or medium you love to use most and why.” People mentioned the richness of certain watercolors, the quick drying advantages of acrylics, the feel of wet clay among others.
I was in the process of designing a piece of art in response to the Collage Artists of America’s themed online show ‘It’s about Time’. We had been asked to interpret the phrase any way we chose. Bearing in mind the timeline on which this show was announced, I anticipated they expected may entries about the timeliness of the recent changes brought on by the #BLM movement. My thoughts however went to the words of a friend who is currently on a journey with cancer. She has progress and setbacks. Some things held in check, new things popping up. Extraneous issues like being self employed so ineligible for disability, annual changes in carrier by her spouse’s employer, who provides the health insurance, and of course the threat of covid.
The artwork incorporates some of her steps in the numbers on a handless clock, the extraneous issues in surrounding teardrops, and on the rods of the pendulums, her quote that inspired me: “I know that the cancer will take me, I just want some more time.”
So back to the question on Facebook. My response was that my favorite material was my imagination, it allowed me to create art in response to such inspirations and challenges as the one mentioned. Serendipitously in today’s reading from 365 Tao (Deng Ming Dao) is the paragraph: “Why concern yourself exclusively with the mechanics of a situation? That is like seeking an artist’s genius in the brushes; it is the mind of the artist, not the tools, that is responsible for the beauty of a painting.”
When I went back to find whether anyone else had posted an answer similar to mine, I found my comment had been removed.
I guess I think a little too far outside the box.
Aside from the fact that I’m slowly putting a lot of art up on my Etsy site (it’s amazing how much time it takes to pull everything out, photograph it in various poses and edit the results) I’ve been working on a fun book-length poem about hognose snakes, with illustrations. I can complete this amount of work because, it may not surprise you to learn, everything else is cancelled.