Jan 29, 2009

Symbolism and miscellanea . . .

Long post . . .

I hang myself up with symbolism usually. That's the battle with being trite I go through. I know I am, by nature, trite in my work. Either make it too obvious and over the top or incorrectly assume everyone knows what's going on in my weird and busy head and no one gets it and then I just appear strange. Anyway, I am having the most fun, slow fun, but fun exploring the Zetti world and finding my own Zetti forms. Here's today's piece, and yes, by slow I mean it took me almost all day, off and on, to get it all pulled together (some of you prolific folks are probably wondering why the heck it took me so long to make this little piece). I'll tell you about the symbolism after the picture. (you can click on it to see it larger)

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 1.29.09
5 x 7 collage using a vintage picture, reprinted, carefully trimmed and hand-colored and arranged with eggs and dress using pieces from paperstreet.etsy.com, wings used with a license agreement with Butterfly Utopia, shoes, and hands from the public domain, crown from lisasalteredart.etsy.com, and flowers from Dover clipart. The background is a 100 year old encyclopedia page. The title and trim were originally made.

Symbolism for this piece . . .
  • Well, it's probably obvious that she's walking on egg shells meaning that finding balance in life is sometimes a delicate matter.
  • Her hands use the "om" posture symbolizing self-reflection to find your center of well being, your heart and what it says to you.
  • She wears red shoes like Dorothy to communicate the importance of home.
  • "Fig. 43" comes from my age and my figure is very similar to hers!
  • The background is an old encyclopedia page about chemistry. As if there is some formula to finding balance.
  • And, the flowers reflect the balance every woman needs to find to keep everything going for everbody else in her life. For instance, you are about to get too much information, but I was able to finish and scan this piece, upload it, and write about it whilst doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, washing dishes, and cleaning up after my 17 year old throwing up every 20 min. with the flu. (Yes this part does not go away the older your kids get - they need "mommy" when they are sick. "Shouldn't you take my temperature? What if it's like 106? Shouldn't we call the doctor?" And me saying, "I've been doing this for 17 years now Shawn. I know what the doctor will say and your fever is not 106." "Can I have Dad's laptop so I can go to WebMD because this has to be more than a flu." "Shawn, everyone thinks that when they have the flu. I promise you don't need to consult WebMD. You have MomMD" I'm sure I'll be sleeping nearby so I will wake up and hear him should he need me tonight.)
The miscellanea parts

I'm wondering if any of you are like me . . .
  • I am finding that I always like my latest piece the best. Well, not always, but usually. (I didn't like the "let go, hold on" piece I made yesterday) I think that tells me that I am growing, learning, advancing. I HOPE that's the case. I hope I'm not getting worse at this. I find that I can't hardly stand pieces I made after a few days, sometimes after a few hours. I keep hesitating to list anything on etsy because I don't even like most of them anymore. There's a few, like some of the Eva fairies, that I will probably always like. The bad or sad thing is, that no matter how much I like something I made today, I'll probably not like it next week. So, the only "feeling content" for me is in the making and a few minutes or hours later, looking at it and thinking "I made that". In a few days it will be "why the heck did I make THAT?"

I am planning to make some more "Figurative" pieces like the one above . . .
  • I don't know that I'll get as lucky with the symbolism with any others. This one just fell together. I think that's my artist voice talking to me or my muse who, by the way, seems to neglect me and make me struggle through most of my pieces . I want a new muse.
  • And though I so envy the art journalers of the world, for the time being, I'm okay telling the story with just pictures and an explanation now and then that can be ignored by the viewer if they prefer to make up their own story. I got my BFA degree by putting words to pictures and maybe there is some repulsion for me to do that in "my" art now. Maybe I am finally making what my guts want me to make instead of what I think I should be able to make or was required to make. Maybe my art soul is being rebellious. I used to teach calligraphy to adults when I was still in high school. I was the Governor of South Dakota's calligrapher. I should be able to letter things, but that door is sealed shut tight and I cannot get over the fear of trying it again. I would almost rather get a root canal.
I have discovered something about wearing pajamas all day . . .
  • (Funny that you brought this up Shellypaints!) For the last few months, I relished living the day in my pajamas and shamefully, not bothering to shower every day. I know. I do. I know what horrific thought this brings to mind. I have gotten lazy. It reminded me of the days when the kids were babies and that was just sometimes the norm, the necessity. There used to be a great commercial for Supercuts I think, that showed a mom and how awful she looked neglecting herself everyday for the sake of the family until she got a new haircut and became a supermodel. Maybe I just need a new "doo".
  • So living in pj's reminded me of babies and I could justify that art was my baby now. It needed a lot of attention. I could be eccentric and thoroughly enjoy NOT having a boss, or hygiene or fashion protocol, or a schedule to keep up with. I was free. Free to be stinky and ugly and let my body morph into roomy pajama bottom shape.
  • This week, for some reason, twice I have decided to take a shower, in the morning no less, not at night every other day like I was. And, I have to say, I get more done when I am dressed, (legs shaved, Cha Cha) and ready to go. I think it has been something with this feeling of needing to be ready to go at any moment to take care of my dad. Have to have all of my little ducks in a row (already thinking of a piece to illustrate that).
  • So, this is a good thing, as my hubby will tell you. I have learned that I can be creative, maybe more so, if I am dressed and ready to go.
I think that's enough for tonight. I need to blog hop and visit all of my pals and see what they are up to.


Cha Cha said...

Why does it seem that the entire world is shaving their legs? I suppose now you're going to tell me that you make your bed every morning, too. Geesh.

Sometimes I don't like stuff I make, either. Sometimes I put it away for two weeks and then go back to it. Maybe that will help cleanse your creative palate, so to speak.

As for not liking your "let go" piece - this made me gasp! I LOVE that piece and am hoping you update your etsy shop soon. Perhaps your job is to help the art get out into the world, not to be critical of it once it's here. We're all our own worst critics.

Sending you a big hug!

Leslie said...

I understand what you mean when you say that your art soul is feeling rebilious. When I got my MFA, I hated almost everything in my thesis show. It was a total reflection of what the faculty required of me. It wasn't until years later that I felt like I got back on track artistically. Now I'm just searching for the motivation...

So everyday I check your Etsy shop to see if you've listed your wonderful new pieces yet. Now you're telling us that you aren't happy with your work?! Impossible! Put your work out there and let others find their own meaning in it! The images and colors certainly speak volumes to me! Just keep creating from your gut.

Until then, I'll keep checking your Etsy shop...

Linda Cain said...

I can associate and agree with everything you said...everything!
You just wrote it down...
I'll try taking a shower 1st thing in the the AM tomorrow and hope the MUSE will hit me or I'll feel like cleaning the house!
Cross your fingers...

Suzan Buckner said...

This is absolutely magical!! I love it!!

Shelly said...

Aren't those dress up days special?! Heck, I took showers three days in a row this week and that was a major accomplishment that I even had to announce to my husband and mother-in-law (my main audience besides Harper). I LOVE the idea that your art is your baby. It DOES need your love and attention.

I could go on and on about how much I love all the symbolism you put into this piece. It's just lovely and it sounds like you had fun making it which just makes it all the more lovely.

I'm the opposite of you... I usually can't stand to look at most of my art until I step away for a few days... then sometimes I grow to love it. Sometimes. And then sometimes I love something and look back and hate how immature it is/was. My mom saved all of my artwork from high school/college and has it ready for me to go through when I go home to visit. We'll see how painful that turns out to be.

One last thing... here's where I plead for you to post your stuff on Etsy! If you can't stand to look at it, well... you'll just HAVE to get rid of it! :) I think I can speak for your growing number of fans and say... "WE WANT YOUR ART!" I think you could start a bidding war over "Finding Center". :)

Terri Kahrs said...

Count me in on the bidding war for "Center". In my humble opinion, your recent works are awesome, and I too, have been checking ETSY daily. You're much too critical of yourself, my friend. I think that when we work "alone" and are an audience of "one", we're our own worse critic at times. I can't wait for your new stuff to hit the store 'cuz I'm one of the first in line.

Cathy Mendola aka pinkbirdgirl said...

I can't believe you have doubts about any of your work! It's so amazing. But I too can relate...
I have a hard time viewing my work
objectively. I'm my own worst critic.
I have pieces I haven't even posted on flickr, much less put it on etsy for sale. Thinking, why would anyone want to buy that?? As artist, we need to stop being so critical of ourselves. If we can spend the day in our pajamas without showering (which I do also)
and not judge ourselves then why can't we just let our creativity flow and not be judgmental of that
either?? Maybe it's something we should all work on. Maybe we should start a blog group of "support sisters" to give each other positive feedback and encouragement!
Bravo on your work & hugs for being someone who goes without showering!

Alberta and Ava said...

I thought I already had you on my blog roll, but I guess I've just been visiting via Flickr. Big oversight! But I have remedied that now. Marsha, I want you to know that YOU are My new muse. Every day I look with eagerness to see what new treasure you have created, and I am always delighted. The color and exhuberant whimsical symbols of your work speaks to me very personally, but I think you're really onto to something with the new figurative pieces. (In fact, I wish with all my heart that you would put this one on ETSY so I could buy it). I woke up at 2:30 this morning with a little touch of insomnia, but I am perfectly happy to peruse your blog and dream. In fact, now that I've been here a while, I can't wait to get up at 5:00, make coffee, and NOT take a shower, but race upstaires to my art attic in my pj's and start a new painting, inspired by you. Somehow, your work with unexpected brilliant color and vintage photographs has gotten my creative cogs turning, and I'm going to go back and make one of my 8 X 10 mixed media collages into a much larger painting. Aaanyhoo, just know that your art tickles me pink and makes me want to be a better artist myself. Thank you, and I still disagree about the "Let Go" piece, btw.