So there I was, sitting in creative stagnation. Being a very uncomfortable spot to be in, yesterday I decided to take myself on an Artist Date to The Bellevue Arts Museum. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of going on an artist’s date yet, it is, roughly, ” a block of time [...] especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. [...] The artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against any interlopers. You do not take anyone on the artist date but you and your inner artist, aka your creative child.” (From the book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, pg. 18)
I went alone. Why? because that is when I am free to explore and think thoughts without the influence of a companion. It is a way of defining, to myself; who I am. It’s empowering!
These types of excursions are important to me because of a point Twyla Tharp also makes in her book, The Creative Habit, to “Never scratch the same place twice.” (pg.106) She is referring to the process of coming up with ideas; that you shouldn’t just stay at your same desk or table… in the same room or studio when you are creating; you have to get out of your routine because it’s easier to gain a fresh perspective and find inspiration when you have a river of fresh thoughts flowing through your brain; it helps with the Ah-Ha! moment.
So on I went on my grand adventure to Bellevue!
The exhibit was Push Play: The 2012 NCECA Invitational, where 35 ceramic artists displayed work out of 200 highly talented people that applied. For me, the most thought-provoking piece was by Anne Drew Potter (Berlin Germany), titled “The Captains Congress” (the tenth image). As you walk in, it is right in the center of a medium-sized room– it is a skillfully crafted ceramic, while the subject matter is a bit abrasive, but Potter is making a statement about “role play and peer pressure…” and “questions power structures at every stage in life.” It’s also about “intense scrutiny and judgement” by others and the potential to be “bullied or ostracized”… whether the ones who are part of the group are more fortunate than the one who is being locked out… that the one being ostracized “might actually be the lucky one.”
My favorite was a piece by Charlie Cummings called “Return to the Light” because I was just taken aback by its luminosity and delicate play with light. The piece was a reminiscence of “good times that are now fragments of memory.” It showed photographs of a child that looked like he was playing in a river… The dominant colors were soft blues and a glowing white… it was just interesting to linger through the ceramic innertubes and I marveled at how the light shimmered like the memory of water being moved by a current or a strong breeze.
I also saw George Nelson exhibit– His design work still remains to this day. He is most famous for his work done in the late 1940′s and 1950s in graphic design. If you are curious about it, you can click on the above link. Definitely worth seeing if you are into design. (I may delve into it further in another post.)
(I found myself becoming curious about the photographed objects and the visual illusions of the reflections again when I saw the Chihuly glass. Life is good when you are in a place where you just stumble upon a gorgeous work of art that you weren’t expecting. That happened a lot in that neighborhood.)
Consider me officially, visually spoiled. Happy.
It was just such a perfect evening that I had to linger a little. This is why I love the city.