"Mythical Magic" wearable art wrap -

"Mythical Magic" wearable art wrap -
"Mythical Magic" wearable art wrap - Hand felted Merino wools, art yarn and hand dyed silk on iridescent silk chiffon

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Do you ever talk to yourself while working in your studio?  I do. I've found it to be one of the best ways to figure out just what I need to do with a piece to make it all come together.  Last month, Robert Genn addresses this topic in his bi-weekly free newsletter in answer to a question posed by a reader.  I've copied the letter below (permission has been given). 
Mr. Genn is discussing this topic from a painter's perspective (no pun intended), but he raises an interesting point.  Does one need to speak 'out loud' or even should one? Does this limit one's ability to solve a certain problem in one's work? 
While I have always believed that speaking negatively to one's self isn't helpful, I do think that one can wrestle with a design problem by discussing the issue out loud either with myself or my husband. Sometimes putting it into words allows the solution to pop right out. It is as if all my thoughts need to coalesce into speech in order to find a solution.  Conversely, sometimes not thinking at all (as one can do in the shower or while doing mindless tasks) is often the best way to have an idea or solution appear, as if by magic.  In this, I agree with Mr. Genn - the creative brain is above the verbal one.

I've included a link to Mr. Genn's free bi-weekly newsletter at the bottom of this post.  I recommend checking it out. There are back issues of newsletter to read and interesting topics to consider, along with access to a wealth of quotable quotes.  It is artistically stimulating to receive Mr. Genn's newsletters each week.  Sign up and you'll see why!

Happy Creating,
October 19, 2012
Dear Monica,

Yesterday, Jeanette Obbink of Burlington, Ontario wrote, "Is it helpful to talk through a problem in a painting--as in out loud, with or without suggestions from others--fellow artists or not? I like to ramble. I've found it helps me to verbalize problems, halfway-dilemmas and stuckness. It gives me keys to the next steps. Feels odd, but it seems to work. Am I alone in this?"

Thanks, Jeanette. You're definitely not alone. Talking things out is certainly a ploy, and a popular one, but it has problems that visual artists need to be aware of. Words--spoken or written--have a way of making rigid that which needs to be exploratory and free. Words are small straitjackets when put around creative flourishes and maneuverings.

As every demo-doer knows, verbalizing aloud can be difficult, even though we all know it's a most valuable educational tool. Many demonstrators also find that "talking demos" produce what they consider substandard work. Attempting to verbalize often mysterious brain routings is the cause.

In the real world of creative artists, care needs to be taken. Out loud, blow by blow mind-change explanations should be left to the politicians. When artists need to ask the "What could be?" question, or about colour or composition, it's not necessary to ask out loud.

Because of our internal sense of morality, we tend to want to honour our "word." I noticed this problem years ago and devised a system to overcome it. I've passed it on to other painters who swear by it. Instead of talking about what might be wrong with something, you need to sit back from the work and silently make a series of mental notes to do this and that, to get rid of this and that. When the artist moves back to the easel, some of the mental notes get executed, and those that do not are handily filtered and defeated without a word being uttered.

The creative brain needs to be above the verbal one. The artist's brain needs to work like that of a centipede. As it turns out, a centipede has a complex nervous system and practically no brain at all. And yet it moves its hundred legs in flow and harmony. Watching a centipede walk around is delightful. If a centipede stopped to talk about which leg to move next, it would certainly stumble.

Best regards,


Friday, November 16, 2012

Having spent the last month working hard in the studio, I can finally get to posting a bit more about what I've been up to. The total inventory for the juried show I am in reached 21.  I made about 11 more new scarves and took some from inventory at Red Tree Gallery. Now just have to finish the beading on two of them, reprint all new hang tags with my new website address http://MonicaBennett.ca and photograph all the new and newly altered scarves for my records and to post here and in my website gallery.

Time is getting really short as I am off to Vancouver in a week to drop off all my work and display stands at the show for the set up. Still have to get at least one big wrap made for the ladies clothing store my work is in so I can deliver it while in town. I think I'll do a red one with a gold metallic yarn design on it.  Also, I have to make a scarf for myself.  The Artists' Reception for the show is on November 30th! Yikes.  I can't ever decide what colour to make for my own use. Last year, I made a red one as we were going to be in the big city with family for Christmas. I got it done just before we left so didn't get a photo of it.  My aunt bought it from me. She said she had to have it. Still don't have a photo so don't remember what it looks like.....Just completed a commissioned scarf with suns and moons in teal and olive green on black silk, with silk accents. Beautiful! (if I do say so myself).

Friday, October 05, 2012

I'm excited to report that I was juried into the Great Stuff 2012 show and sale at the Ferry Building Gallery in West Vancouver. The show runs from November 30th to December 21st and is filled with fine art and artisan work. This is the first time I have ever sent my work for jurying so getting accepted was even more meaningful!      www.ferrybuildinggallery.com

Sunday, September 02, 2012

I'm getting back into the studio, now that summer is almost over, and will be making more of an effort to keep my blog up to date. Just finished three smaller scarves as a commission. Well, the order was for two, but I wasn't sure about the first one, so made a second one with the same colours, just in case. My client can't decide which one she likes better. The third one, a green one, was a hit also! Phew! Commissions can be nerve racking for me...never sure if the finished product will match the client's vision. I'll post photos of these newest pieces soon.