Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Looking at My Own Art

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Child-like, but I Like It

A few nights ago, I was speaking with a friend of mine, who's a visual artist. She spoke of finally committing to her work through the use, lately, of extra-thick paint and sculptural brush-strokes.

I responded, "I'm not a visual artist, but I did take a lot of art lessons as a kid, and I enjoy drawing and painting. My hand has always pressed super-hard. I guess I've always been committed!"

She smiled generously.

It's true, though. I'm looking at a painting I did in water-colors a number of years ago that looks like the paint is practically acrylic -- only a slight exaggeration. It's called "Heavenly Hash," and it's of my dad, sitting in a shroud, bellying up to a hospital gurney, which is filled with junk-food.

When my dad died, I was sure it was from his poor eating habits. The painting was a cautionary tale to myself not to be like him. Suspended over his head is a pair of golden, priestly hands, hanging from a gold chain. It was a copy of a necklace that my father made for my mother for their anniversary one year. The actual necklace was sterling silver, but that was less dramatic for the painting, so I made it gold instead.

Death Explained By a TV Character

Now, I know that people's reasons for dying are a mystery, i.e., why he had common bile-duct cancer is anyone's guess. I learned that from watching the most recent episode of "Army Wives."

God, appearing as a hunched-over, older, black man, told the commander's wife that it was simply their daughter's time. I was feeling a bit manipulated, but Pat reminded me how much we used to enjoy the TV program, "Touched By an Angel," which had a similar plot-line, every week. As I sat down to watch the program, I asked myself how much more art of any sort I'd produce if I stopped watching TV.

Cheating Death Through Art

To my left is a drawing I did of an open, metal, Caran D'ache crayon box, containing 18 crayons. Instead of being labeled with their colors, each one is labeled with something I enjoyed as a child, e.g., nature classes; swimming-pool games; disco....

When I look at art I've drawn or painted, even if the subject is not happy, e.g., "Spring in Uptown -- Chicago," where I've drawn myself as a shadow in my apartment window, in the middle of a blooming tree, I feel calm and reflective; it's so relaxing and pleasurable to see what my left hand and right brain have created.

Creativity is the fountain of youth.


Anonymous said...

Could you post some pics of your art? I would really ad to the words you have posted...

Sarah Siegel said...

Thanks for your interest. I'm not sure how easy that would be to do, as most of them are framed and under glass. Maybe my partner Pat could take a picture of them, but then, they'll probably have a glare from the glass....Also, I think they sound better than their actual execution.

Maybe I will add some visual art of mine to this blog someday. Maybe, during vacation, I'll even create something new. Thanks for the inspiration.

Artist Anika said...

This is a really great entry, but (like the previous commenter said) it really needs examples of your art. I would love to see what you do...also, don't underestimate the power of "child-art." It generally tends to look wonderful and get more overall appreciation than realistic art. I believe that this is because with "child-art" it is easy to like or dislike. The lines are clean and the colors vibrant. Realistic art tends to be more subtle, and most people now days aren't looking for subtle. ;) So post some! I would love to see it and I am sure many others would too.

Sarah Siegel said...

Thanks for your encouragement. Rather than posting what I've already done, I'm inspired to paint some new stuff during my upcoming vacation in Maine. Maybe I'll ask my partner Pat to photograph it, so I can post some of it.

I enjoyed your site and your art.