It's been over a year since I wrote here - woops! Time has flown by and the practice of writing here has fallen off. Mostly it's because my schedule is jam packed. You might ask, whatever became of the selfie project? Well, it morphed into a public portrait drawing project called Fruits of the sun (for all the unknowns). That project is in full swing and has its own website and social media pages where you can follow along. There are several Pop-Up Portrait Sessions happening around town this month where you can come and be a model for me, and there will be other public events happening in August, so there are opportunities to get involved and support the work. I received a 2017 Project Grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to make this work possible. Fingers crossed that I get to expand on the idea and bring it to other cities (more on that soon.)
What happened? February has turned into May and I'm just now diving into the selfie project. The stars did not align, and I did not make time to get things going, as I had planned. So rather than continuing to delay work on the first word, Kukelure, I decided to skip ahead and work on the next word, Ganbaru. And if you've found yourself here and you don't know what I'm talking about, check out this blog post to read about the series I'm starting.
Ganbaru (頑張る lit., stand firm), is a ubiquitous Japanese word which roughly means to slog on tenaciously through tough times.
The drawing above is charcoal and pastel on handmade paper created at my papermaking studio, Pulp & Deckle. It measures approx. 36" x 36" in size.
Hopefully now that I've started working on this series I'll have more momentum to keep it rolling. Stay tuned for the next word I'll be using so you can send me your corresponding selfies.
It's been far too long since I last updated this blog! In my absence here I've been wrapped up in growing my papermaking business, Pulp & Deckle. There's been many a paper related blog post on that site, so if you're curious to see what I've been up to, go there.
I'm not here just to check in and send you elsewhere, rather I'm here to start a new art series. To make it happen I need your participation.
Recently while listening to the I'll Have a Beer and Talk podcast, my interest was piqued by a story about words that exist in languages other than English that do not have directly translatable definitions. I started thinking about how art can express complex emotions or concepts without using language. And I also started thinking about selfies. When we take a selfie we are communicating with our bodies, facial expressions and surroundings. So I started thinking about how selfies might be a way to communicate these non English words in a visual way.
For example, let's take the word Kukelure (Norwegian), which is a kind of pondering. Kukelure is to just sit there and think about things while doing nothing at all. How might you express this word with a selfie? This is what I'm asking of you. Every month I'll post a new word on the blog and ask that you comment with a link to a selfie (you can post your pic. on Instagram, Facebook, your blog, your website, etc.) that embodies the spirit of that word. And every month I'll make a piece of art with handmade paper and mixed media drawing that combines elements from everyone's selfies to try and capture the essence of that month's word.
Okay, let's get this going! Since I already gave the example of the word Kukelure above, I'll make it the first word for this month. Let's make this happen and send me your selfies.
Kukelure is to just sit there and think about things while doing nothing at all.
I fell off the bird drawing wagon as things have been chaotic at my day job. I did get to sneak out for a walk this week while the weather was warm and sunny, so I super quickly sketched the birds I saw along my way.
Going forward I doubt I'll be able to make bird drawings at my desk. But what I am able to do, I'll continue to post here. Time will tell...
Last week I was on vacation from my day job, hence the lack of bird breaks. Coming back from vacation usually means a lot more work to be done, so again no bird breaks. To make sure I got in at least one bird this week I did this guy at home. Hope to get back in the groove next week!
Didn't have time to make a bird drawing at work yesterday, so today in the studio I decided it was time to get serious. Have had this paper waiting for me for months now, glad to finally do something with it and add to my series of large pieces on handmade paper.
Apparently today's bird break is all about containment and going out of bounds. Looks like my subconscious is trying to tell me something? Or maybe this guy is just too big for the page.
Like most people, I have bad habits. One of mine is getting lost in internet black holes during my breaks at my day job. Today I decided to take action and stop the madness and start the bird-sanity! Everyday during one of my breaks at work I'll draw a bird. With every bird I will remind myself what of what's important and tap into an oasis of calm and focus. For the time being this blog will be for the birds.
When I started this blog I had every intention of maintaining it and revealing more about my art making process. Little did I know that a few months after starting the blog I would start planning the launch of a handmade papermaking studio in my home of Portland, OR. It was a wild ride getting the studio up and running and it's taken all my time and focus (hence no blogging here.)
I'm happy to say that the studio has been open for a little over 6 months now, and we're gaining momentum all the time! You can keep up with all the latest and greatest happenings at Pulp & Deckle, and don't forget to sign up for our e-newsletter while you're there!
As a private, quiet person I like my art to do the "talking" most of the time. But with the start of this new website, I see this as an opportunity to push myself to pull back the curtain and talk about my art, and how it gets made. Having a public record of my thoughts will be a positive challenge, and I welcome the chance to engage viewers via a different platform. Let the blogging commence- clap clap!
Jenn grew up in East Texas and Houston, lived in New England (NY and Boston) and made her way to the Pacific NW, where she feels at home. She is a small business owner of the papermaking studio, Pulp & Deckle. She is an artist, educator, maker, thinker and doer.