Lynda Schlosberg

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Where the Process Creates the Answers
 


Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

Transparency: Where to start?

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With so many different directions to go in, I’ve been thinking a lot about where to start? Most of my paintings in the last several years have started with pooled colors that I then respond to in a variety of ways. But with a painting of this size, I want a plan as to where I’m going. I can’t get half way through, and corner myself with a color or compositional problem, that could be really costly to fix due to the sheer size of the piece. Plus, I have a client that wants a general idea of what they are getting, and I need to deliver it on time for the lobby opening. I can’t get stuck for a month trying to resolve a problem, which—let’s be realistic—might happen anyway!

On my way in to the studio last night, I saw a card of mine that caught my eye. It had a detail of a small painting I had done a couple of years ago on it, where I used cheese cloth as the basis of one of the layers. It gave me an idea…. I took some cheesecloth I had laying around in the studio and I projected it 8-feet high on my studio wall:

cheesecloth-projection-0440

I was excited about the potential of using this as an idea, or at least as part of the process, so I decided to make a large marker sketch (this is about 4 x 5 feet) to get a feel for the pattern it made, and how I might manipulate the negative and positive shapes. Too literal here, but the idea is taking hold….

Cheesecloth scketch

Written by Lynda Schlosberg

April 13th, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Transparency: How am I going to work on a painting this big?

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So, I’ve landed this great painting commission to make a large-scale work (14 x 8 feet). But how the heck am I going to work on a painting that big? It will be hung at least 9 or 10 feet off the floor, and will take up an entire wall in my studio!

Scaffolding is in order! However, it needs to be small and light enough for me to haul up the three flights to my space, be easy to set-up and take down, and not take a huge amount of storage when not in use. So off to Home Depot I go… where I picked up this lightweight system and set it up in my space to see if it would do the job.

Okay, so it’s a little small, and an artist on my floor who does large mosaic public installations (I’m talking several stories high), thinks I’ll be unhappy to work on something this small, but to be honest, I think it’s going to work out perfectly for me. It beats working on a ladder for the next four to six months, and it folds down to almost nothing when I don’t need it. Besides, I can always “upgrade” if I really need to.

Time will tell.

scaffolding-2090

scaffolding-2091

Written by Lynda Schlosberg

April 3rd, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Transparency: The making of an 8′ x 14′ painting on commission

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Recently I was awarded a commission for an 8 x 14 foot painting. It will be hung in a new lobby in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA.

I’ve never made a painting this large (my largest to date is 4.5 x 9 feet – on paper), and working nearly twice as big will be a challenge on many levels. What is my materials strategy, how will my process scale up in size, and how long will it really take? What will it be like to create a painting for a client and a specific space as opposed to just painting whatever I want? What don’t I know? How will this expand my working process and move my art forward?

I’m hoping that I answer these questions in the next several months as I do my best to semi-forally document the progress of this particular painting. An artist journal of sorts to keep a detailed record of each step and to make my process transparent to anyone who may be interested in watching as it unfolds.

So it all began by first visiting the site of where the painting will be installed, just to get a feel for the location and space. This is the “before” picture and the wall that my painting will go on.

inside-50hampshire-1972

And here is the architect’s early rendering of what the renovated space will look like (sans my painting) when it is due to officially open in the Fall of 2015:

Lobby-Rendering_artwork-forblog

Written by Lynda Schlosberg

April 1st, 2015 at 3:56 pm

Science, technology, philosophy and a curiosity of human consciousness

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TRON Legacy Light Vehicle on the Game Grid
TRON Legacy Light Vehicle on the Game Grid

With a commitment to building a more vibrant blog, I signed up for a 4-week Blog Triage class with Cynthia Morris and Alyson Stanfield. My first assignment is to describe the people I want to visit and read my blog.

The easy answer would be to say other artists, curators, collectors, writers and friends. Which is definitely true. However, as I ponder the themes that fuel my art, I would also love to be in a dialogue with others who have similar interests, so that we might push the conversation forward on those topics (or at least just have fun sharing ideas).

These are some of (but not limited to) the things I find fascinating:

  • I love science fiction movies and how (in the good ones) the underlying foundation to the story is rooted in philosophical ideas of consciousness—and dare I say—spirituality.
  • I also love how technology is used to physically make the movie—and more often than not—is a central character in the story. How computer animation seems to be a perfect metaphor engaging ideas of the ‘unknown’ and the ‘unseen.’
  • Consider all those crazy scenes we watch in the dark (think TRON’s Game Grid, pictured above), where we get lost in the perception of that reality, when the reality is, it’s just made up of a bunch of 1’s and 0’s. It doesn’t really exist anywhere.
  • It’s kind of like when I start to ponder the ideas of quantum mechanics—with all those vibrating particles and wave functions interacting with energy and matter…Not to mention its implication on the laws of nature, and law of attraction.
  • Or how all this development in technology is impacting our neural network. And how we see things. Both literally and figuratively.

So, I am mostly an artist with a fascination in science, technology and philosophy, and a deep curiosity of human consciousness—seeking an audience with similar interests. Oh, and who love art (and artists) and a really good science fiction movie!

 

Written by Lynda Schlosberg

April 26th, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Posted in Reflections

The life force of thoughts

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Today, the world of quantum physics confirms that the universe is made of formless energy, and that particles do not originate from particles. Everything springs from something that is akin to your imagination. You can’t touch, taste, see, hear, or smell it. It has no boundaries. You can’t prove it with mathematical formulas or scientific verification. Yet we all know that it exists. These invisible thoughts that you have—these ideas that continue to percolate within you, these fanciful images that are always with you—are beyond the scope of science to prove or disprove.

–Wayne Dyer, from “Wishes Fulfilled”

Written by Lynda Schlosberg

February 2nd, 2012 at 1:32 pm

What Nourishes?

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Recently I was asked to consider what nourishes me. The question was asked in regards to my personal relationships but it got me thinking about how that same question applies to my art making. Besides, isn’t my art a personal relationship too? Maybe it can’t speak back to me with words, but it certainly speaks back to me emotionally.

Lately I’ve been in a bit of a funk.

Perhaps it’s the short New England days, and the fact that I spend so much of my daytime indoors on my computer that I barely get any natural sunlight. I think my whole life I’ve always had a touch of SADD during the winter months and now I’m just putting the pieces together. Could that be why I love the summer so much, I get to be outside in the sun? I certainly know that being outdoors nourishes my soul. Even in the winter, getting to Cape Ann and spending time along the shoreline of Gloucester and Manchester nourishes my soul. Being near a large body of water with an expansive horizon always tends to reset my perspective. It get’s me out of my head and in touch with the broader aspects of life. I connect to the piece of me that is so much more than my physical being.

Since the New Year I have been attempting to adopt a set of new morning habits/rituals. Shortly after getting up I meditate for twenty minutes, read for 30-60 minutes and then exercise, which for these winter months consists of spinning on my LeMond fitness trainer, for 30 minutes. The three things together seem to nourish me in a way I can’t fully describe. The meditation helps keep me calm and balanced, while the spinning get’s my blood pumping and my metabolism raised to help me physically attack the day. These are things that help my body and mind, yet I believe it’s the reading that helps nourish my art more than anything. I could be wrong about that, but it’s the one thing that I’ve let drop off over the past year or so. With an increasingly busy schedule it’s hard to find time for critical reading. For me that means theoretical books, not the morning paper.  I learned when I was in graduate school that my sweet spot for reading was in the morning. I was kind of surprised by that because I always had the impression that reading made me tired. I discovered that was only because I would always try and read at the end of the day when I was tired.

Lately, (meaning the last few years), I’ve been in a rush to get to my computer. To open my email and start work as soon as I can. Now I’m trying to take the 2+ hours in the morning to commit to these new routines. I’ve always deemed them a top priority yet somehow always put them last on the daily to-do list which means on most days they don’t happen.

Why should it be so hard to do the things I consider important; the things that nourish my soul, my art, and not to mention the rest of my life?

Anyway, back to reading. I’ve always described myself as a book hound. Some girls like to buy shoes, well; I have a thing for books. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach and I buy books with the full intention of reading them all. When I buy one I can’t wait to digest it all in one sitting. But I never have the time.

Scratch that.

I never take the time.

And so books get started and then never finished. For instance, right now I have at least five half read books sitting on the nightstand next to my bed, five more half read books on my desk, and three more half read books sitting on the coffee table. That’s thirteen books! And that doesn’t even count the nine that are in the bookshelf that I’ve ear marked as critical next reads!

(Now I’m up to 22!)

I guess in the sense that “we are what we eat,” we too “are what we read.” So here’s the list of my half-read/soon-to-be-read list of books (and in no particular order) that reflect the complexity of who I am, and what shows up in my art:

  1. The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, by Lewis Hyde
  2. Being in Balance, by Wayne Dyer
  3. How to Get Control of Your Time and Life, by Alan Lakein
  4. Guide to Getting Arts Grants, by Ellen Liberatori
  5. I’d Rather Be in the Studio, by Alyson Stanfield
  6. A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle (reading for the second time)
  7. The Healing Code, by Alexander Loyd
  8. The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie
  9. The Vortex, by Esther and Jerry Hicks
  10. The Light Inside the Dark, by John Tarrant
  11. Buddha Is as Buddah Does, by Lama Surya Das
  12. On Women Turning 50, interviews by Cathleen Rountree
  13. The Heart of… (oh wait, I can’t list this one, it’s too personal)
  14. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2010, edited by Freeman Dyson
  15. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self, by Thomas Metzinger
  16. The Biology of Belief, by Bruce Lipton
  17. The Fabric of the Cosmos, by Briane Greene
  18. Quantum Shift in the Global Brain, by Ervin Laszlo
  19. The Shadow of the Object, by Christopher Bollas
  20. Technoromanticism, by Richard Coyne
  21. Insights of Genius, by Arthur Miller
  22. Art and Visual Perception, by Rudolph Arnheim

This is a long list. More than I can handle in a year, given my schedule and time. But if I can keep up the morning routine of reading for just 30-60 minutes (focusing on one book at a time I might add) my guess is that I can get through a lot more than I think. And I’d reach a goal that I’ve set to read more this year, as it directly informs my art, and the expansion of my life.

I’ll have to check-in next January and see how well I’ve fared.

 

Written by Lynda Schlosberg

January 19th, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Posted in Books,Reflections

Some Ted Talks on Consciousness

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Antonio Damasio: The quest to understand consciousness

Dan Dennett on our consciousness

Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight

VS Ramachandran on your mind

Written by Lynda Schlosberg

December 21st, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Reflections

Regarding Process vs. the End Product

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Last night I met with my peer group which is a part of the Artist’s Professional Toolbox course I’m taking from the Boston Art’s and Business Council of Greater Boston. In our peer group we have a structured part of our meeting, where we each get time to talk about where we are at and then get feedback.

When it was my turn I shared how I’ve been struggling with meeting goals I’ve set for completing a series of paintings I’ve been working on this fall. My first deadline was to have them done by Thanksgiving.

I missed that one.

Now I’ve set a new one for the end of the year and I’m not sure I’m going to make that one either. I’ve been getting time in the studio (although it does vary from week to week) but I’m frustrated with the fact that I’m most likely going to miss this second deadline.

That’s when someone asked me: “Are you more interested in the process or the end result?”

I had to stop and think.

In reality, it’s a bit of both. But lately I’ve been so focused on just trying to get to the finish line of my goals that I’m missing the process. I’ve been making decisions in my work just to move it forward rather than taking the time to be more conscious about my choices of composition and color. So I added something like, “I’ve been painting unconsciously.”

That’s when someone asked me: “Is that a bad thing?”

No.

In some ways my work is about the unconscious part of our being, and how that unconsciousness mixes and flows in the ether to  collectively create what we call our “life experience.” So perhaps I can give the paintings that have developed more unconsciously some validity – even if I think they are “bombs.” More importantly, I’m being reminded that it’s about the process and not the end result. Isn’t life about the journey, not the destination?

Yet I still struggle with the deadline dilemma. As a painter, we are conditioned to create as much product as we can. We always need to be churning out new work. With an exhibition deadline looming it often becomes about the end product rather than the process. Perhaps there really isn’t an answer to this….since all of life seems to be a cycle of ups and downs the focus between process and product may just have this same cycle too and it’s something I need to figure out how to ride.

Anyway, here’s the last “unconscious” painting I finished (quick shot)…

Currently Untitled, 16×16, acrylic on panel.

And here’s one that has sort of been running on auto pilot. I’m stuck on my color direction. I added this bright turquoise blue and now don’t know what to do. (It was part of an unconscious choice in a rush to finish the piece)…

Work in process, 30×30 inches, acrylic on panel.

So I’m going back to nature to see what can inspire me on it’s next step. I’ve got a composite of images below I hope to pull from and see what happens. It’s interesting to find that these unusual and saturated color combinations actually exist out there.

 

Written by Lynda Schlosberg

December 16th, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Regarding Frequencies

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Our earth’s frequency is 7.83 Hz, which is identical to human (alpha) brain waves.? With the advent of 900 MHz to 2.4 GHz portable phones, cellular phones, towers, satellite systems utilizing microwaves and our homes filled with every electronic gadget known to man, how is this not effecting our physical and mental processes? It seems safe to assume that our bodies, minds and spirit are being overloaded, overstimulated, or overrun by this influx of [and exposure to] these incredibly high amounts of electromagnetic energy fields.

Written by Lynda

February 24th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Posted in Reflections

Where the process creates its own answers…

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It is uncertain on inception how I intend to fully utilize the function of this blog over time.

However, it is my initial intention to use it as a place to organize and distill information that I gather as I both expand and refine my artistic practice. I hope to include important notes from various readings, perhaps recent influential experiences, and even documentation of work in progress. A sort of 21st-century version of an artists professional journal.

While I ultimately believe this blogs existence is to serve my own use and purpose, and I am choosing (for now) to make this process open and transparent. So, please feel free to peruse the links to the right to read my professional journal by topic, or click here to read to my posts in chronological order. Keep in mind I’m not writing to anyone in particular other than myself…yet if you would like to add to this conversation, please feel free to post your comments.

Studio-Work in Progress, February 2010
> Studio Work in Progress, February 2010

Written by Lynda

February 7th, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Posted in Reflections