Patterning Repitition and Working in a Series
Last Friday night I attended an opening for the faculty of Lamar University Art Department in Beaumont Texas. Each faculty member had the opportunity to display their current work. It was interesting to see how their work has evolved from last year’s showings. Keith Carter has moved from traditional photography to photos printed digitally and then altered with the use of food-stuff dyes, Linnis Blanton still works with thrown pots but this year they are huge, standing three to four feet high with the sides imprinted with designs. The glazing is understated and I admit to instantly wondering where I could find room in my house for one of these gorgeous pieces. Meredith (Butch) Jack presented some interesting steel gray colored foam pieces based on weather formations that I also coveted. Other faculty members presented drawings and paintings similar to their previous work. Although it has been just one semester since I finished, I recognized none of the students who thronged the gathering hoping to add a point or two to their semester grade.
I’ve wondered when it might be that I discover exactly what sort of artistic work I will do as it seems to continually shift. I don’t really see a consistency although I’m told my work is quite distinctive. The photographs I’ve been taking over the past few years have focused on patterning and repetition and the subtle variations in those repetitions. The faculty seem to begin with their media and then see how far they can go. Each step seems to mean more possibilities. The one consistency is the production of many objects and the mastery of whatever experiment before moving on to the next possibility.
So I think what I need to do is spend some time, not too much, narrowing down a topic and then doing the work.