Several posts ago I mentioned a UAE call to artists from Tashkeel. I felt completely stuck for ideas and I was wondering what could represent or express my feeling and understanding of home. I began listing everything I could think of in my sketchbook:
You will notice sometimes my sketchbook is just filled with writing. I often write out a lot of ideas before I begin drawing anything. I don’t know why! And sometimes as I’m brainstorming for one thing, other ideas or thoughts pop into my head. I no longer judge myself for it, I just write it ALL out. It’s still a bit of a challenge to do it without judgement, but I am getting there.
Once I felt more confident about the idea of working with my stuffed bunny as a symbol for home, I began drawing it out:
I like working on old, unresolved artworks or old finished artworks that I have lost interest in. Because of my notion of home, which includes this feeling of unresolved, fuzzy and feeling of memories, I decided to keep the marks somewhat exposed as a layer underneath the image of Heather (my bunny’s name). I like the idea that there were visible pieces of something not entirely discernible, to generate questions in the viewer’s mind.
The rest developed as follows:
The final piece, I have entitled Home is in my Heart.
What I enjoy about open calls for art is that it offers me some structure to develop an artwork and generate ideas. Sometimes I think the hardest assignment for students is when I tell them they can do “whatever they want.” In fact, their skill and product seems more mature and resolved when I offer them structure. I think the same applies to me!