Sunday, January 30, 2011

Show and Tell Sunday-It Takes Two, Baby

In November I wrote about “twos.”  Killing Two Birds with One Stone, to be exact. Which is a subject that is often on my mind. You see, I am an identical twin. It sort of colors my world. We were hanging out together before we ever took our first breath. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

I have other sibs, a brother and a sister, and I love them immensely, but there is no denying that what I feel about my twin is different. I don’t know why that is, I just accept it as part of my world.

But the pairs of things that always show up in my work, well that I do know about.  It's the twin thing.

Below are two more small skins that deal with twos.

May your day be doubly fantastic!

Long and Lanky, Kim Radatz

Prim and Proper, Kim Radatz

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Words To Live By

I love words of affirmation. They are little gems of wisdom to ponder as I move about my day. Posted here, taped there, purchased magnets, or hand written notes, it matters not. I’ve got them all over the place. I’ll be doing something else and suddenly come across one and it will lift my spirits. What can be better than that?

In addition to the one above, here are a few more that I have out and about now:

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers ‘grow, grow’
-The Talmud
Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.
-Dr. Spock

And the following excerpt from a Harvard commencement address given by J.K. Rowling (of Harry Potter fame) that I clipped out of a magazine:

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or [your] strength…, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift…. It is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned.

Wow, great words from one who faced many failures herself, yet forged ahead and succeeded in a very big way.

May these words lift your spirits too.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hump Day Happy Hour

Looking at other people's art makes me happy, but I don’t always allow myself the time to search it out. So I’ve decided to set aside part of a day to do a little research and share some of my finds with you each week.

I'll be looking forward to seeing you each Wednesday at 5:00!

Today I want to share some work I saw at the Morean Arts Center this past weekend.  Fabulous work by a local artist! And great titles too. Enjoy.

Karen Tucker Kuykendall, Keep on the Sunny Side, Always on the Sunny Side…and gimme some biscuits and mustard…Songs Along the Highway #2.
Karen Tucker Kuykendall

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rejection and Failure Go Hand in Hand

I have kept the word “failure” at the forefront of my mind since posting about rejection and how it helped me along my merry way as an artist. Hmmm, I wondered, if rejection can help, how about failures?

And then I stumbled upon the Cloth Paper Scissors questionnaire and see that failure has been on my mind much longer than just last week.

Below are two of CPS's question and my corresponding answers that deal with failure.

-If you could go back in time five years, what would you tell yourself about your art?
To trust in yourself and your art. There will be failures, mistakes, wrong turns, and distractions, but keep forging ahead. Work through the problems as in time they will resolve themselves.

-What do you wish they taught kids in school about art?
To trust in their inner artist and appreciate that they have been given a gift. But of utmost importance is that it takes more than just being gifted to make it as an artist.

Artists of all ages must persevere in times of doubt. Accept failure as part of the process. Be disciplined and focused even when it’s hard to find the time to do so. Be tenacious in their endeavor. And to be humble and open to change as teachers appear along their paths.

Maybe failure and rejection go hand in hand with being an artist. Or, more importantly, it just comes as part of this game called life. Might as well take advantage of them both and learn from them, me thinks.

Now I’m gonna go ponder mistakes that I have made. Surely there will be lessons there too.  I'll keep you posted on that front.

Until next time, have a creative day!

Hand in Hand, Kim Radatz

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Show and Tell Sunday- The Story Goes Round and Round

Individually each piece documents an idea, a thought, or experience for one moment in time.   Collectively they are part of an ongoing dialog.  Each is tied to the next and the one before.  They are all intrinsically linked together and the conversation continues.

Small Skins, © Kim Radatz
Small Skins, © Kim Radatz
Small Skins, © Kim Radatz

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How Rejection Made Me A Better Artist

As I prepare my proposal packet to send off next week I keep wondering, “How can I make my proposal shine over all of the other proposals that the gallery receives?” And it made me realize that although acceptance letters are the ones that make me feel good inside, it is the rejection letters that have made me grow, and that in turn has made me a better artist.

If I hadn’t been rejected down through the years I might not have taken time to evaluate my work.

• Was it the quality of the slides/images?
• Was it the quality of the work?
• Was the work appropriate for the show/venue?
• And on and on.

To help strengthen my weaknesses I have taken many workshops on career development, for both artists and business people in general. And I have listened to countless self-help CD’s while I drive and exercise.

I have continued my art education to improve my skills and learned new ones which has enabled me to try new paths. Some lessons I can use immediately while others percolate for years before I find a good use for them. Some I never use, but that does not bother me for it is the knowledge that has given me strength and assuages my fears to consider future risks more comfortably.

I have taken classes and read up on how to take better photographs, though you wouldn't always know it from my blog snapshsots (hah! :-D). I’m not computer savvy, but I am learning my way around the computer and Photoshop. This has probably been the hardest for me, but I keep pluggin’ along and I am surprised at how much I have learned. Don’t get me wrong, I probably couldn’t keep up with a 5th grader, but I look like a genius compared to my sister.

All of these subjects and many more are ongoing as education is my number one priority. Boy, do I still have lots to learn. And I hope I continue doing so until I take my last breath.

And on that happy note, I better get back to work.

I hope your day is a creative one!

Twins, Kim Radatz

Twins, detail, Kim Radatz

This piece was made while I was at Penland School of Crafts in 2006 for the Spring Concentration.  It is a mixed media piece consisting of Vandyke brown photo prints on muslin.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Skinned Again

Been busy as a bee.  On the computer and also with artwork. Though mostly on the computer.

But I did get a chance to work a little on Remembering When and wanted to share the progress with you. She still needs lots more stitching, text, and then binding, but here she is to date.

(I wish you could see these works in person as the translucent “skin” quality doesn’t really translate in photos. So there is my disclaimer.)

Remembering When, Kim Radatz
Remembering When, detail, Kim Radatz

A little dark and disturbing, but I like it that way.

Any thoughts?

Off to finish up and have a quiet evening. Whatever you do, may yours be a good one too!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Show and Tell Sundays – Remembering When

After two weeks away from my studio I’m working again and it feels great.

I love my studio. It fills my soul.

And Remembering When is what I have worked on since being home.

Remembering When, Kim Radatz

There’s more to do, but I wanted to share it with you. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Until then, have a fabulous day!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dorothy was Right

I am home.

In my studio.

And I couldn’t be happier.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love my Minnesota home. Ditto for my tiny studio. But as I already mentioned, I was sans working supplies this past visit. And working is what I missed the most.

Today I am super eager to get to work. LOTS of ideas to bring to fruition. I wish I could do them all today. But I know these things take time. So I’ll forge ahead and see what transpires.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

I hope your day is a productive one too!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Sense of Space

Do you visit a gallery before submitting a show proposal?

Sometimes that's a hard thing to do, especially if the gallery is far away. But it can be so very beneficial to do so if the opportunity presents itself.

On my “To Do” list is an entry to submit to a gallery in Wisconsin. I have been there before, so visiting isn’t necessary, right? I also have the work in mind for the space. So again, should be a no brainer, right?

Wrong for me, in this instance.

I happen to be in Minnesota prior to the proposal deadline. Not an accident on my part. Going to the gallery one more time, which isn’t far from here, felt right. I’ve got some new works in the mix and didn’t know exactly which work to submit. The new? The established work? Or a combination of both?

So this is what I did:

I set aside a day to go to the gallery. When I got there I walked in quietly and with an open mind. I had an idea of which work would fit the space, but I remained open to other possibilities.

I took my time. I moved through the space repeatedly and looked at it from different angles.

And softly, slowly, the show emerged. I knew what work to use and where to put it.

This, I must tell you, was different from what I had originally planned.

I am so glad I went. The show proposal will be stronger for that visit.

So my advice, if you are at all able to do so, is to take a walk through the gallery you have in mind and see what emerges. I think you’ll be happy you did.

And let me know how it goes, okay?

In the meantime, may your day be a creative one!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Show and Tell Sundays-Is Bigger Better?

I am at my summer home and studio on this cold winter day. All of my tools and supplies await me in Florida, which means actually making work is on hold for now.

So as I sit here in my tiny studio, literally a drop cloth stapled to the floor in a corner of my bedroom, I ponder work I have made here. And even I am amazed at what has come out of this tiny space. Some of it quite large.

This prompts me to remember that it is not where I am that the works stems from, but rather who I am that matters. The work is always inside of me.

Encouraging to this sometimes doubtful artist. And something I will take care to remember from time to time.

May your day be warm and creative.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ted Larsen

Do you ever see art and think, “I wish I had made that.”?

It happens once in a while for me, and it happened again just the other day when I saw this work by Ted Larsen.

I love this work. I love the linear qualities, the colors, and the surface.

Beautiful work. Check it out.

Color Chart
Ted Larsen

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sandwich as Muse

What is your muse?
Hmmm, for me it’s hard to narrow it down to one as I am inspired by many things.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I started out life as a potter, so rusty, crusty, earthy textures make my heart race. And old, decaying things too.
Text of any kind does the same. Which is why it can be found on almost all of my work. That could stem from graffiti, or billboards, or t-shirts which have turned us into walking billboards. Or maybe it is just the simple beauty of the line a letter or word makes that captivates me.
I am not sure.
But a sandwich has never been among the items on my list.
Which is why the Cuban Sandwich Show conceived by David Audet of the Artist and Writers Group and the Festival of Moving Image, is appealing to me.
A formal prospectus will be out soon, but in the meantime, David sent out this brief description of the show.

"All the art, in all mediums, has to be about Tampa AND/OR Cuban Sandwiches. Thus, whether the art form is visual, film, dance, theater, music, cuisine, poetry, literature, the root subject is somehow about Tampa, past, present, future."

A Cuban Sandwich Show.  Fantastic.  I shall chew on that subject (pun intended) for many days to come.

Makes me yearn for a good Cuban sandwich too.

And makes me wonder if it is all of our experiences that become our muses?

What do you think?

Whatever form your muse takes, may she keep you moving forward on your path.

Have a great one!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Forging Ahead, Even in Doubt

As I have mentioned before, juried shows are a crap shoot. And I’ve also already mentioned why I don’t take it personally if I don’t get in the show. There are too many great things going on in my world to worry about rejection.

But on top of actually making the art work and then deciding to submit work we artists are faced with the fairly new digital application process. Can any of you out there say “technically challenged”? I can.

I’m still learning my way around Photoshop, though I have learned much by just practicing and using it. The problem is I am usually “practicing” when I am actually submitting the work. Makes the submission process all the more stressful.

This past summer I made some smaller works to submit to the Artisan Search 2011 in the Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. Challenged, I was. With the application, not so much the work. It was so FRUSTRATING. So I almost didn’t complete the process.

Thanks to the kind people at the magazine I learned what I was doing wrong, corrected my mistakes and submitted my application, just in the nick of time.

On my birthday, September 27th, I learned I was one of five finalists in my category of mixed-media stitch. Such a nice birthday gift!  One month later I learned I was the winner in my category. And I almost didn’t enter the show!

I’m glad I forged ahead, even when I doubted myself.

May your day be stress free and creative!

The current issue of Cloth Paper Scissors

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Show and Tell Sundays-Make a Wish and Make it Happen

I gave wish lanterns to family members for them to send off on New Year’s Day. The date was so magical, and even more powerful, in my mind’s eye, since it was the first day of the year.

While I await the photos from their launchings (we all live in different states, and more importantly, they are technically challenged) I am including a photo of the wish lantern we launched. My husband and I wrote our hopes and wishes for the New Year and set it afloat. A beautiful sight to see. Since the power was out in our neighborhood the lantern really shone.

May this be a sign of a bright and beautiful New Year. And may yours shine equally bright and beautifully.

Happy New Year!