Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Empty Cup

Chuck Close
Phil/Fingerprints, 2009

Last summer my daughter Chloe and I visited the Georgia O'Keeffe
Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The exhibit at the time was
Shared Intelligence: American Painting and the Photograph.
The "face" for the show was a Chuck Close screen print.
The image was not made by a camera, nor paint brush.
The entire image is made with fingerprints.
Yes, fingerprints.

As many of you have read here on this blog, I'm struggling with
carving out time to make art.
(remember the Wonder Woman post  1/22/2012 ?)                 

Somehow I have lost the struggle and have become just plain stuck.
I have eleven days to finish The Sketchbook Project Limited Edition.
I've barely started the thing.

So in an effort to gets myself unstuck I have been glued to Oprah's Life Classes on her
TV network.
( I've never been a big Oprah fan. I have had the attitude of, "Oprah's
not bossing me around". But here I am ...desperate times)

In the March/April issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer
wrote an interesting article , Starting with an Empty Cup.
Julie takes a line from the movie Avatar,
"It's impossible to fill a cup that is already full." A response of
"my cup is empty" follows.
As in, if you know everything what can you be taught?

I don't think I suffer from my cup being full but from having no cup.
I've got nothn' folks.
So, today I am finding a cup and filling it.
Julie talks about learning from others and in the process learning about yourself.
She suggest taking art classes.

I don't really have the time right now to take a class,
but I have an idea on how to put some things into my cup.

I'm a visual person. Driving down the road in my car, I'm gawking at trees,
colors houses are painted, even how light falls on mailboxes.
(My gawking has landed me in a few ditches)

To fill my cup I'm searching through visual images. The fingerprint
portrait has me in a state of awe and wonder.
While flipping through a magazine I saw two images that had me thinking
about how I could translate their ideas into costumes I'm about
to start for a summer kids theater camp. 

I wrote this post this afternoon while waiting for Eva. 
She was having a voice lesson. Her voice teacher is also the
 drama teacher for the for mentioned summer camp.
Hearing about the play and costume ideas got me excited.
Ready to work with my hands.

When I got home there was an email from
Green Craft Magazine. They are publishing  an
article I wrote!

Praise God! I think things are moving again.
And thank you too, Julie and Oprah.


  1. Try using your fingers! For me, getting down to kid speak, finger painting really loosens things up! God luck and congrats on the new article to come. xox

  2. Your post seems to have been written for me. Just when I am overflowing with other things, suddenly the art time and inspiration comes through. Have fun with your new projects!

  3. Glad to see you "Break on through to the other side!" Congrats on the upcoming article and good luck with the Ltd. Ed. Sketchbook! Thinking of you and hoping we can find our way to get together soon! :D

  4. I have been looking at Chuck Close's work with my Year 7 Art group this week.
    Time is something that is hard to find now matter how organised we try to be. Friday evening my hubby is out and my daughter is in bed and this is when I try ti get the sketchbook and paints out. Well that is the plan............

  5. Have fun filling the cup!! And, congrats on Greencraft! That's awesome!
    I love the fingerprint portrait!