Creating an artistic environment.

As I look around my studio I realize how many of the odd assortment of items I surround myself with are gifts from friends and family. This is so flattering to realize how many times someone saw something that made them think of me that they decided to give me an item to add to my collection. And even more intriguing when I look around and see what people have contributed.

But perhaps a quick step back to explain a bit. I, as an artist have always found oddities and ephemera useful in fueling my creative juices. I am entertained by the bizarre or sometimes grotesque appearance of dolls, some whole, some in various bits and parts. I originally started using dolls in some of my early mechanical assemblage pieces. Combining small refurbished appliances with doll parts and clock motors and old christmas lights. I don’t make my assemblages anymore but my attraction to the oddity that many dolls or doll parts presents by their very nature still remains. And because of that, people like to give me doll parts. Big, small, action figures, bags of barbies, army men, rubber cancer-mouth teaching tool, (particularly creepy) and quite a few, “just heads”. Another fondness is for old books and magazines that I can peruse for ads or images I can use in my collages or articles and images from bygone days that are quite uncomfortable juxtaposed against modern sensibilities. Once again, friends and family seem to relish finding items to offer.

Perhaps it is because I am such a grateful recipient that everyone continues to donate items because I don’t believe they share my attraction but rather they enjoy my enthusiasm in receiving a new strange book or scary doll head. But the other idea that came to mind in surveying all that surrounds me in my studio, all the books and magazines I look through for fun, all the time I share with all of these items, is this. I try to surround myself with art. Not just in works of art but by creating an entire artistic environment to drive my ambitions. Now, some might not agree with my perception of what art is but it appears I have convinced quite a few to see things a bit differently. To try and see art in so much more than something framed and hung on a wall. And if I haven’t convinced them to broaden their own artistic visions I have at least convinced them of my beliefs and they support that belief by providing sustenance for my artistic needs.

So to all my incredible confidants I wanted to offer my sincerest gratitude for all my gifts. They really are gifts that keep on giving.