Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WHY ART? & Video of my Artist Talk

I believe in art.  I believe we all deserve beauty, meaning, and something deeper than the "necessities" for daily life.  Some people think they can't rationalize owning art in the same way they can rationalize owning a new toaster or a new sweater.  You can tell yourself you need to eat and you need clothing, but do you need art?  Gee, do you need inspiration and beauty?  Do you need to think and feel something more than what our society screams at us through memes, entertainment, and advertisements?  Do you need happiness?  I think you do.  I believe we all deserve art in our lives, whatever that may mean to each of us personally.

I am not saying this to try to make sales.  I say this to lift the stigma that you cannot enjoy art; music, film, literature, dance, the fine arts, and more.  It's more than okay to let yourself bask in the gloriousness that so many creatives have offered us.  I'm giving you the okay.  Feed your soul with what it needs, something so much more than a new sweater that you have rationalized as a need, but really it's a want.  And it's a want for the novelty of something that will fade.  But to give yourself the experience of art, is a lasting fulfillment.  Start paying attention to the things that truly enrich your life.  Support those who fight for beauty, and allow yourself to experience the beauty as well.

Again, this is not a rant to make you want to buy my art...  HOWEVER, if you have wanted to, but felt some silly mysterious guilt for buying art, now I'm giving you permission to feel no guilt!  It's great for me to sell a piece of art, because what I get is money, which helps me to make my living.  But money comes and goes.  When you buy a piece of art, you get ART.  And I do love it when my art goes to a good home.  It's a win-win.

More on the subject of 'why art?' I give you a video of my artist talk from March at the Bay County Public Library during my exhibit, "Cut It Out: Paper Cut Art by Heather Clements."

I give a short history of the conceptual side of my art, along with research and ideas behind my current themes.  A special thank you to the Public Eye for creating this beautifully shot and edited video!  I hope you enjoy it!

Green Tip #16:  Spend your leisure time in nature.  Awesome fun activities that you can do with little or no harm to the environment:

  • Go to the beach
  • Go on a bike ride.  Short ride, or all day, they're all great.
  • Go for a walk
  • Spend time in or on the water: swimming, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, tubing, down rivers, in lakes, bays, and the ocean
  • Go camping
  • Go hiking
  • Go for a picnic
  • Go to state and national parks

These are just a few off the top of my head.  Other perks: gaining new admiration for the natural world, little to no financial cost, healthy for mind and body! 

Thank you so much for letting me share my thoughts and art with you.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When Women Were Birds, SICK!, and 'Symbiosis II'

I would like to share an excerpt from the book, "When Women Were Birds" by Terry Tempest Williams:

'Once upon a time,
When women were birds,
There was the simple understanding 
That to sing at dawn
And to sing at dusk
Was to heal the world through joy.
The birds still remember what we have forgotten, 
That the world is meant to be celebrated.'

Oh yeah.  She gets me.

She gets IT.

On another note, I have been sick for over two weeks.  I have been in bed most of that time.  I have been able to do a lot of work from my laptop in bed (like right now!) but I haven't been able to make art in my studio.  I've had to cancel plenty of classes, too.  So I've had a lot of extra time that I could only use while laying in bed and 'taking it easy.'  With that, I've had time to watch some great movies and documentaries.  I've had time to think and reflect.  I have drawn in my sketchbook.  I have an exciting idea for a new piece of art, that will be a little different from anything I have done before.  I am inspired and anxious to get all better, so I can get back to my studio!

I will now share with you a drawing I am proud of.  It was my first out-of-sketchbook drawing in quite a while, and my largest drawing ever.  At heart, I'm a draftsman.  I absolutely love the act of drawing.  When creating the back sketch for my large paper cut "Symbiosis I" I kept being tempted to shade and get into details, rather than just mark where to cut out the paper.  So I decided after the paper cut, I would indulge my temptations to really draw with pencil, and make the same image, mirrored, the same large size, as a drawing.

So here it is, "Symbiosis II."

"Symbiosis II" graphite, 30" x 53.5", by Heather Clements, 2013.

"Symbiosis II" (detail) by Heather Clements, 2013.

"Symbiosis II" (detail) by Heather Clements, 2013.

"Symbiosis II" (detail) by Heather Clements, 2013.

My favorite part is the hair.  Just like the paper cut, the hair alone took me two whole days.

"Symbiosis II" (detail) by Heather Clements, 2013.
 And to show you the size of the drawing:

And yes, it is for sale!  If interested, contact me.

Inspiration Source #16:  "Beauty is Embarrassing." Netflix synopsis: "Get to know Wayne White, one of America's most unusual and arresting artists, with this snappy documentary that traces the ups and downs of his career.  The jovial White discusses his art, strums the banjo, plays with puppets and simply enjoys life."  I found this documentary to be extremely well done, funny and inspiring.  It is currently available on Netflix Instant Watch.  Go watch it!

Thank you so much for allowing me to share with you today.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Cut It Out" Images and "Symbiosis" Paper Cut

Well, my solo exhibit at the library has come down.  I am so grateful to everyone who came out to see the show.  I am grateful to Bettina Mead, Robin Shader, and everyone at the Bay County Public Library for welcoming me and my art.

Here are some images from the show:

"Cut It Out: Paper Cut Art by Heather Clements" at the Bay County Public Library, Panama City, FL.  March, 2013

"Cut It Out: Paper Cut Art by Heather Clements" at the Bay County Public Library, Panama City, FL.  March, 2013

"Cut It Out: Paper Cut Art by Heather Clements" at the Bay County Public Library, Panama City, FL.  March, 2013

"Cut It Out: Paper Cut Art by Heather Clements" at the Bay County Public Library, Panama City, FL.  March, 2013

"Cut It Out: Paper Cut Art by Heather Clements" at the Bay County Public Library, Panama City, FL.  March, 2013

Now that the exhibit is over, I can reveal online my largest paper cut yet, "Symbiosis I"  It is 30" x 53. 5" with an acrylic background.  The hair alone took me two days.

noun ( pl. symbioses |-ˌsēz| ) Biology    interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.

"Symbiosis I" hand-cut paper, acrylic, 30" x 53.5", by Heather Clements, 2013

"Symbiosis I" (detail) by Heather Clements, 2013

"Symbiosis I" (detail) by Heather Clements, 2013

"Symbiosis I" (detail, from an angle) by Heather Clements, 2013

Inspiration Source #15:  A free school under a bridge in India.  Need I say more?  That's an inspiration.  See more images and read more about it here.

Thank you for letting me share with you!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Abundance Paper Cut

I recently finished a new paper cut called, "Abundance."  The original sketch for this piece is a continuos line drawing, which is a drawing made entirely out of one uninterrupted line.  You begin with your pen or pencil down on the paper, and cannot lift it until the drawing is complete.  It is a common drawing exercise, and I always love it.  It increases the meditative state entered when drawing, strengthens the connection between the lines we see and the lines we draw, and produces beautiful results.  It also lends itself well to a paper-cutting, where everything must be connected.  The connection of the paper represents the connection of all things natural.  We are not separate from our environment, but a part of it.

"Abundance" (in progress) hand-cut paper, by Heather Clements, 2013

"Abundance" (in progress) hand-cut paper, by Heather Clements, 2013

Cut out paper scraps, on my wonderful self-healing cutting mat

"Abundance" hand-cut paper, 8"x10", by Heather Clements, 2013

"Abundance" (detail) hand-cut paper, by Heather Clements, 2013

 Green Tip #15:  Ditch paper towels for real towels.  This one is pretty simple and obvious.  Also, like many eco-friendly home practices, you get used to it quickly, and it becomes force of habit.  We use dish towels and rags for anything most other people would use paper towels for.  People have only been using paper towels for less than a hundred years, and once you don't have them in your house you realize how much you didn't need them.

Thank you so much for visiting my site!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Dad's Song, My Old Theme

My Dad recently came out with a new album.  He is a musician and was one of my earliest sources of inspiration.  Hell, I was too young to remember, but he was probably my very first source of inspiration.  I was so fortunate to have such a creative father, who was also artistically talented, to teach me and encourage my passion that began at such an early age.  (I also have to give a shout-out to my mom, while she is an accountant, she has always been just as supportive of my artistic endeavors.)

Back to his album.  Just a few months ago he received a mandolin as a gift.  Since then he has not only learned an entirely new instrument, but has recorded a new album featuring the mandolin in every song.  One of his songs, which he actually wrote long before I was born, has some interesting lyrics:

When you shake your head
hummingbirds and leaves
fall from your hair
When you breath
its the wind
begins to blow on me
When you smile
its the moon
when you laugh
its the sun
And hummingbirds and leaves
fall from you hair

Of course, he also recognized the strong ties with my current art.  It brings to light that my theme is not a new one.  My father touched on it decades before me, but really the theme is as old as nature itself.  The motif of interdependence and symbiotic relationships between species, is not limited to our current culture, or even our species.  My art simply explores a connection that all other species seem to have, but that the people of our culture have lost.  The reason I make art now on this subject matter is because it has such great importance right now, in what could be a great turning point for our society.

"Hibiscus: Delicate Beauty" (detail), hand-cut paper, by Heather Clements, 2012

"Ecocide VI" 16"x20", hand-cut paper, 2011, and "Birds in Her Hair" 9"x7", hand-cut paper, 2011.

Inspiration Source #14: Ursula Populoh.  On the other theme of lifelong creativity, Ursula is a 70 year old freshman at the amazing art school I got my degree from, the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Thanks for reading,