Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Process pictures of "Offering" - Suburban Land Art

Since the journey is as important as the destination, I am posting the "making of" my suburban Land Art piece called "Offering."

There is a little piece of nature trapped in the suburban landscape near my house in San Diego, CA. It is a wild artichoke field which is normally almost covered with wild artichoke flowers. It is refreshing to walk in nature without having to drive to some remote place. Seeking out nature in the suburbs draws my attention to the wildness in the land that we take for granted.

One day on a walk, a few months ago, I found that the about half of the field had been cut down.

It looks like someone just drove a tractor right through the main part of the field.

They ran over plants and small trees and left trash in their wake.

It seemed cruel and unnecessary.

So I decided to make an "Offering" to Mother Earth...

In hopes that the destruction that was inflicted would not be the end of the wild artichoke field, my son Xen and I built a nest.

As a mother, "nesting" is very important to me, which is why it shows up so frequently in my work. When you build a nest (literally or figuratively), whether for a bird or for your family at home, you protect the things you love the most. You show them that they are treasured and worth protecting. This nest is an "Offering" to Mother Earth to let her know that she is important.

We gathered fallen branches from all over the field, and started construction. The sound of the wind and us gathering and assembling branches was all I could hear for hours.

After a few hours of construction, the nest was built. Then we gathered cuttings from all over the field to ensure that the plants would survive.

The nest was over 6 feet tall (I am 6'1, so you can judge the height accordingly). The nest's imposing height is meant to dissuade someone from casually destroying it.

My "Offering" to Mother Earth...

Only two weeks later, after a light rain, the field began to sprout again.

I take this a a sign that the "Offering" was accepted.

I hope you have enjoyed my process pictures. I plan to post more pictures of my sculptures in progress.

Artists! I love to see and hear about YOUR process! Please email me, comment on this blog, or friend me on Facebook.

Share not just what you make, but how and why you do it!

- Jaime Lyerly

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Recording and Sharing the Process of Art

I have recently came across so many amazing artists, that I cannot keep them all to myself. You need to know them and I am here to share! A lot of them are participating in the smARTist Telesummit 2009 this week, which has been super.

One of the things that makes me stay long on their blogs and web pages are descriptions and pictures of their PROCESS. Finished art work is great, but seeing the messy beginnings, sketches and models brings me closer to the artist than a finished product.

So in the spirit of exploring this artistic journey, I will start posting some of my own sculptures and works in progress. Until then, please check out these amazing artists and see how they lay out their path on the Artistic Journey.

Cathy Erdmann - spirited figures in clay and bronze
Rebecca Shapiro - abstract paintings in encaustic

And for when you are not connected to the internet, books!:
"The Figure in Clay" by Lark Ceramics -show amazing figurative sculpture in process and descriptions of the concept written by the artist. Most inspiring!

For music to inspire your own process, we have my partner and independent record company owner Chris Miner of Mind Altering Records. His music is exploding with colors and is expansively inviting to your creative muse.

All these artists and more can be found on Facebook. You need to connect with them! They need you!

I love to see works in process! Artists, let me connect with you and show your pieces in progress! I'll show you mine soon.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Taking the Long Way

On Wednesday, after dropping my son off at school, I took a long walk around my neighborhood. I ventured away from the streets I normally walk to explore new streets. Turning off the path, I wandered into a new neighborhood that is adjacent to the suburban streets I am familiar with.

Henry David Thoreau would take long walks in the country to connect with nature. I take long walks in my suburban area to connect with myself. The streets look all the same, so I focus on my movement of my legs, the breeze, the music in my headphones. Walk, think, walk, think. Taking the long way around to get where I need to go, experiencing the world and myself differently each day.

So begins journey as an artist - realizing that my world is still the same, yet it has become filled with wonder. I have started this blog to connect with others on the artistic journey.

I start this blog with a quote from Thoreau which dangles on a metal sign above my computer:
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!"

What drives you? What makes this journey we are all on so unique? What will you find along the way? What quotes or comments have sent you out the door looking for answers?