Today seemingly unrelated moments collided into one deep and meaningful thought process. The creative ideas, connections, views of myself, the world….so much came into acute focus today.  I’d like to document it here as well as share it with you.

This morning I had the pleasure of meeting artist Scout Cuomo to purchase one of her paintings that recently caught my eye.  Years ago, more then ten I think, I began to have ethereal, watery dreams alluding to ceremonies, collaborating and exploring things. In several of these dreams a blowfish would accompany me or I would be the blowfish.  There were ceremonies of blowfish whistle making (none were harmed in the creation of this dream), circles of light and people milling about. The blowfish seemed to be about protection (duh), vulnerability, eyes-wide curiosity. The dreams had a mystical quality to them and I don’t remember when or why they stopped.

Walking into a local coffee shop a few months back, there it was, my blowfish…or the blowfish that was me. You know what  I mean. I had to have it.

copyright Scout Cuomo

Today we met for the first time for me to pick up the painting and I wanted to ask her about the hows and whys of her water-themed paintings. Needless to say, we had much to discuss, much in common, and can’t wait to see more of her work in person.  I also hope that we continue the discourse we started this morning about who we each are in this moment in our lives.

Immediately following I had a class at Smith to get to. Moment two….

I am taking what I think is one of the best art history courses in my long school career. Not bland and never boring, the course has been a multimedia exploration of works created post 60s through modern day.  Most art history courses focus on the ancient world or well know genres like Impressionism and are boring (professors fault in my opinion) and frankly are talked about so ad nauseum that I just couldn’t stand to take another.  There have been so many new layers of understanding created for me in this course around the connections between politics and art, feminism and its role, the rise and fall of Minimalism, when technological arts materialized and so and so on.   The professor, art historian Frazer Ward,  makes me think, laugh, remember and continue to digest when he presents each week.

Today’s lecture on identity is going to live with me for a while. What is identity? Who defines it? Is it within our control? Is it forced upon us? How does an artist express, or not, their identity as defined themselves or put upon them by the culture in which they live? So many questions as we looked at the work of Cindy Sherman, Robert Mapplethorpe, Kara Walker and others. I related a story where once Kacia came home and off-handedly described herself as white. I was struck by this and it let to an interesting discussion on race, genetics, and identity. She took on the role of being white because her classmates said she was. She accepted it knowing full well that she is Puerto Rican and Korean and not seeing a connection to what being white means.

So what’s my point you ask? In talking with Scout and engaging in the discussion on identity in class I found myself in a stream of consciousness process of making art in my head. See if you can follow it…..

creating, finding, mother, swimming, together, underwater, underwater camera, scuba again, underwater magic, creating piece on identity, with the kids, parent as artist, artist as parent, teach them, who are you, what’s the same, what’s different, new work, slip cast teapot forms, his, hers, mine, collaging, get magazines, start idea jars, ask friends for magazines, writing ideas, doing it together….on and on and on.

As of late I have felt like only an overwhelmed student and parent. All that changes today. Sure, I’m a parent and a grad student, but there is so much more and I am going to get back to illuminating that. Now to see if there is scuba trip in December….

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