Monday, September 8, 2008

Tiny Bits, Daydreaming and Unfinished work!

Some of you may have seen these on the work surface (read: bed) of my mobile studio in Vermont. Well, this is how they turned out. I quite possibly will add some clear glazing, but photographing them now is easier than with the glaze. These are 4 x 4 inch canvases...so tiny for me. I also have some 4 x 12 inch canvases I might place along side these for a complete look, but for now this is the way they have turned out. They are all acrylic and have no name...but I am sure that will come. :)

Today Suki asked if we leave our art unfinished and if that bothered us that it would be sitting there needing to be completed. For me, leaving it there for me to contemplate is not a problem...it will either tell me what it needs to have happen or I will paint over it in time. I actually have two paintings in progress right now which have not been touched for close to 2 months (so sad for me). But as I was thinking about this, I recalled an article I read about daydreaming. The article, not surprising to many, talked about the importance of having the time to daydream. But I thought how much unfinished work is like daydreaming or it encourages daydreaming...clearly depending on how you approach it.

What do you think? Is unfinished work like daydreaming? Or does having unfinished work stimulate you to daydream?

15 comments:

Wurzerl said...

Dear Kim,
I' m not sure if an unfinished work is like daydreaming. For me it's more dissatisfaction when I feel the begin isn' t good and I think I could do in the same time better things. My daydreams don' t tolerate a work, but sometimes I can do a work of a daydream!!!
Your three pictures red-blue-red are like a wonderful sundown in the pond with the reeds between. This is a great daydream for me but a real work from you. Thanks for it.
Wurzerl

Kim said...

Hello Wurzerl,

I think most people feel as you feel. Suki says it really bothers her a lot, too.

I am glad you like these three tiny canvases. They were fun to do and the challenge was their size. Sometimes when I paint, though, I am really in flow and for me being in flow is a lot like daydreaming...although that is not the way it is for everyone.

I know your art is tremendous hard work and your canvas is HUGE! And you are right, the result is true cause for daydreaming!

Thanks Wurzerl for your visit and your insights!

sukipoet said...

Kim, these little canvases are lovely. Very Zen. I like what Wurzurl said, the pond reeds in the sunset. I would find 4x4 canvases way small to. I found my 9x12 small. But it got filled in quickly.

I love this article on daydreaming. I wrote on my blog re; your daydreaming mention that I had written a kind of daydreamy article about daydreaming. Maybe I can find it on one of my disks of saved material. I love to daydream. And I never thought about an unfinished artwork as a daydream. Maybe an invitation to daydream.

Do you know Gaston Bachelard? He wrote an entire book called "The Poetics of Reverie." And a number of others "Poetics of Space" and one with "Fire" in the title. I've read all these. He is amazing.

I did have to chuckle in the article when they said children have to learn to daydream??? I as a child just naturally daydreamed. I guess I assumed it was a natural kid thing to do. Lying outside on the grass and looking at the clouds and daydreaming. It is sad to think kids have to learn the skill of daydreaming (if that is even true). I mean maybe if parents took away the TV distraction for awhile they would just naturally begin to use their imagination for entertainment.

Lots to say about this Kim. You have stimulated a great discussion topic. Thank you.

sukipoet said...

Just to clarify, I think at the present moment having all this unfinished work is urging me to push forward to finish it. However, I have had a lot of works partially done and set aside and i just look at them every now and then and several years later suddenly they come together. And i have been totally okay with that. So I think I am both ways, willing and okay with waiting to finish, and anxious to finish at different times. I can move forward into new work when I have unfinished pieces around. Not always one way or t'other.

Kim said...

Hi Sweet Suki,

Yes, I think you have said it best...unfinished work is an INVITATION to daydream! Perfect! I completely understand how you can be both ways with the unfinished, yes! And it is true that sometimes it is just fine and other times it is annoying not to complete it.

Thank you Suki for saying you like these little canvases...I have to say it was good for me to have the challenge. My friend, Cindy, wondered if it had anything to do with the seasons...I thought that was something to remain observant about.

Oh I am so glad you like the article on daydreaming. I thought it was quite interesting, too. I would love to read your writing on daydreaming. I have always felt it was an important thing to do...and completely agree with you about children and daydreaming. I think it is clearly a TV thing (and a ton of cheap toys thing) and it is also a matter of how schools are run...but that is getting me off the subject an on my soapbox. Children need time to be children...they need time to play (which is work for them) and time to just be.

I am going to have to look for the works of Gaston Bachelard. I do not know of him, but I am very interested now that you have introduced us.

Now I am going to have to go back to your blog to read some more about what you and others have said about these unfinished works.

I am glad you like this topic, Suki. You always inspire me, so that is a true compliment to have you say so.

Thanks Suki!

glitz said...

Hi Kim,

I have a different name for these works - they are called "works in progress" in my house. And I have lots of them...most from my days of embroidery.

I guess it is easier to have these works for me - a collection of beads is just a collection - then at some stage I get an inspiration for what to do with them, and they become a piece.

Yes, I have wondered when children get time to daydream these days. The kids I know are so taken up with sports, ballet, music lessons etc etc that I think they hardly have time to daydream or read a book. I spent so much time doing that as a child - it is a wonderful form of escape. Suki - you reminded me of lying on my back on the grass watching the clouds - ah, a wonderful occupation!

I will go and read that article.

Kim, the paintings are sweet! The blue "reeds" are the perfect accent with the reds - a very balanced and pleasing piece.

Love,

L. x

Kim said...

Hi Les,

You are so right, children are kept so busy with lots of extracurricular activities they don't have time for much fun at all. I have even heard of parents who keep daytimers for their children!

Yes, I guess I didn't think about how you can have a collection before something is completed. And some people spend a lot of time prepping their painting surfaces so a lot of those can be ready to use as they need them. But you are right, your work is a bit different in that way...but how cool is that.

I was thinking of something earlier today. When you go on your 3 week/3 show tour, will you take tools, beads, findings, etc. to work on projects while you are away, too? Or do you focus completely on marketing when you are doing these shows?

Thank you, Les, I am glad you like the tiny canvases...fiddly, you know?

Hugs to You! Love, Kim

sukipoet said...

KIm I tried to find my little article on daydreaming on my floppy disks but I must have written it before i had a computer ie: on the typewriter. It did get published and i have copies back in my storage unit. Darn. Thanks for interesing post.

Kim said...

Hi Suki,

Oh, I am sorry, but I also understand. It is very cool it was published, though! You are a woman of so many talents!

I am working on a few thoughts for other posts!

Thanks Suki!

marianne said...

Oh I love the blue bamboo leaves!
And about the unfinished art.... I don't like unfinished things and always feel an urge to finish it.
But mandalas can't be rushed so for me it is a good practice in patience of which I have too little.
Sometimes the mandala stands on my easel for days or more untouched, because I need the good mood to paint and peace and quiet, so also the right moment.
I don't get impatience or restless of an unfinished mandala but sometimes I get so enthusiastic that I can't wait to paint it. And yes a lot of ideas develope during day (and night) dreaming!
love >M<

Kim said...

Marianne...have you ever noticed how art sometimes needs lots of eyes? You know more than one person looking at it? That is true here...I had not thought of blue bamboo leaves...but it looks just like that, doesn't it?

Oh not only are your mandalas meditative to view and contemplate, but they are a meditation in producing. Now how fabulous is that? And I can sure imagine they take a lot of time to complete with the right frame of mind. No rushing in any sense of the word.

You know, art does teach us many lessons and patience is clearly one of those. You are very right.

Now I can identify that...getting very excited about completion...you vision is so strong and you want to see if your mind and your hand can create together.

True...I need to consider dreams so much more for my painting.

Thanks so much for this comment, Marianne. You have a lot to teach me.

Cestandrea said...

Kim these are little daydreams, I guess I can better daydream on your canvases, unfinished or not, than on mine. I have a slightly uncomfortable feeling when I look at the 17 souls and I know I said that i'd slightly modify them and didn't do it yet:)
So I keep my eyes turned away and don't permit myself to daydream WITH it. Which I should do. Cause daydreaming means having fun and not being stressed about something...
You know what? You have a real talent in bringing artistic issues to our consciousness!
love
Andrea

Cestandrea said...

I love these little canvases, and find it so interesting the contrast between the hot and cool. I love the way Wurzerl described it and totally agree with that, a sundown in the ponds:)
love
Andrea

Kim said...

Oh Andrea, I think that is very normal to be able to see things in other people paintings (possibilities and fewer issues), because we don't have preconceived ideas of what they should be. I also find it hard to daydream on something I really don't like to see. Remember the large painting everyone loves I did after my friend died...I can't stand to look at that to this day (and it is 2 years old).

I feel your 17 Souls painting is really wonderful. It truly evokes feelings and they will be different in everyone! You know?

And you are right, daydreaming is fun and often provides us with answers...maybe not the ones we feel we are searching for, but answers never-the-less.

Hang in there and know we can talk about it any time you like.

Kim said...

Awe, thank you Andrea. They were a real challenge for me to accomplish due to their size.

Hugs!