Doors, not the band

I love our Summer bubble! 5.5 miles to a Summer
restaurant job. 4.5 miles to the local organic foods
store. 4.25 miles to the beach. 0 miles to make art
or garden. I broke out of the bubble last week, and it
was worth it. My husband, a 4th grader teacher, often
says that both learning and growth always involve
some level of discomfort. The discomfort, of course,
is temporary.

Minneapolis is one of my favorite cities, so being
there is pretty comfortable. Sleeping on a dorm bed,
on the other hand, was not. The greatest challenge
last week lead to what may be one of my greatest
breakthroughs to complete a cohesive body of work
for Reassurances: Incantation Bowls Reimagined
--Doors. Enter the disclaimer that I am not a big
Doors, the band, fan. My doors are somewhat surreal
though, like the lyrics of the band.

Doors are a natural progression for this body of work.
The ancient incantation bowls were buried under the
threshold of front doors of family homes. Taking photos
of doors and really thinking about the experience of
walking through them was key. So, I walked around
Minneapolis College of Art and Design last week and
took photos of opening doors. Open doors and the
space around them, instead of my first drawings of
cold closed door fronts, lead to the door break-
through. Yes, the metaphors abound. By the way, I
just decided Opening Doors would be my band name,
if I had a band.

In-progress, experimenting with
displaying curved out from the wall
Possibly finished, temporarily entitled Door #1
gouache, charcoal, coffee staining, carbon transfer



Just got back from a workshop for art educators at the
Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Dawn calls it Art
Camp for Big Kids! See her blog post.

That is me working on a collaborative drawing at MCAD,
Experimental Drawing with Val Jenkins
Photo Credit: Dawn Rossbach
Still in the decompression stage, but I do know there
were breakthroughs, and the beginning of a new series of
paintings/drawings of doors that will most likely be included
in the Reassurances exhibit I will send out to Pennsylvania
at the end of August. Another thing I know is that break-
throughs do not happen without a little or a lot of struggle
and frustration. Not sure why I need to constantly relearn
that! I will post images of my doors soon.


My (imagined) conversation with Eva Zeisel

"All negative attitudes inhibit the process of creation; they
stop the joy of aesthetic play... Only the positive attitude
of generosity, a friendly dialogue with our work from the
beginning to the end of its development, will produce
pleasant variety." Eva Zeisel, from Eva Zeisel: On Design.

The design of Eva Zeisel has always made me smile and
relax, but today the words of Eva are inspiring as I am
working on the incantation bowl project. All of these parts
need to somehow fit together into a cohesive collection,
ready to show in September. Need to maximize my time
before September--tell me what to do Eva.

Eva Zeisel's Town & Country "Schmoo" Shakers
Red Wing Pottery, 1947-1956
Eva said, "I have rarely designed objects that were meant to
stand alone. My designs have family relationships. They are
either mother and child, siblings, or cousins. They might not
have identical lines, but there is always a family relationship."
Got it, a cohesive body of work is a happy family reunion.
Note: Need to weed out the reunion crashers or the ones
who really do not want to be there.

"We should not be embarrassed by beauty. In fact, beauty,
harmony, loveliness, elegance, and usefulness...should be
what we designers strive for today in the twenty-first
century." In a 2008 TED Talk, Zeisel said, "We are actually
concerned with the playful search for beauty." You tell 'em

The playful search of beauty is a great way to make art--
and live. Eva died December, 2011 at the age of 105.
Thank you Eva for teaching us to be bold, graceful, and
subtle all at once. According to Lance Esplund, she was
"never frail", and "strong yet delicate." Her works are
"hybrids of plant, animal, and human forms. They relate
to one another like members of a family."