Staying at home so much is difficult in many ways. For me, it is quite sad to have no audience for whom I might produce art. Earlier in quarantine times, I have made art for events, for the street, and for my home. By the fourth quarter of this long year, there is hardly anyone to make art for at all. My ties to aesthetic concepts or artistic purpose have become very weak. Why make art? Why do anything?
I feel like some scribbler trapped in the spire of a sound castle, occupying his time with this and that endeavor of little consequence or meaning.
Cardboard and Things
Living Room Model
Working with Wood
This is the “playa tech” design for tables and while there are many negatives to this design, my brother made two of them ten years ago and I still use both. So they’re actually pretty good. I decided to make some new ones and give some to my friends. Obviously my new ones had to be better than the old ones, so I focused on easy wins.
The cubes I made in the summer were great fun because I learned a very easy way to build frames, working almost entirely with 1x4 boards. I wanted to explore this kind of framing to make hanging lights or a kind of chandelier, specifically hoping it might work near the stairs in the front of our house.
How about a Nice Stool?
I have never cared for light-up art, in any venue, but recently learned the value of having lights outdoors to make a space more hospitable and signal to others at a distance that the space is hospitable. Outdoor events during COVID have much less infrastructure and if you want to do anything you’d better bring your own light. Thus I began exploring lanterns.
Not pictured here are a stuffed fish and a stuffed Christmas tree I made with simple sewing technique and filled with LED strand to produce crude holiday lights.
Drawing & Painting
Though I used to hold these arts in high esteem, to me this kind of craft is almost always just a detail in a larger work.
Minor Arcana and Miscellaneous Techniques
Bag for Camping Equipment
Bag for Rice
Bags for Plants
That one Pizza
I think I did a good job. Not sure what the job is exactly, though.
Reviewing my work for the quarter, it seems I took advantage of the copious time available for iteration, experimentation, and inefficient proposals. One clear benefit of this work is that other people find it intriguing and want to grace me with their presence or contribute to artistic efforts in some way, which is fun. I also see that the work of making this art is important to my own physical and mental well being.
At the level of aesthetics and meaning, it seems I am becoming more of a designer in my artwork, fulfilling expectations and making things that are easy and elegant for others to use. In part, I am short on burning needs or explosive inspiration and long on care, craft, and time. So the production value on most things is up, even as the meaning and basic power is declining.
Still, given contemporary conditions, I’m pleased with my work and look forward to a fruitful Q1. It’s much better for me to stay productive in this area of my life than to let it slip.