I often write, or share on social media, about how another artist’s work or practice inspires me. Sometimes, though, inspiration comes from unexpected places.
A few weeks ago I was slapped with an a-ha! moment while watching a food documentary series. I love escapist visual media (ooh, Netflix, you are the perfect accomplice to my obsessive binge watching tendencies). Even when I’m watching so-called empty calorie TV I’m tuned in to catch sparks that might set flame to an epiphany.
Let me set the stage, or shall I say table, for you… Read more
A true and timely tale about love, socks, and fate.
From the time I was a wee bairn I loved to create. A box of assorted odds and ends and glue or tape was absolute heaven to me. I knew even then that the purest version of myself emerged when I was in the act of making.
When I was around seven years old I made a puppet out of an old, navy sock that had been my father’s. Using scraps of felt, buttons and glue I transformed a utilitarian accessory into a wily dragon, capable of expressing itself with a myriad of emotions. Read more
Written by Jody MacDonald, February 05th, 2018 | 6 Comments »
This particular piece is at the forefront of my mind as I’ve just submitted it to an Art From Art call where the criteria is artwork that has been inspired by existing works of art created by other artists. I thought it would be fun to share the back story on this older but seminal piece of mine.
Tourist Attraction, Kahlo, Little Deer (1946) is the result of a mental mash-up of a vintage family vacation photo and one of my all time favourite Frida Kahlo paintings, Little Deer, painted in 1946.
The past few months have been dominated by back-end tasks that ate away at my studio time in a big way. So big, in fact, they even squeezed my monthly blog post out of the schedule!
I know, I know – it’s all part of my practice. The admin counts as much as the creating.
Unfortunately, the admin doesn’t feel as good as the creating. Making art energizes me. After a good, solid day in the studio I feel inspired. Completing admin tasks, on the other hand, has quite the opposite affect.
Although I feel a satisfying sense of accomplishment when I check those essential admin tasks off my list (I love having an updated website that features ALL of my finished work to date and I’m excited to have an online store that I’m on the brink of launching), a schedule heavy on admininstration leaves me feeling depleted, uninspired, and more than a little grumpy.
The remedy, of course, is to immerse myself in some intensive studio play. Read more
I have a pathological hatred for winter but I always look forward to the first weekend in March – Armory Week.
While the goal of the galleries might be to sell as much work as possible, the fairs are a useful resource for artists. The shows are an efficient way to information gather on pricing, display tactics, and the subtle sussing out of potential galleries that one might want to approach later regarding representation.
The fairs are also useful for pure inspiration’s sake. Read more
Written by Jody MacDonald, March 14th, 2017 | Comments Off on Armory Week Debrief
I am the type of person who picks a theme word in January to help keep focused and on task for the year.
Most years the theme is obvious to me and the word comes easy. Not this year. This year I struggled. I think it’s because I’m anticipating a milestone year ahead and I assigned a great weight to the outcome of my word choice. I was feeling so much pressure to choose the “right” word that I paralyzed myself – I couldn’t’ choose any theme at all.
I convinced myself to stop trying to force it, and, in the paradoxical way of the universe, once I stopped looking for it my theme word came to find me. Read more
Written by Jody MacDonald, February 23rd, 2017 | Comments Off on “It Takes Forever If You Go By Inertia”
Addendum: I found the unpublished draft of this post in a folder on my laptop. I wrote it in April and then squirreled it away to use in the not-too-distant future. Then, like many a squirrel, I forgot where I buried the nut (truthfully, I forgot I even had the nut at all).
Much has evolved since I first penned this, both in my personal life and the world at large. I publish it now, as it seems that a reminder to keep an open and expansive mindset might be welcome at this time.
I love our Long Island City apartment.
Part of that fondness is a result of the fact that my husband and I are the first people to live in the unit; brand new floors, new walls, new sinks, and new appliances. Everything is shiny and perfect. Well…almost. Read more
Written by Jody MacDonald, November 15th, 2016 | 4 Comments »
April showers brought May flowers…and May, of course, brought the Long Island City Arts Open Festival.
Last year I went all in, participating as much as I could in all the ways that were available: silent auction, group exhibits, even volunteering a bit of my time as admin support.
This year I had to make the tough decision to scale back my involvement so that I could fulfill a commitment I made to myself in January – to debut a wall full of brand new work at the Open Studios weekend.
Work in progress – ready enough to be put into frames and viewed! Curious about the empties? I worked on two pieces during the open studios and managed to fill one of the frames by the end of the weekend.
For those of you who were unable to make it to the festival itself (or ran out of time to see all the things!) I’ve curated some photos and put together a virtual open studio. Read more
Written by Jody MacDonald, May 25th, 2016 | Comments Off on Open Studios 2016: Virtual Redux
Some folks like to start off the New Year with a big, shiny resolution. Personally, I’m not keen on resolutions. I’d rather spend my time doing some inwardly focused planning and uncover a New Year’s revelation. Read more
Written by Jody MacDonald, January 28th, 2016 | 2 Comments »
Or in this particular case, know when to fix it, know when to nix it.
I have a pretty tenacious “never say die” attitude and, thanks to my proud Scottish heritage, a fairly benevolent Level of Broken-ness Scale that I refer to when confronted with holey clothing, damaged tools and faulty electronics. Read more
Written by Jody MacDonald, December 18th, 2015 | 2 Comments »
Lately I’ve been weighing options linked to the next stage of my practice. I am circling ever closer to the notion of grad school – getting past the awkward shy stage of a first idea and taking steps that make the concept of acquiring my MFA more than, ahem, conceptual.
So far I’ve been to three info/tour sessions and I’ve registered for another three in the coming months.
I’m finding the sessions incredibly valuable – and not just for logistics gathering like cost and program structure. Tours are an opportunity to try on the vibe of a place and see if it’s my size. Read more
Written by Jody MacDonald, November 12th, 2015 | Comments Off on Can It Be Wrong If It Feels So Write?
When I was thirty I had the good fortune to be in Paris, wandering starry-eyed through the Picasso Museum.
As I was standing in front of a piece, absorbed in the painting, I noticed a woman walking quickly through the gallery, a video camera aimed at the walls. She breezed around the perimeter of the room and then moved on to the next room and did the same. Read more
Written by Jody MacDonald, August 10th, 2015 | Comments Off on If You Go to a Gallery LOOK at the Art!
Solstice is just around the corner and there have already been a few steamy days in June, hinting at the sweltering New York summer to come.
I’m an August baby with very fond summer vacation memories but I’m also a typical ginger: extremely pale and sun-sensitive…crispy-fried-from-the-sunlight-vampire-skin-sensitive. UV exposure aside, I simplydon’t function well above 84F.
Keeping that in mind, I’m starting to plan my Summer Studio Strategy. Read more
Written by Jody MacDonald, June 19th, 2015 | Comments Off on Hot Town, Summer In The City
A year ago I wrote about the perils of being too comfortable and how that can affect one’s motivation and growth.
Well, after 12 months of leaning into some terrific – and sometimes uncomfortable – growth, the universe must think I am still wa-a-a-y too comfortable in my current situation. An extra dash of force majeure has been thrown into the mix. Read more