Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August Meeting with Mentor Shellburne Thurber

      Saturday, August 18th, I met for the second time with my mentor Shellburne.  When I got out of my car carrying a big box with leaves and sticks poking out of it she looked at me strangely, and I thought, “Gee, she told me to make things, and now that I did she’s looking at me like I’m a crazy person.”  But once inside, with my little tree house sculpture out of the box and lit up, Shellburne lit up.  She told me when she saw the box with a ‘plant’ sticking out of it she thought, “Now why is Amy bringing me a rose bush?”  She liked my little sculpture much more than the imagined rose bush.  We talked about sculpture quite a bit; other ideas of mine, suggestions of hers, and other artists I should look at.  I showed her pictures of my chair/window sculpture in progress, and some photos of mine that have given me other ideas.  I told her about the copper house idea with the ‘rain’ inside, and told her I had a recirculating pump on order.  She told me I should consider a sculpture with a real living plant within it.  I said on the ride down I had just thought of such an idea, based on this brick skeletal structure I had recently photographed (see this week’s photos).  She told me I should look at the sculptures of Lucas Samaras and Louise Bourgeois.  She also suggested I look at Felix Gonzalas, who art deals with impermanence, and Jim Hodges, who has done a lot of curtains that look like memorials.  She said my work all seems to be about dematerialization and encroachment.
     When she finally got to looking at my photographs she said there were a number of very strong images.  But she wants me to work on being able to defend my use of color, because my color is ‘wrong’ and purists wouldn’t accept it.  I told her I didn’t want the color to be ‘real’, because I felt the images should have a sense of the not-quit-real.  She agreed, and said my color usage fit the imagery, but she wants me to play around with the color saturation as an exercise to for my color choice defense.  She also told me I should look again at William Eggleston.

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