Monday, February 6, 2017

Daily text project update

So my daily art project for this year is text on a 4x6 index card.  Not much in the way of rules, thus leaving me lots of room for experimentation.  I'm liking some of the pieces I've come up with, but I have yet to come to terms with this project.

It's taking up way too much of my time!

Unlike the daily art rules in 2015, I'm not required to find the text for today's piece today.  And it would be impossible to come up with some of the poems from a single day's newspaper.  Instead, I'm on the alert for a dozen or more words or themes which I cut out and file for future use.  For instance, I'm still collecting "early" and "late" even though I made a whole book on that theme last year.  And now I'm collecting "easy," "sad," "transparent," "heart" and "poetry."  I'm collecting "Bruce" for my brother and "Lynn" for a commissioned project.  I'm collecting questions, especially very short ones, and parenthetical remarks.  And several other things.

If my husband has already read the newspaper (we each initial the sections as we finish them) I will cut the phrases out as I encounter them.  If he hasn't, I'll mark the ones I want to cut out and come back later.

I end up with piles of cutout words and phrases littering the table, demanding to be sorted and filed.  My husband took a 10-day vacation, during which I resolved to get caught up on a lot of cleaning and organizing, so I now had little piles of cutouts at not one but four places at two different tables!

I realized long ago that dealing with tiny cutouts is difficult -- you have to spread them out to see what you have before you can proceed with "writing" your poems.  Last fall I had them sorted onto trays while I was working, and then put them into envelopes when I was in collection mode.  But then when it's time to dump out the envelope you have to sort them and spread them out.

Finally I figured out that I could sort and store the cutouts by using the sticky side of sticky notes.  And realized that I could tape six sticky notes onto a large index card to be able to see lots at once without too much shuffling through different pieces of paper.

So after a week of serious cutting, sorting and pasting, I have many of my clippings easily at hand and not occupying our entire eating spaces.  But I'm still worried that this project is taking up way too much time.  I don't ever intend my daily art to occupy my life, just take a little time in between "real" art.  I haven't gotten to that point yet, but I better figure out how to do so pretty soon.

You can check out all my daily art at my daily art blog.


  1. I see a daily art activity as being something FUN with little to no background work. What you are doing doesn't sound like fun and it doesn't look like art.

  2. Great organization system. It is still a time intensive adventure. I'd like to try it again with different words, but not for a while. The first book took about 2 months start to finish. I think your system would save me a couple of weeks. As to whether or not it's art, that's an interesting question. I tried to answer the question, "What is good art?" in an essay for Spanish class. I find it an interesting question and difficult to answer (especially in Spanish). "What is art?" is probably just as thorny a concept.