Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Day One of daily art 2020

During the last week of the year I always angst over what project to adopt for my new daily art.  Sometimes I have made my mind up only in the waning hours of New Year's Eve, but this time I was pretty sure for the last month or so that I wanted to continue my calligraphy for another year.  I have truly loved this project and feel that I have only begun to explore the possibilities of writing-as-art.

Unfortunately, when I was in the craft store in early December I didn't think to stock up on sketchbooks for 2020, so yesterday I had to make a fast run -- and discovered that the kind I have been using all year was not on the shelf.  The whole store kind of resembled a post-holiday war zone, with half-empty shelves and display racks moved for renovation, so I probably should be glad I found any sketchbook at all.  But I will be starting the year with 70-pound "artist paper" instead of 80-pound "premium artist paper."  (Probably won't notice much difference.)

I very reluctantly decided to abandon my daily miniatures with the end of 2019.  I have truly loved that project as well and looked forward to making a new little piece of art every day.  But I realized that documenting and cataloguing the miniatures was taking up a lot of time.  Between the writing and the miniature I was probably averaging at least a half hour a day, and although I had the constant fun and exhilaration of making art, I found it hard to concentrate on "real art" last year.  So with a solo show to put together in June, I am bidding the miniatures good-bye, at least for a while.

Some might ask whether I couldn't just make miniatures without having it be an official Daily Art, and dispense with the tedious documentation.  And of course I could, and perhaps I will, although it will be an entirely different project.  I have learned in two decades of daily art that the documentation and organization is half the fun, and at least to my mind, an essential part of the character of what I produce. 

So here's my last daily miniature, a two-faced Janus: 

And my first calligraphy of the new year, the beginning of the Ode to Joy -- the same text that I used to start last year, and returned to so many times in between.  What better sentiment to grasp as we move forward in fraught times: All men will become brothers where thy gentle wings stay. 

Happy New Year, and let's hope for lots of art and joy ahead.

No comments:

Post a Comment