Filed under: catalyst
As always, thank you to all of our visitors and all the encouraging comments you left for us. For those of you who did, thank you for playing along with us.
Ok! Here’s catalyst number sixty-four:
Create art about a time when something that then seemed small happened but then it ended up changing your life.
We’re so excited to have Seth Apter as this week’s Guest Artist.
Seth was recommended to me by our very own Vivian Bonder. When I visited his site, I was immediately fascinated by his art. All the layers in his work
A true artist, Seth creates in so many mediums, including bookmaking and bookbinding, textures, layers, text, altered images, artistic collaborations, visual journaling, abstract art, ephemera, and more. His work and words can be seen in many sites online and in print, in such publications as Artful Blogging, Pasticcio Quartz, and Varietist Muse.
Here is Seth’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version and more detail.
In life, I believe in the power of synchronicity. That things happen for a reason and are meant to be. And that there is meaning to be found in even the smallest experience. You just have to be open to the possibility. One instance of this for me, and the inspiration behind “Leave Full”, occurred in 2000. I was emerging from a challenging period in my life but had become open to and ready for the possibility of good things happening. I was travelling on my own in the North West United States and in British Columbia Canada. One day I entered an art gallery and was immediately mesmerized by the artwork there. It affected me in a way and on a personal level that I had never experienced before. I should say that before this time, while I had admired art, I hadn’t created art since I was a teenager. I struck up a conversation with the gallery owner, Patricia Larsen, and felt that same energy from her as I did from the artwork. Turns out, no surprise, that she was the artist of the work I had admired so much.
After quite a long conversation, I purchased a piece of her art. Soon after, I returned home to New York City. Although I had wonderful memories of the visit, I assumed that it ended there. But, quite surprisingly, I soon received a handmade postcard from Patricia. I felt that I couldn’t just send back a store bought card and made a meager attempt to create my own postcard, which I mailed back to her. This, in turn, developed into a full blown mail art relationship, with the creative stakes rising with each mailing. Ultimately, Patricia and I have developed a deep and continuing friendship. And this connection was 100% the catalyst for me in opening myself up to art and becoming the artist I am today. And in my mind, this was meant to be. Such a small event, walking through a gallery door, led to such a life changing experience…art!(here’s Patricia Larsen’s beautiful site: http://www.patricialarsen.com/.)
I try to achieve a highly layered and textured background in all my work. The background in this piece has been created using acrylic paint. Different colors of paint were added one layer at a time. After each layer, the still-wet paint was either distressed with sandpaper, wiped away with a rag, texturized with various materials, or dug into with a straight edge. I feel that building up the layers, perhaps to the point where the earliest layers may not even be visible, is the best way to achieve depth and richness in a piece.
Thank you so much Seth; we’re so very very honored.
Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.
You change my World….I used a picture of the first ultrasound from my eldest son. He’s 8 weeks here, and so small….almost one inch….so sweet….. On that moment I couldn’t imagine how my life was going to change…Now he’s 12 and this summer he goes to Highschool, so excited…my life changes again…a new chapter from the book of my life
I transferred a copy from the ultrasound image with golden gel medium, and after that I sprayed with glimmermist pearl, and some alcohol ink. Transferring is really nice to do.
Years ago, I was sitting at school with a friend who told me that a friend of hers (someone I only knew as an acquaintance) had had a really bad day. I am not sure what prompted me, but I emailed her friend that day and asked him if he was ok. Next thing I know, we were hanging out, becoming friends. And then dating. And then we got married. And now we have two kids. It all started with one single email. Amazing what can change in a moment.
Last year, I asked someone to make a quilt with me. Although I had done a bit of quilting in the past, at the time, I wasn’t quilting. Most of my art was channeled through writing and sketching or painting, but I was working with fiber, making pillows and small bags for art tools. I was already working with her on a book project, a shared daily recording of moments, but when I suggested we make a quilt to frame an assortment of my daily bird sketches, it felt pretty presumptuous of me. The quilt came into being over the summer. It was a small thing, the reaching out and asking if she might be interested in working on it jointly. I had no idea when I asked that a year later we’d have made dozens and dozens of quilts together and that the balance of my art would have shifted, the scales tipping to fabric. I had no idea that in asking, in doing that first project, I’d have found new direction and new vision and that in the space of a few months, I’d have learned so much.
That first quilt was sold this year. The pieced block here with the heron in the corner mimics the palette and style of the blocks we created for that quilt. Since then, working many miles apart, we’ve built upon one another, quilt by quilt, row by row, and border by border, incorporating scraps, selvage, and sketches.
I think the biggest change that happened in my life because of a small decision, was when I met my husband. I had finally made the decision to move in to an apartment alone. This was something I really needed to do to grow as a person. The day I moved in, my future husband came bounding down the stairs and told me to feel free to crash any of their (he and his roommate’s) future parties. I was so bummed to hear that my upstairs neighbors threw big parties. I am not anti-social. I just prefer small gatherings to big parties. One night, several months later, I decided to just go up and talk with them. I didn’t put a ton of thought into it, I was just bored. That small non-though-out decision, which meant little to me at the time, turned out to be the reason my future husband and I started dating.
I was about to move into my first apartment and was thrilled to be on my own. The day I was to move in, I came down with the flu. Fortunately, I had several friends offer to help me. We were nearly done when a guy came bouncing down the stairs. He introduced himself to me and suggested I visit them upstairs when they have one of their parties. My heart sunk. My first place and the guys upstairs throw parties. Well, one night a few months later, I did go to visit them. They were not having a party, so I was able to talk to both guys and get to know them a little. A few weeks later, Jeremy, the guy I originally met on the day I moved in, knocked on my door and asked me out. I couldn’t go, but asked him to ask me another time. A week later he knocked on my door, again, and asked me if I wanted to go out with a big group for his birthday. I did and we’ve been together ever since.
It all started in a cloudy day where my husband and I decided to go to the beach. As the weather was covered, we didn’t even worried about putting on sunscreen and we spent the whole day sitting on the beach feeling the breeze and the warmth sheltering us.
To our surprise, the warmth resulted in sunburns, redness and discomfort for days.
Those sunburns ended up causing a spot over my forehead, which started to bother me so much that I decided to look for a dermatologist. After some exams, it was found out a problem in my ovaries related to this spot and I was oriented to interrupt the use of birth control pills.
My husband and I had already decided to get pregnant only in two years time, which was the estimated time for me to finish my Master on science of Law degree studies, however, we took the risk and we found out destiny was reserving us the greatest gift of our lives!
I was very afraid of not being able to take my pregnancy to the end, but, hey, everything went on relatively smooth and my little one was born to illuminate our lives with all her joy and energy!
The skin? I still put on many creams with acid even today, have peelings and suffer a lot in various treatments when I am willing enough to worry about my appearance…
i’ve experienced a few unexpected turns in my life but i always believe that you get exactly what you need, when you need it most. today, this day, is a very hard one for me and my family as it is the 10 year anniversary of my grandfathers death.
it was a painful and difficult time for me when my grandfather passed away 10 years ago as he was the true father figure in my life. the man who was always there to help guide me. he was the father that i didn’t have, for most of my life, and he was unconditionally giving and loving and supportive.
when we lost my grandfather my heart broke in two. i had never experienced overwhelming grief before and instead of dealing with my emotions and letting my pain surface and process i hid from it. I hid the pain with a few crazy summer months of partying and doing everything i could to not be alone with my pain and memories. i was young. i was sad. i was so very lost.
but my grandfather sent me a gift just 6 weeks after he left us, he sent me someone who would love me more than he did. he sent me my soulmate, my future husband, the father of my children. someone who would help me get through the pain and see that living and loving and building a future is the best medicine to heal a broken heart.
it still hurts, even now, that my grandfather isn’t here to see the life i have built and the family i have created. but i know that he sees all of it.
Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Create art about a time when something that then seemed small happened but then it ended up changing your life.” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.
Leave us comments with your work and you will qualify for the RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.
Remember, this is not a competition. If your art makes you feel even a bit better at the end, you’ve won.
Until next week, enjoy each and every moment.
4 Comments so far
Leave a comment