Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Doubting

If you read Julia Cameron's books on artists and writers, The Artists Way or the book the War of Art by.....Then you will read about the artists block and the many ways artists block and sabotage their own creativity and art projects.  It is inherent in the process.  "I will never make the deadline I might as well quit", "I shouldn't have put that there and now it is to late", "this is no good, no one will like it", "this is no good, it is the crappiest piece of art I have ever done", "why did I ever think I could do art", "maybe everyone will find out I am really no good and the last award was just a fluke", goes on and on-a thousand negative thoughts that are meant to sabotage your efforts all manufactured by your mind.  Then there are the delaying tactics, I need to clean the house(when you know you don't), I need to wash my hair, I need to take go to the store, I need to watch paint dry(I threw that in for the ridiculousness of it) and so on.  Then we often enable friends and family members to sabotage us by asking leading questions, "don't you think this work is a piece of crap?", "this is not the best work I have ever done", or when we choose a family member or friend who we know doesn't appreciate our style of work and then ask their opinion, in that way we subtly invite negative remarks to sabotage our own feelings of doubt to re-enforce our own need to block ourselves.  
This is a dangerous phase because even the best of artists and the most experienced of creative people will fall pray to its temptations.  If you think Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo or Manet or Sargent did not have these devils you would be wrong, all you would need do is to read their biographies and you would find the same struggle all artists have gone through over time.  Van Gogh is one of the most dramatic of examples, his mental illness magnified his struggles and doubts.  But the point here is it is a step in the artist process as well as any other, and one we must all weather through to get to the other end of success in our work.  
Last night my doubts began and my mind filled with negative thoughts about my piece.  Much the same as I wrote above...this is a crappy piece of work not worthy of my effort, they are going to think it is ridiculous and look at it and know right away I am a failure, the cows are the wrong color, I should have glued the evil eye charm down I should have tied it, shit I got glue on the plastic now the piece is ruined, the top works, but the bottom belongs to another piece, I am not conveying the theme Home,  I started in one direction and ended up in another maybe that is too confusing, I can't enter this and show it hundreds of people, and on and on and on.  
Then at some point the doubts quiet down if you stare them down and restore confidence in yourself.  Ah, if I put this here or it really does look good, that flows better than I was thinking, the blue cows with added lettering in gold work, I have put in many elements, but it is a conceptual piece and I want people to think, and in the end I realize I must do the work for myself and  create for others perceive it is their own business.  Andy Warhol said it best, just do art and let others figure it out, but the art must get done. 
I am a Surrealist at heart, it took me half of my art lifetime to understand that, it is an intellectual, conceptual way I work.  I put many subconscious triggers throughout ever work, each to be interpreted in a variety of ways by the person viewing them.  So I know from the outset my work will be viewed differently by the experiences a person has in their lives when they view my work.  For example if I put a snake skin in a work, some people may thing evil or danger or the shedding means getting rid of the old to be born anew, new life or many other meanings.  So much depends on our experiences, our education, our culture, our age, our childhoods, and so many other things.  The next time you view a piece of art, whether conceptual or not....there is always an intent the artist is trying to convey to you, even when you think they are not, take time with the work, let it seep in to your senses, and then open your mind to all the images and possibilities that come.  That is what the artists, the creator would want. 
And for the artist who are experiencing the doubting phase I say weather through, it is only one of the steps, but it is necessary to go throughout the tunnel to get to the light.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The River

Stage 3

The River

letter blocks
 I f you have ever played a card game called Texas Hold 'em you may know this term, it is the last draw before the hand it over.  You have three previous cards before this one is dealt.  As you receive your cards you are waiting to see what kind of hand you can put together. 

Statue of Liberty Transparency with colored piano key pads,
and words of home in varying languages
 I think of the term River as an actual river also, where there is a flow and the water is running downstream. The water runs over rocks, around bends, and though eddy's may form the constant gathering flow builds from a tickle to a small stream to a river, mighty and flowing.  This stage of the artistic process is like that where all the bits and pieces I have gathered are coming together, first a trickle of an idea, then a stream that is growing clearer and clearer in my minds direction until the idea flows and comes together like the Mighty Mississippi as it becomes the glorious river it is. 

varying type sets of letters and numbers
Porcelain glove mold hand with image transfers

Rear view of suitcase with ceramic round disc with ceramic ink transfer in
multiple overlays 
The flowing also takes place in ones mind, runner's call it a runner's high, Zen masters call it meditation, for me it is like a floating place where there is no sense of time.  In this step one minute can be one hour or all afternoon, time stops and there is just no sense of time at this point. 
Test tubes with cicada's, cocoon, and leaf bug 
 Once can sense there is a coming together and it feels right, things are beginning to make sense and fit, but the end is not yet in sight, as I am still swimming in the flow of the water like riding a crest of a wave....I can feel the power of the movement below me and I am riding its motion.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


2. The What If Stage?
     At this stage in the art process I have gathered everything me that draws my interest for the project at hand.  The media is not a factor at this point.  I need to look and process in my mind the direction I might take.  It is like a giant jig saw puzzle, what if I put this here, what if I join this with that, what if this texture works with this element?  And it goes on and on, a constant questioning, and moving of one object to another place or another, taking an image out, leaving one in, does idea flow in my mind. If we wanted a more technical name for this process it would be called divergent thinking. I am not concerned at this point about how things attach, even if it is possible, only that it brings a possibility or interest. 
image transfer on porcelain glove form, ceramic ink on clay, washers, nuts 

Building the base of an assemblage, wooden box, old typewriter case, test tubes
insects and cocoon. 

Glue, jewelry tool, transparent line, rusted metal ribbon, and disk

close up of rusty disk with rich oranges and brown tones
snake skin, honest nest, and elements from nature

Ceramic ink transfer on white clay body, moths

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Disparate Parts and The Journey

In my collage/assemblage art there are always many parts that must come together.  It is my process to surround myself with all the interesting, intriguing pieces of ephemera and rusty worn objects I can.  
Most I have collected over months and in many cases over many years and they wait patiently until they find a home in a piece of art work.  I often wonder about my chosen way of work, but it is the only method that flows and feels right to me.  There are projects I plan in detail ahead, but more often I have a general idea, a direction in which I head, and then I turn myself over to the journey, for it is in the experience of creating that ignites more and more creativity.  It takes a great deal of trust in the inner artist or what ever we might like to call that guiding force, but I have learned when I can do this my best work comes. For me if I plan too much ahead, I over think, I over critic and I let doubts creep in...if my conscious mind is more active than my sub-conscious mind.
Many non artists find this difficult to understand, and want to know what you are thinking when you do a piece of art, and how you do this or that.  I think it is a bit like how I cook.  I read tons of cookbooks and recipes, but when I enter the kitchen it is without books or recipes, for it is time to create.  If you have to stick to a recipe or a plan you have dedicated yourself to a limited range of outcomes and therefore pre-constrained your own creative results.  This way of work is not for everyone or every artist, it is my way, it is what I have found works for me and the only way I feel comfortable and right with doing art.  For me it is like the runners high, I enter a world of Zen like concentration, a world of intense concentration and a world where time stands still-one hour is one minute. or several hours pass by and it seems as if it I just blinked.  
The piece I am working on now is an assemblage for a members show for an art center I belong to.  The theme is Home.  I will take you through some of the process as I go through it and try to describe some of my choices and challenges as I proceed through each step.  Part of the challenge of this piece is  it must be shipped to another state, and it will be in at least three main sections in the central body and many small pieces on the outside surfaces.  It will also depend on the gallery that receives it to do some assembly, due to the fact it is less likely to be broken if shipped in three sections.  The other challenges are many different materials that call for differing adhesives and methods of attachment, to achieve as much stability and durability as one can.  I am an artist who, if a work sells, is concerned about the quality and longevity of the work I sell.  So as we begin I will start to photograph stage by stage to take you along this trip of creation and struggle with me.  I hope you will enjoy the journey as we enter this world of the artistic process.  

                     There is no order at this stage only an idea and the gathering of interesting elements. This first stage for those who love order, is most disturbing.  Some people thrive on order and a need to plan ahead, the idea of letting go is too frightening to conceive, it is the jump from a high dive into a cold pool that is not even in site! But it is in the letting go that the beginning of creation happens.

Monday, June 24, 2013


"Don't think about making art, just get it done.  Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.  While they are deciding, make even more art."

Andy Warhol    Pop Art Marilyn Monroe     from google image for educational purposes

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Title of Show: Strong Women Bright

Joseph is an outstanding glass mixed media artist

Location: The Lounge at Dixon Place Theatre, 161a Christie Street, New York City 
Dixon Place presents the work of Joseph Cavalieri a local east village glass artist and educator. The work features illuminated portraits of strong and powerful women from Queen Elizabeth II to Maude (Bea Arthur) and New York drag icon Lady Bunny. All works are silkscreened enamel, kiln fired on stained glass and set in an illuminated light box.
Stop by - the show continues to June 24th.


Black Mountain Drew the Finest Creative Minds of Its Time

Robert Rauschenberg  at Black Mountain                       from google image for educational purposes only

"It was one of the most engaging, risky, and romantic seed-enterprises in the history of higher 

education." - Alexander Eliot, former student 

". . . it really became kind of recognized [at BMC] that art could be anything, and could be made out of anything, and that it didn't necessarily cross boundaries -- they thought - between theater, the visual arts, dance, music, etc., that you could mix all this up and make a multi-media - or . . . environmental art." - Kenneth Noland, former student 

"BMC was a crazy and magical place, and the electricity of all the people seemed to make for a wonderfully charged atmosphere, so that one woke up in the mornings excited and a little anxious, as though a thunderstorm were sweeping in." - Lyle Bonge, former student 
- See more at:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Big Glitch!

Rabbit's Moon Studio has been down for almost 10 days due to technology issues in change of locale from Florida to Asheville.  Our DSL line at our mountain studio is due to be reconnected within the up coming week and our computer system has now been repaired.  It just shows how vulnerable we all are to technology.  It allows us to communicate with great ease across the globe on one hand, and on the other when things are not connected and working it is really down!  So thank you all for your patience and soon we will return with wonderful articles about art and artist around the world.  We also are due to update you on the happenings of one our favorite artists here at Rabbit's Moon, Joseph Cavalieri.  His wonderful mixed media glass art continues to be new galleries and upcoming workshops for the fall in Germany.  Exciting news for Joseph!
Computer Glitch                                                 from google image

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mohibul Limon, Photographer of the Common Man, Bangladesh

Innocence in Time                                Mohibul Limon, a photographer of  Bangladeshi 

There are some things a person cannot fake, it is the simple things that  show your true feelings.  But a photographer is like a lens to the soul, what they see you see.  Their eyes, their brain, their emotions and experience frame the shot and through the filter of their being you experience what they see.  I think people do not always understand that...a photograph is not just a picture that was in front of the person.  It is a scene from thousands of possibilities one could choose, the lighting, the angle, the composition, the relationship to the subject, the choice of that moment out of thousands, that one click, is taken by another being on this Earth that has assimilated his experiences, emotions and views into that one click on the camera.  And it is then we see through his eyes in a way only his lifetime can offer.  So I challenge you to would a tourist have taken this shot, how would an advertiser taken this photo, how would a woman or man...or would they have even taken this shot.  Was it just Limon's love of his fellow Bangeladeshi people, the love of the simple innocence of his country that produced this picture.  As you look at more of Limon's work, I think you will see what I see...a man who has deep love of his people, all his people, a deep sensitivity into the soul of what makes the Bangladeshi special and different from all other peoples on this Earth.  Limon has the soul of a poet, a sensitivity so acute it makes one feel deeply for his people and hurt when he hurts viewing poverty or unfairness.  I will continue to post Limon's work as I process it.  The sending of one computer to another, with different operating systems and software programs has slowed the sharing some, but we will get it done so you do not miss this wonderful view of one mans love of his country and people.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Photographs of Mohibul Limon

Photo by Mohibul Limon                                Ferry Seller                                 Bangladesh

Bangladesh through the Eyes of Someone Who Loves Her and Her People

Photo by Mohibul Limon                  From the series, the Man Who Cared
As we look at Limon's photo's closer, it is almost as if he has provided us a view of his county and people as if we, also, had grown up in Bangladesh and loved the simple things...the common man, the everyday, the gentle beauty of the land caught in time.  Limon offers us a lens, a filter in which we see Bangladesh with old eyes and fresh eyes at the same time.  Bangladesh is changing rapidly, but there are some things that are timeless and innocent like a boat ferrying a Mother and her children on a gentle bay.  Limon's photo's seem to  tell a story.  We want to know more...where is the boat going, who are the family and what is their story.  We want to see more and know more, just on the other side of where the photo ends!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Moving on and Cleaning Out...The Feng Shui of Art


photo by Elizabeth Gordon       Asheville 
Photo by Elizabeth Gordon   Asheville 

It is time to pull up stakes and head to the mountains for the summer which precipitated cleaning out my studio car (the trunk) and cleaning up the studio itself.  It is amazing how liberating to finally do something I have procrastinated on for a long time this winter.  
As I was cleaning, decided what I did need and didn't, discovering things I had forgotten about with delight I realized how freeing the whole process was.  As I was doing so, art ideas began to flow.  It is almost like in the act of clearing out stuff, I was clearing out the cobwebs in my mind as well.....the clutter I had allowed to gather and weigh me down. 
Now I can re-organize. let go of old project that were not suiting me, and look to welcoming new creations.  I am excited about improving and expanding my mountain studio.  It needs much more lighting and shelving.  It also needs big fans and screen doors for the garage doors to let the light and mountain coolness in.  
I have always read about Feng Shui (click) and admired the idea, but I have been so much of a collector it is hard for me to actually achieve minimalism in my environment.  I do like the thought of energy not blocked and moving in a way that generates more creativity and prosperity.  
I think it is good for us as artist to do this once and a while, a big spring cleaning and a clearing of the cobwebs in our thoughts and take new steps.  We need to let go of the old and what seemed secure, but no longer serves us.  Perhaps all of life is that way, but we artists need to constantly renew ourselves for our art.

Art Quotes for the artists spirit.

True Art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist. 
albert einstein

from google for educational purposes only

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rabbits Moon Studio Achieves a New Goal!!!

75,186 Hits!  We hit another miles stone, for the little blog that could!!!!  Whahooo! 

Even Leonardo Da Vinci...."Vinci" is impressed!

A Pioneer in African American Women's Art




Elizabeth was born in Washington D.C. and educated at Howard University.  She lived grew up in D.C.  and she was the daughter of two teachers,  Her first marriage was brief and she later married Francisco and moved to Mexico to live the rest of her life.
I have been captivated by her for a long time.  For one thing I noticed her birthday was only a few days from mine and she seemed to be an eternally positive person.  Her work seemed so progressive at the time and she has bee a tremendous role model for all women artists.  She is a strong independent and courageous woman.

Elizabeth Catlett figurative sculpture          from google for educational purposed only

"Acclaimed for her figurative sculptures and lithographs, Elizabeth Catlett has been one of the most prominent black artists of the last 50 years. Known for her technical accomplishment, Catlett specializes in realistic art that shows her concern for preserving black cultural traditions, especially as represented in the lives of everyday, working-class people. Since the 1940s she has worked according to her belief that art should be for the benefit of all people, and not for what she termed "the exclusive domain of the elect" in The Art of Elizabeth Catlett. This objective has forged for her a cultural relationship with the country of Mexico, where she moved in the mid-1940s and of which she became a citizen in 1962. "Neither the masses of black people nor Mexican people have the time or the money to develop formal aesthetic appreciation," Catlett remarked in Ebony. "And so I try to reach them intuitively because they have an intuitive appreciation, and thus help, if I can, their aesthetic development."
Catlett has made her reputation particularly by depicting themes related to black women, especially the bonds of maternal love. She has also concentrated on portraying figures of black history, such as Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, and Phillis Wheatley, as well as other prominent blacks like musician Louis Armstrong. "I have always wanted my art to service Black people--to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential," she commented to Samella Lewis in Art: African American. "Learning how to do this and passing that learning on to other people have been my goals." Catlett embraced her role as a black artist in the early 1940s when a position as an adult-education teacher inspired her to use art as a vehicle to teach blacks about their culture. "Up until then I guess I didn't have any artist's philosophy about what I was doing and why, except that I was working with Black subject matter," she told Stephanie Stokes Oliver in Essence. "But then I realized that I had to work for every kind of Black people."

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