Sunday, April 19, 2009

Working in Isolation...the mind of the artist

I'm blabbering again.

It took me many years to realize this, but creativity - in any form - is an isolated act. Yeah, you can brainstorm with co-workers and can jam, improvise, challenge - but each new idea that crops up in your brain came from within/from nowhere... from [as Deepak Chopra has said] "the thinker behind the thoughts."

So - here's a blank canvas, or sheet of paper, or lump of clay or pile of glass - whatever medium. The artist approaches it with a spark of an idea, a thought, a vision, an image - and a certain amount of time goes by and something amazing or potentially mediocre is on that canvas or paper!

It's a little lonely, but rewarding in a way that can't be explained. I spend the time in my studio alone [albeit the radio, music or a book on tape] thinking, dreaming, talking to myself... every image, every piece I've created came out of my brain [with inspiration from something somewhere...] and on to [mostly] canvas... some masterpieces, some just so-so [I'm my own worse critic].

When your work is ready - the isolation ends. You present this extremely personal object to the world and wait.

But, then - what if it is a masterpiece [in my mind] - how do you deal with it?
Can I say "I am a genius! What a masterpiece!" or does that make me a conceited jerk... or do I deny my innate talent - remain modest or die a thousand deaths worrying about the critics?

The artists who are bazillionaires are not modest. They're not shy. The world of art is no longer about the glimmering light hidden under a bushel basket... no longer dying in poverty and shame. Read an interview with Julian Schnabel, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Chuck Close, Cindy shrinking violets. But no matter if you think they're conceited bastards - that painting, that crystal encrusted skull, that giant balloon animal, that wig - it was a spark in their minds that was conceived in isolation.

I'm still working through my responses to admirers... read my Q&A below and you'll either laugh or think I'm a jerk.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Custom Portraits

As you may know, I participated in Access Hollywood's "Things You Must..." Gift Lounge for the Golden Globe awards.
My "gift" was a choice - either a "instant gratification" gift of one of a selection of giclees - or a small custom portrait.
I've done a few of those already - but I am particularly proud of the one [below] that I just finished today for Deanna Russo - star of "Knight Rider" on TV.
Not only is she a delightful person, is she not gorgeous??? I was really into creating something special - and there are a lot of details to make it colorful and fun. I can't wait to hear her reaction!

I also did a custom portrait for Glynn Turman, an Emmy winning actor most recently seen on HBO's "In Treatment" and "The Wire," silly me forgot to take a photo of the portrait, but I will get one soon and post it on my site and here.

His wife was kind enough to send this note:
Thank you so very much for the incredible and unique portrait of
Glynn. He absolutely loves it and so do I. It is remarkable what you
can do to capture his true spirit, especially his eyes. Thank you
again for your beautiful gift, it will be treasured for years. We
will look at your site for future unique gifts for our family and
friends, thanks so much and take care. The Turman's

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's Happening Now... S A Schimmel Gold

At the moment...

The last few years have been a whirlwind of activities, many taking me away from and out of the studio. I've been distracted at times, and have participated in too many activities. I will spend the next 6 months hunkering down, concentrating on my new direction; re-shaping my work, paring down the messaging and preparing 10-12 large pieces for a serious showing.

I am not participating in a lot of events – you may notice my calendar is short of openings, shows & festivals. I am also not cranking out new pieces as much as I had for shows, etc. This was planned.

  • For one thing, I had major surgery last week and am recuperating. It will be several weeks before I can return to my normal work schedule. The surgery date kept getting moved, so it was difficult to plan ahead or make a lot of commitments.

  • Second, going to art festivals in this economic climate can be depressing – yes, I still get incredible reactions to my work, but I know a lot of people are hurting and just can't make purchases of luxury items... let's face it, art is a luxury!

  • And third, after the Access Hollywood gift lounge, I am committed to completing several custom portraits for celebrities, so these custom pieces have been and will continue to tie up my time for a while longer.

  • I have been asked to create a book, and also to teach workshops. I will be taking some time to explore this direction; investigate if, how and when I would move forward with these projects.

  • But, most importantly, I have a series in mind that I believe will take me as an artist to a new level. My intention is to create a modern collection of Icons – using the traditional Russian Icon as an inspirational “jumping off” point – using my pop-art style & unusual color palettes to create something completely unique. And creating my own resource images.

    • I often use images provided by the advertising machine – whether for beauty or fashion or even celebrity.

      • For this series, I will style and photograph my own images.

      • Instead of using models or actors as subjects – I will use ordinary women and through my art – transform each of them into an Icon. A new mythology of women will go along with the series. Curious, yes?

    • I will continue to use advertising ephemera, junk mail and other “potential” debris to create my work, including found objects beyond the 2-dimensional.

      • In addition, all materials used to create the image will be non-toxic, acid-free and water-based. I will continue to upcycle, reuse, repurpose and recycle whenever possible.

    • I will be posting progress and photos on my blog, so keep posted.

Am I still selling art? You bet.

I do have a one-woman show at Translations Gallery in Denver – opening May 1, 2009.

I still have work at the American Gallery in Carmel and Raw Style in Santa Monica – both in California. And, I have several pieces here at my home studio – private appointments are available. You can always check my site to see what is available... and send me an email for pricing.

One last thing - the name game: S A Schimmel Gold... Sandhi, Sandy, Sandra...etc. What's the deal?

S. A. - I like using my initials. They're not gender nor age specific.

I started using Sandhi about a year ago as a new way to spell Sandy. It's a sanskrit word - the meaning works. I like it.

Schimmel Gold. Okay, I was Schimmel for SO long, "Schimmel Art" [the business name] started when I was still single.

When I married Mr. Gold 4 1/2 years ago, I added Gold to the end of my name. No hyphen.

I'm not a jeweler.

A lot of people still call me "Schimmel" - some use both. I don't really mind, but Mr. Gold does. And I am proud to be his wife, so I like having Gold at the end of my name.

I look forward to talking more!