Saturday, July 10, 2010

No Book Clubs Allowed

Now, I am in no way claiming to be an artist. However, I did have art lessons as a child and used to do some fun things with pastels. I have always been interested in making things and in visuals and I have been in dozens of museums in the US and Europe. I have a crafty mother and we were always doing arts and crafts as kids. We had some artistic ancestors mixed among the whacky ones, but that is another story. But it did just seem natural when my daughter Melanie started drawing around the age of 5.

My most recent art foray was the mural in my backyard. I spent about 2 years gluing recycled stuff to the wall. In the "every cloud has a silver lining" category, my shower door broke-twice-providing ample material for the ocean. It has its issues, but I like the way the glass sparkles off the water at night. I did have the help of my friend Martin, who is himself an artist with heavy tools.

So I was absolutely delighted when my high energy friend Julie Pace invited me to join the summer art challenge with "a bunch of friends." Some of the folks are the real McCoy, which could be intimidating but I am doing the yoga position 'ego eradicator' on a daily to allay my fears.

This all started when Jim and Tim (real artists ) recognized that they needed some motivation to keep making art during the heat of the summer. They decided to do a sort of Bobbie Flay- like throw down with one another. But being artists they got creative with the idea and it morphed into the Summer Art Challenge in which I now participate. Among the other members are a May graduate of the ASU MFA program, a couple of artist/teachers, an architecture-trained artist, a photographer/business person and three lawyers (including me) who long to use the other side of the brain. An eclectic bunch, certainly.

The idea is that for each 3 week round, a member selects a core image that the others must interpret. The first, an iconic NO SMOKING sign, drew out an amazing range of things. But the best part was talking about the process behind each work and providing one another with a sort of round table Q&A/critique.

It was a gas. A great group of people, including in some cases the significant others and/or parent, all participated in the repartee.

As Julie noted at evening's end, "This is so much better than a book club!" I agree and suggested we change the name to Book Clubs Suck, but that got no votes for creativity.

To check out how much fun we are having, go to the website which is hosting us: Leafdogpress: