Saturday, January 19, 2008


For the first time in ages I feel totally uninspired. The artistic well is dry. The ink pot of inspiration empty. The container of creativity critically crushed. The muse hath retired to the pub and I'm not invited. You know. (It'll come back; I think I just scared it away. Go figure.)

Meanwhile, I still appreciate original and beautiful things and have been lucky enough lately to be the recipient of a few pieces of art-outside-the-box. Awhile back I entered a draw by Ontario textile artist, Melody Madden. I didn't win, but the person who did never claimed her prize, and I was runner-up. I was never so glad to come second in my life. This is a 10" x 8" art quilt mounted on canvas and is truly lovely. I am always awestruck by anyone who can figure out which part of a sewing machine is up, let alone create artwork with it! I love it.
It was my birthday last week and old blogging buddy, Caroline, didn't forget, forwarding me this totally cool digital 'Andrea' collage. A couple of days beforehand I'd visited Toni's blog and she was showing birthday cards she'd made with her calligraphic genius so, tongue-in-cheek, I asked her where mine was and, Toni being Toni, guess what appeared yesterday?
For my birthday I got a book that is both beautiful to look at and full of great ideas, Nick Bantock's Urgent 2nd Class: Creating Curious Collage, Dubious Documents and Other Art from Ephemera. I'd finally had to give my borrowed copy back, dog-eared, to the library so it was very welcome. Like textile art, collage is still something of a tantalizing mystery to me. One of these days I plan to really sink my teeth into it. In the meantime, I'll just spectate ~ and wait for the muse to drink up and stagger home.


Blogger dinahmow said...

OK, another interesting post, but, me being the oblique-seer, I have to know: is that a chased silver candle snuffer (possibly early Victorian) or just something from the knife drawer being used as a page weight?

(PS Must look for that book!)

19/1/08 5:05 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

I'd guess late Victorian or Edwardian but what do I know? I do know it's silver, though. It has four symbols stamped on the handle if that helps: G, what looks like four dots, 4 and 8. It was from my grandmother, keeper of things beautiful and valuable, and I was the lucky recipient.

19/1/08 5:15 p.m.  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love the fiber piece you got.
How about you second place turned out to be ok.

I will have to look into the Nick Bantock book and see if my local library has it.

19/1/08 7:39 p.m.  
Blogger WithinWithout said...

Happy birthday Dear Andrea!

What incredible friends you have.

I suspect, or at least throw out for your consideration, that the Zappa project you so beautifully detailed and opened up to us about might have drained you of inspiration.

Whatever it was or is, you don't sound too panicked or upset about it. And I think that's a good thing.

It seems to me more than anything or anyone else, artists must survive and thrive on their inspiration.

I think you're entitled to a bit of down-time from the pressure of always tapping into that. Don't you?

19/1/08 7:47 p.m.  
Blogger Mim said...

Happy Birthday Andrea, I am sending a little creative pixie dust your way..enjoy!

20/1/08 6:17 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Toni: Have you seen the Griffin and Sabine series? If they don't have this they'll definitely have one of those.

WW: Thank you and I do indeed. Party at your place then? :)

Michelle: Ready to receive!

20/1/08 7:35 a.m.  
Blogger Unknown said...

My muse is lying in the gutter drooling and speaking in indecipherable mutters and no amount of cajoling will get her sorry ass out of there! I have this very Nick Bantock book! It's a treasure, hope you find lots of time to 'spectate' and soak it up :)

20/1/08 8:26 a.m.  
Blogger Ellen said...

Happy belated birthday! Wonderful items, I must check out that Bantock book. And now I think I'll go and find your other post mentioning him coming to give a workshop on the Island?

Perhaps your muse is just enjoying a buttered rum somewhere warm and dry,away from all these incessant clouds.

20/1/08 8:51 a.m.  
Blogger WithinWithout said...

You'll have to get here quick then. Today's my lone day off in a string of 12. Dress warm! You're going from -6 to -30, remember!

20/1/08 8:53 a.m.  
Blogger EmPrint said...

Everyone's creative well runs dry now and then. Just be patient and don't give up. I just got mine back; it's like new breathing.

20/1/08 9:40 a.m.  
Blogger jafabrit said...

Hope you had a GREAT birthday :) Like you I am intrigued by collage. Your book looks really interesting.

Oh, yes, that muse, after a few pints, she/he/it will be back, needs you too.

20/1/08 10:13 a.m.  
Blogger Heather said...

Happy Birthday! It looks like you are having a nice one, I have to get that book! Ahhh, the muse...sweet'll be back, after a sweaty, druken roll in the hay...and a shower, back they always come.
Have a great weekend!

20/1/08 11:46 a.m.  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

You lucky duck - to win one of Melody's pieces! She and I took a class online together last year - I wish I could meet her in person.

That looks like an interesting book - I'm going to look for it. You'll be invited back into the pub soon, I'm sure. It happens to all of us.

20/1/08 1:13 p.m.  
Blogger IAA said...

I find going to museums always helps. Immersing yourself in a pool of creativity so to speak. Dive in! Happy Belated Birthday!

On the other hand, me-and-my-cup-of-tea time is lovely during slumps. :)

20/1/08 4:58 p.m.  
Blogger CS said...

Happy Birthday to you, a bit late!

20/1/08 6:17 p.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

Glad you liked the strange collage... its a phase I've been going through though I've not posted any to my blog!

I like Toni's card and the quilt you won.

That book looks wonderful... mmm...

Once your muse has finished drowning her sorrows I expect she'll be right back... make sure you've plenty of water and juice to get her re-hydrated.

And perhaps the odd artist date where you are just playing for a bit on your own without any intention of producing anything to show anyone might entice her to show up...

Is your muse a she?

I know men often have female muses but maybe yours is a male...

I notice you kept its sex unspecified...

21/1/08 5:50 a.m.  
Blogger Zig said...

Happy Birthday, trust your muse is at least enjoying over celebrating on your behalf - definitely saw her on the arm of a handsome alter ego swilling champagne! (or was it shampoo?!)

21/1/08 9:44 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Ms Kite: Maybe my muse will fall into the same ditch and they'll shame each other into getting back to work!

Ellen: Nick Bantock actually lives on Salt Spring (site of his workshops) and has a gallery there now.

WW: I lied. The coldest it's gotten is -3 so far. Nyah nyah.

Emprint: Thanks -- I actually started having fun with some digital illustration yesterday. It's like starting in first gear. :)

Jafa: There's nothing like feeling needed, is there..?

HMBT: Obviously it's having more fun than me!

Cynthia: Aren't I just? I was so thrilled when I unwrapped it.

Malamik: I'm thinking hibernation might be just the ticket.

CS: Thanks.

Caroline: Like drawing and colouring digitally? (Fun.) Post some!

Ziggi: Geez, now that's it! It's back to work for him as he can't be seen sodding off with better-looking women! (Not that there are any.)

21/1/08 10:52 a.m.  
Blogger Romeo Morningwood said...

What's it like to hit the big 3-0?

The secret is to keep yourself amused until your muse staggers back...and don't forget to pretend that you hadn't noticed that the muse was even missing..
it spoils all of the negative attention that they crave so deeply...
it's the whole 'DRAW-MAW' thing.

21/1/08 1:06 p.m.  
Blogger Angela Wales Rockett said...

Erlack! How did I miss your birthday?!

ahem... Happy Birthday!

Hope your muse comes back from her vacation soon.

(I have that book! Gotta love Bantock. What a great and thoughtful gift.)

21/1/08 1:40 p.m.  
Blogger Ian Lidster said...

So, the muse abandons you too, eh? Thought that was just me. I am in similar slump mode, includidng with a contracted piece that I have no idea of how to approach it. No money until an editor sees it. Damn! Did I wish you a happy birthday? I think I did.

22/1/08 11:44 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

HE: 3-0! I'm years away from being THAT OLD. :)

Angela: Trust me -- I almost missed it myself!

Ian: Do what I do: sugar, caffeine and endless reruns of Law & Order...

22/1/08 3:36 p.m.  
Blogger Alda said...

How do you expect us to believe your muse ran away when you deliver a staggering first paragraph like that!?

24/1/08 3:33 p.m.  
Blogger merlinprincesse said...

T'was your birthday? OMG! Badbadbad MP..... Happy belated birthday!!! :)
* OH! I want that book!!*

6/2/08 7:35 a.m.  

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