One of my "Traveling Notions" Sculptures pictured above.
My friend Diane calls it that. It amuses me. But it aint what you might think. No, I am not a ukulele prodigy after all and have not been signed by a prestigious label to cut my first tap dancing ukulele record. But I was recently asked by a talented local musician to create original artwork for the cover of his upcoming cd.
I am finding this project very exhilarating and exciting. I visualize a great deal when I listen to music. I find that words and music stimulate my visual brain and vice versa.
Years ago I spent a week at the Vermont Studio Center in a residency exploring the connection between my writing and my art making. It was a memorable time. I had the luxury of a complete lack of regular-life demands and I was able to just let my muse take me where she/he wanted me to go. I had a beautiful studio space in the painting building, and a nice big desk in my single room. I would write, and when the writing spurred a visual idea I would go to the studio and work, then as the studio practice sparked some writing I would return to my little garret to write some more. I befriended a poet and she invited me to the writing workshops where I was welcomed with friendly acceptance, and I read aloud like the real writers, sharing my works in progress.
The only problem with the entire scenario was that there was a rule in the studio buildings that you could not play music out loud while you were working, only listen on headphones. This rule made sense, as the walls were thin, and it would not be fair to impose one’s musical selection upon others. Unfortunately, I did not know about the rule beforehand, and I did not have anything to listen to that fit the bill, so I missed the opportunity to explore the musical connection to my artmaking. I did learn things from working in the silence. It was a good practice for me to work sans music, but I missed it.
For many years now I have used a solo car ride with loud music blaring on the car stereo as my most reliable jump start for my creative process. Something gets jogged and jiggled in my heart and brain when I am meandering the back roads of Vermont with tunes blaring in my little moving room. I keep a small note pad and pen handy and jot down ideas as they come to me. I always feel refreshed and motivated after a drive, and ready to launch into some new project, or get un-stuck from the current project, thanks to the solutions that come to me on my drives.
So, it is with great excitement I have launched into this “record deal”. Stay tuned.