Art for Art’s Sake and for Fun!

March 14, 2011
S-light of Hand, by Cheryl McDonald, 2011

S-light of Hand

Something that I have noticed about having a camera in my hand, is that I am no longer just a casual observer in life, I become involved in the process and also a documentarian of the process.

Last week I joined the local Artist association and at my first meeting was witness and participant to an extraordinary event of the creative process.

Matt Wardell, setting up and explaining the project, by Cheryl McDonald,2011

Matt Wardell, setting up and explaining the project

Matt Wardell, an artist from Los Angeles had come to give a presentation/demonstration of his art process. Well, his art process very much requires group participation. He set up a pair of walls with a few found objects, posters, lights, etc. and asked the audience to complete the piece.

Matt Wardell and DAL members building the project, by Cheryl McDonald, 2011

Matt Wardell and DAL members building the project

Teamwork by Cheryl McDonald, 2011

Teamwork

There were lot’s of found objects, hats, plastic fruit, flowers, the flotsam and jetsam of life, along with drills, hammers, staplers and other tools with which to apply these things.

The liquid animation begins, by Cheryl McDonald, 2011

The liquid animation begins

The final pieces of the project were several people who were pushing things and pouring things through the walls. The project became animated!

It was fun, crazy, unorganized teamwork that happened right there in the meeting room at the city recreation center.

I had brought my camera as I am learning to shoot events and thought this might be a good time to practice. I was not expecting what happened, but as the evening progressed I found myself sometimes a participant and sometime the documentarian of this event. The levels of participation of the other members of the audience was also very interesting to me. One person left completely. Many people made suggestions from the audience or sat and watched, enjoying the chaos and process that ensued and there were several who got involved stapling, drilling holes, finding ways to attach things to the walls. The final project was chaotic and colorful and imaginative and of course, temporary because it all had to be taken down immediately by the end of the evening.

The Project Complete, by Cheryl McDonald, 2011

The Project Complete

So what was the point of this exercise? Well, for me, it was the process, the cooperation of people who barely knew each other getting involved in the fun and creation. It was silly, imaginative and completely unnecessary in the scheme of life and that was the joy of it. There was no requirement for framing, showing, selling- it was creativity at it’s best and most basic level.

So not only did I get an interesting event to photograph, but I was also given a reminder of what creativity is all about. Sometimes we artists get so caught up in the idea of making art as a profession, we forget the reason we started creating in the first place- it’s FUN.

Cheryl McDonald is and Artist, Photographer and Graphic Designer, currently living in Ridgecrest, CA
to see more of her work go to www.passionsaplay.com or www.cherylmcdonald-art.com

A Bright Spot in the Forest

March 4, 2011

A Bright Spot in the Forest by Cheryl McDonald

Do you ever have weeks where you think everything is going along great. You feel good, projects are going well, you have an awesome sense of joy and excitement about what is coming to fruition and then suddenly one morning you wake up in a cold sweat and wonder- “What will become of me? Where am I going? And How am I going to get there?”

That is what happened to me this morning. I was awake at 3:30 having a worry fit about what will happen in the future! So after some deep breathing, some writing in my journal and a prayer to bring me back to sanity, I fell back to sleep and when I awoke a couple of hours later, there were ideas and directions on what to do next right there in my mind where just a few hours ago had been chaos and fear. Wow! Sometimes I feel like that little yellow flower in the image at the top of the page- surrounded in the deep dark forest fighting for just a bit of light and fresh air.

Living the nontraditional life that I live, can be an interesting challenge. Learning not to listen to the fears of others is probably one of the biggest challenges. What I am working to accomplish is beyond reason sometimes, and yet deep down in my heart I know that I am on the right path and that this creative path that I am on is bringing much to this world that is needed.

Finding the path of our destiny is difficult for many to figure out. For me it has been easy to know but harder to follow and stay focused. Each day I find more and more to be grateful for and more that I can share. Each day I have all that I need and more. When you think of your version of security, can you really say that it will be there forever, no matter what? I know that the flow of life that I experience daily is as secure as it can get. No matter what, and that is what I know today.

Cheryl McDonald is and artist and philosopher who now lives in the desert in Southern California. To see her latest work please go to www.cherylmcdonaldcreative.com or www.passionsatplay.com

The Journey, Evolution and New Life

February 21, 2011

Pillars by Cheryl McDonald

Evolution is an amazing thing. We talk about evolution as if it is something that happened in the past, not something that is happening daily. We forget that evolution is about change and that is what we experience everyday whether we like it or not. This year is full of new beginnings, great amounts of creative energy are flowing throughout the world. Major changes are happening in most of our lives. I am excited about what is evolving and see new opportunities for change and evolution daily.

Creativity does not stand still. Artists and scientists and all of those who create are not very good at settling for what they know, they are always looking for the next answer to questions that are constantly erupting in their brains or consciousness. It energizes me when I know that there is a new project or experience coming my way. It is nice to remember where I have been and the portfolio I have created, however the reason I create is not for the finished product so much as for the experience of the creating. Being in that “zone” is an experience that I look for, yearn for more and more. The flow of energy is amazing. And the finished product is for me an expression of the voice of the Divine.

My newest means of creating for the last couple of years has been digital photography. Learning to use the camera, capturing a feeling, an experience a moment in time that will never come again has been an exhilarating experience for me. And now I see that the camera is a tool that will now be a part of my creative arsenal along with the mediums of drawing and watercolor and computer technology. Learning to use Photoshop for more than just processing pictures or paintings for print is giving me the means to create images from various mediums to create art that is new and exciting. I am starting to imagine how all of these mediums can come together to express. It is awesome. My latest series is called the Journey and so far it is only images created from combining photographs, but that is about to change as well. Stay tuned for what comes next.

This week is also exciting for me because I get to start sharing what I know about painting and the creative process with others. My first watercolor class here in Ridgecrest begins Thursday night. I love the synergy that is created when creative people come together. We learn from each other and that creative energy just flows on and on.

How has your creativity evolved? What new mediums are you incorporating into your work? Can you see how this process brings new life to yourself and your work? These are questions I am working with and struggling and at the same time loving the process of rebirth. But that is how new life begins isn’t it. And so it is!