Archive for the ‘absurdity’ Category

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


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 or


Fun, Frolick and Feathers

February 15, 2010

Feathers Fly Free

I was out and about in the city yesterday- wanted to see the pillow fight in Justin Hermann Plaza. I had happened upon it a couple of years ago after getting off from work. Got feathers in my hair and on my dry clean only suit. But it looked like fun and I thought someday I will get back to this! Well I did, yesterday. This event started a few years ago as a “flash mob” event which is a new term I learned yesterday that means just that- someone decides they want to do something and so they put the word out on Facebook or Myspace or Twitter and people just show up and participate. What fun!

Well, last nights event was more than a few people- there were hundreds of people- it started in the plaza and then spilled out into Market street which became blocked with feathers and people. What a great way to spend the most “hallmark” of all holidays, playing and frolicking with a bunch of people you do not know or need to know. Just pure fun. Yes there were a few over-zealous pillow pummel-ors however they were few and far between, even the littlest fighters 3 and 4 year olds were having a wonderful time. Although I did not get into the fight- I decided to play with my camera instead of a pillow, It was great fun and a great adventure.

As for the clean up- I am sure it is still going on- if you need a feather in your cap today- I suggest Justin Hermann plaza!