Posts Tagged ‘art’

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

Change that makes sense… surprisingly

November 16, 2010
Eastern Sierras-5 fingers mountain by Cheryl McDonald

Eastern Sierras-5 fingers mountain

When you are the captain of your own ship and suddenly the ship vers off in a completely different direction from where you have set the course, what do you do? Well I guess there are several things you can do:

option 1

You could use all your strength and might and try to turn the ship back around and keep banging your head on the same wall over and over hoping that at some point you will knock it over and you can have what you think you want on the other side.

or option 2

You could take stock of where you thought you were headed, was it really the right direction? Were you making the progress you wanted to make or had you just gotten bogged down in the muck and may as well have dropped anchor.

or option 3

You can look at the new course you are on, brought about by circumstances, and decide that hey! this is a direction I had never thought about before and Hey! maybe this will actually get me where I wanted to go in the first place!

I have chosen option 3

I have moved the ship of Passions at Play Art and Design to the Mojave desert. Ships in the desert? Yes I know, but these are interesting times and we need new and interesting solutions. Now located in Ridgecrest, California, in a valley between the Sierras and the Panamint Mountains, I have found a warm and comfortable community in which to create and develop. Through the wonders of the internet and UPS I can conduct business with  clients anywhere right from my little home in the desert.

So now that I have established myself here physically, I can now more fully establish my business here as well. This blog is the first step to letting you all know that I am still here, still creating and still available to help you add beauty through photography and watercolor to your homes, offices and business materials and books. Let’s create the beautiful world we all want to live in. This blog will be evolving as I evolve and Passions at Play evolves. More Art that inspires and supports a peaceful world is where I am headed at the moment. Web presence will be updated to include ways to purchase prints and other items. And I will be doing more exhibits and fairs and showings so that I can meet the people who inspire me to paint and photograph.

Change can be a difficult thing or it can be an easy thing, but one thing is for sure change is inevitable and we can either accept it and make the most of it and be happy or fight it and be miserable. I choose to be happy.

Creativity is humanities expression of its inherent divinity.

this I believe

A Walk in the Cemetery??

June 28, 2010
Watching the squirrel by Cheryl McDonald

Watching that Squirrel

One of the things I get to do daily while I am here in Oakland is to take Miss Marlena for a walk twice a day. One of her favorite places to go is actually this beautiful cemetery at the end of Piedmont Street. I could not find the name of it but it is attached to the Chapel of the Chimes which was designed by Julia Morgan and is a very beautiful and a very large mortuary and mausoleum. I have been here before for meetings. They invite people to hold all kinds of meetings there, just to prove it is not a scary place. Which I will have to say it certainly is not.

Standing Stones by Cheryl McDonald

A view from up on the hill above the park

Anyway, this cemetery is really a wonderful place to walk, it has winding paths that go through all the way to the top of the hill where one can get an amazing view of the bay, Oakland and San Francisco. This is a very old cemetery and there is some really amazing history that can be found here. I can just imagine the stories of all the lives that have been laid to rest here in this place.

Waiting Angel in Sepia by Cheryl McDonald

Thoughtful Angel in Sepia by Cheryl McDonald

Sympathy by Cheryl McDonald

The Lightbearer in Sepia by Cheryl McDonald

While walking through this cemetery almost everyday, I started taking pictures of the sculptures and the view and the grounds. It also started me contemplating death- of course…

I am completely amazed at the beauty and grandeur of many of the shrines that people have created to honor and memorialize their loved ones. This cemetery is certainly not a place for the dead but is a place for the living to remember those that were somehow important in their lives, some for better and most probably some for worse.

Reflections within and without in sepia by Cheryl McDonald

Lofty in sepia by Cheryl McDonald

I have also been reading a lot this week and one of the books I read was called “the Untethered Soul” by Michael Sanger. I was drawn to it because of the title, as of course I have decided to untether my life in many ways. He is an eloquent and down to earth writer and he talks a great deal about how to let go of those energies that we store in our bodies relating to past experiences and how this can help us to be more present here in the moment where we actually live. One of the concepts he talks about is death and how death is actually our friend because without it there would be no urgency to experience and enjoy the life that we have.

dog walk by Cheryl McDonald

Deer in the woods by Cheryl McDonald

So as I am walking through this wonderful cemetery I am noticing all the life that is actually going on here. All of the people walking dogs and baby carriages and the squirrels and deer and gophers and birds that are free to experience this beautiful setting and are part of the experience of being in this place.

Leaning in by Cheryl McDonald

Can't take it with you by Cheryl McDonald

Death is a difficult thing for us, particularly in this culture as we either dramatize it, demonize it, fear it, or ignore it. However death is part of life and it is something we all do at some point. It really is only a moment away and we never know when that moment might be. I have very much enjoyed my time in this cemetery and the experience of walking among the dead and all the life that this place holds as well. It has given me much appreciation for the value of this moment in this my untethered life. Thank you Michael Sanger

Cheryl is the owner of Passions at Play Art & Design, doing photography, watercolor, fine art and illustration please check out her work at www.passionsatplay.com