This Is a paper for one of my classes, I thought It would be good to put it up.
Why I am the Way I am
Carrie Ellen Sorenson
To tell you the truth I didn’t know how to start this paper. Why is my art and I the way we are? I feel that can never be fully answered. Ideas flow and change, what I tell you now may change in the next year, month, week, day, or even after I write this paper. That’s the great thing about art, it changes, ideas evolve and inspiration never stops. So, as I tell you, why my art and I are the way we are, remember that we keep moving, evolving, and refining ourselves.
As I talk about who influenced me in art you need to know some of my back ground in life. I grew up in a family of artists. My mother, brother, grandfather, and other family members were and are artist. As other kids my age knew colors just as red, blue, green, brown, I know them as cobalt blue, burnt sienna, and yellow ochre. As the age of nine I was taking my own artistic photo’s, painting abstract paintings, and making little sculptures out of plastic forks; melting them together with a candle, letting them curl into each other. And let me tell you, the smell did not make my mother happy. Art wasn’t something you did at summer camp or once a week at school. Art was a way to express my self, it was in my blood. One Christmas at the age of 11 my grandfather gave me a paint set, and at that moment I knew I was going to be an artist. I painted him a abstracted painting, and that spring he past away, with that painting hanging above his bed. Now I know this is all very heavy and a lot of information, and you may be thinking all I wanted to know was what artist inspired me. Well, that would be number one, my grandfather. The first person that knew and believed that I could do it.
Around this time my mother went back to school for her degree in art at USU. I was still young and once in a while I would go to classes with her. I would sit with her in art history classes, watch her paint in painting studio classes, and once in a while she would let me have a piece of paper and paint with her in her studio. We would paint apples and pears on tables covered in linen. The smell of turpentine still reminds me of my mother. Artist number two my lovely mother.
As I got older I wished so much that one day I would be an artist, I craved for it but, felt it was a distant thing I had to wait for. One day, when I was around the age of 12 or 13, I found some old American Girl magazines, flipping through them I found an article that I had never read, it was about a young artist that was my age. I could hardly contain my self, if this girl was already an artist and was my age what was I waiting for? The young artist was Alexandria Nechita. Her style was bold and bright, they called her the young Picasso child. Her paintings were full of life and joy. I couldn’t wait to paint, I asked my mom if she had a free canvas lying around that I could have. I started painting more, painting crazy animals with bold colors and big black lines, I felt like a true artist. I would paint for hours, painting after painting I had more confidents in my own work. My age didn’t matter. So, artist number three, Alexandria Nechita. You don’t have to wait for tomorrow to come.
Getting in to high school I really tried to look at different artist, I found the Impressionists and the post Impressionists They were inspiring to me with their bright colors and the bold paint strokes. Though they were never close to my own style, I loved how they could capture pure joy and life in their paintings. I couldn’t get enough of their paintings. So artists/movement number four Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.
After high school I felt like I needed something more, I loved creating my art and couldn’t live without it but, something was missing. I felt I was painting to paint and after it was done, I would move on to the next project, what was the point of it. I was looking through some books in the library and found a book called Spilling Open. A book from an artist named Sabrina Ward Harrison. I poured over this book, her art wasn’t just painting a painting then moving on to the next one, her art work was her life, her soul. I started to read about her and found this. She said:
Two years ago I ended up in a field of grass hip high. This is where I began to make the body work that has come to be called The True Living Project. E. E. Cummings said a poet a “someone who is abnormally fond of that precision which creates movement”. Which is to say the highest form of concentration possible: fascination; to report on the electrifying experience of being. On a daily basis we teeter on the edge of humanity losing history through the fading cultural landscape of our country and our interconnectedness as human beings. Though unconscious development and historical neglect. As we have barreled deeper and deeper into a technological / result driven 21st century, now more than ever I do believe we need to be brought home to the presence of our living. To allow the restful validation of your own tender true humanity, may this work be a living ode to our living. I am striving to create both a visual and emotional unfolding through the textural interchange of photography, sound, collage, film and found objects.
As you observe, as you listen, may you rest into that place where this moment, and your memory, exist.
Reading this and really looking at her art, I was inspired to truly live my art, not make a painting and move on to the next, but become a true living project. My life as an art project, it open my eyes to see the world as art. I soon started to be overwhelmed with beautiful, I wasn’t just making art I was trying to experience life as art. Sabrina Ward Harrison would be one of the biggest influences and artist number five.
I had this joy of art and love of art but wanted to show it in my art and share it too. But didn’t know how to do this.
I was walking home one day from school, and was thinking about my art and as I was walking I was listening to my music. One of my childhood songs came on, “Chim Chimney, Chim Chimny, chim chim charo.” My thought quickly moved over to the movie Mary Poppins, and the part where Bert, Mary Poppins’ friend, draws on the sidewalk, and later jumps in the drawing. I wanted to do that, put my art somewhere that people could see as they walk to where ever they were going. I got so excited to do it. The moment I got home, I found all the chalk I had and walked down town and found a place to started drawing. I didn’t know if people would even notice but, as I started to do it I really felt I was giving something to someone. After some time working on it, people started to stop and talk to me about it, or art, or what they where into. I felt connected to them in a small way. Then we both could share something like the love of art. I love interacting with complete strangers. I was hooked. Thank you number six: Bert from Mary Poppins.
After finding out that I love to do art in public and give that opportunity for other people to have an experiences out of the ordinary. I started looking up different artist that did the same things. I found some artists that did street art and chalk art, but nothing really captured my attention. One day my mom sent me a link to a video that she thought I would like. It was of Central Station Antwerp in Belgium. They performed, with more then 200 dancers, to the music “Do Re Mi” from sound of music. It was the first time that I cried because of a performance/art piece, any art piece at that. It filled me with so much joy. I can’t explain it, please watch it and you will understand what I mean. http://youtu.be/7EYAUazLI9k It’s called “Sound of Music Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)“ So, number seven artists: the 200 dancers that performed this piece.
Soon after seeing this, I was watching a interview with an artist, sadly I have no idea who this artist was, but in the interview she started talking about making little pieces of art. Then she looked through the New York phone book, picked out people she didn’t know and sent them her art. This blew my mind away. I was inspired to do the same. I would make 30 or 40 cards and started sending them out. I have my blog name on the back so if they wanted to, they could tell me what they thought. Some people posted that it was so fun to get something other than bills in the mail. I kept going with this idea, If I went on a trip I would leave them in stores, on the plane, in bathrooms, on chairs, in parks. And some people would find them and write me back on what they thought and where they found my art. Artist number eight: sorry I don’t know your name.
I was hooked. I would draw on the side walks, I would send out cards of my art, then I was inspired by a girl I saw in a small concert in the park. She was playing the concertina! It made me think back to Bert from Mary Poppins. (He was a one man band playing in the park.) It led me to learn and to play my concertina on the streets. Doing this I could see, instantly, that I could be apart of something more then just a fun person sharing art and music. I could see that people were moved by what I was doing. Some would stop and talk with me, telling me their stories, or some people would just sit, watch and listen to me. I could see them pondering about things as I would play sweet melancholy music, then afterwards coming up to me and saying thanks. I was becoming a part of peoples intimate thoughts, even for just a moment. I could make people smile, stop, look and think about something that was out of the normal day. I was creating not just art but providing a joyful moment for other people. I could create an opportunity for a thoughtful moment.
I truly believe that the feeling of that pure childlike joy in art is underrated, highly under appreciated. Art it about staring emotion. That includes the feelings of the overwhelming happiness and joy. You do not have to have your art be controversial or political to be good art. You can experience art in every day life with all feelings; to the pure joy of life to the sweet melancholy of it.
So now you know what artist that I look to and some of my past experiences. You may be wondering, what does this have to do with your art now? I have to say to that…everything! My art project that I am working on is to find that creativity in everyone. Let me tell you what I’m working on right now. I am making hundreds of cards in different styles. I’m going to pin them up and next to them I’m going to have a podium, with blank cards and a box of crayons, markers, and color pencils and a sign that says you may take a piece of art only if you replace it with one of your own. This let’s the viewer be a part of the art, letting them be the artist, letting them use crayons again, letting me be the one to bring that to them, letting me be apart of their moment. Sharing and interacting with them. Being connected with them, if only a moment.
Now you may not understand why I do what I do. You don’t need to understand, sometimes I don’t even understand. But it’s not about understanding it , it’s about expressing life as art. Bringing joy and beauty to it. What are my goals in art? I wish I had a strong answer to that. Telling you that I’m going to be a big artist in New York and change the world; I don’t know. I may not be changing the world but I do know that I’ll be changing people’s lives, giving them experiences, joy and a chance for people to have something out of the ordinary. It’s what I do best. If this isn’t what you were looking for, if this isn’t what you wanted to read, well my friends, all I can say is I’m just telling you truths, nothing more nothing less. But my ideas change, flow and keep moving. As should yours.