I’ve never been good with New Year’s resolutions. I gave them up a long, long time ago in favor of choosing a word. It’s a ritual for me each January. I take my time. I let the word find me and, after some consideration, I surrender to it. I’ve found it to be powerful and life changing. For 2023, my word is Expansive and it’s with an expansive mindset that I decided to join the The Art Lab.
For the past several months, I’ve been participating with several other artists over at The Art Lab lead by Amy Elizabeth. Each month we receive a new prompt, have group discussions about our ideas both on Zoom and in the private FB group, meet one on one during Tea Time, and then post our work on IG. At the end of each month we gather again via Zoom & FB to decompress. It’s been absolutely wonderful! Each month when the new prompt drops, I’m excited about the possibilities. The group of artists are inspiring, welcoming, and encouraging! The monthly deadline has held me accountable and pushed me to create in a way that I’ve not done in years. In keeping with my word of the year, I’ve began shooting self portraits again, played with Polaroid emulsion lifts, tried Cyanotypes, created double exposures with instant film, and painted on old Polaroids. The connections made in this group lead me to shooting a month on film and creating mail art. I’ve created a wider depth of photography projects in the last five months than I have in years. It’s truly been life changing for me.
Last month our prompt was “White Center (Yellow, Pink, & Lavender on Rose), by Mark Rothko, 1950
I’ve loved Rothko for years and was overjoyed to see this prompt! As I began brainstorming ideas for the month, a delightful little curiosity arrived in the mail. This beauty is called a CMY Cube and it’s been utterly captivating! Again, leaning into my word of the year, I was curious what shooting through this vibrant cube would result in. I’d been struggling to combine Rothko’s depth of color and luminosity with photography. For days I walked past this little cube sitting on my kitchen table and was mesmerized by the way the light shifted through it. And then it clicked. I took my cube, my camera, and a white poster board into my backyard.
I propped the poster board against a pot of geraniums and captured the morning light moving through the cube. I am completely delighted by this colorful kinetic art cube! The colors are so bold and bright.
Mesmerized by how a simple turn of the cube changes the shadows and lines.
And with greater complexity.
And without blur.
Experimenting with this cube has brought me so much joy!
As for my interpretation of the Rothko prompt? I captured the following:
This is the type of photography I don’t think I would have leaned into if it weren’t for my word of the year, the inspiration of The Art Lab, and my curiosity! Grateful for all of these things.
Do you choose word of the year? Are you looking for collaboration? Lab opens again in July! Perhaps I’ll see you there.