The not-so-fun part of being an artist by Theresa Bricker

Warning: This is a very boring post. I would skip it if I were you!

Obviously, creating, viewing, thinking and talking about art is all an artist wants to do all the time! But we also need to share what we make and in these times that means more than just finding a wall to hang our art on. I’m talking about the internet.

Posting to Instagram, setting up a Facebook page, possibly a twitter or Tumblr account (nope, I don’t have those) and the most onerous … keeping an updated website. We artists need to become marketers, PR agents and techies! Not quite every creative’s forte. But we try. Thus, I’m writing this boring post, not about art, but about website updates because I just spent hours upon hours setting up a Mailchimp account, reading about email campaigns and RSS feeds, looking at Squarespace help docs and making a feedburner (not even sure what that is but hopefully it’s working for me). All this so I can try to have these blog posts automatically sent out to any followers I might have.

Resulting in this extremely mundane post. I want to see if it will be sent to me via email. Yes, sadly I’m subscribed to my own blog. I’ll probably delete it later if it works. So if you’re still reading this - lucky you! This is a “limited time only” post! Soon to be gone for ever … unless someone captures it on the Wayback Machine … or Squarespace saves it on some server in some building where rent is cheap and the weather is cool.

Wish me luck … I’d like to get back to painting!

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Current Themes by Theresa Bricker

At the moment I’m working on three different themes. There’s a good chance they’ll end up converging.

The most important one, which I’ve focused on in the past as well, has to do with mental and emotional health. I’m honing in on how society is/isn’t accepting it, looking at it’s causes and cures. I’m also seeing it as a spectrum. Surviving my younger brother’s suicide confirmed for me that we are all walking a line. Biological impairments and societal influences create a line between how we are perceived and who we actually are or hope to be. The line between pushing through it alone and accepting help. The line between hope and despair. Each of our lines are different widths; some are easy to walk, others almost impossible.

The next theme, which is much smaller in scope, concerns how our food and environment are tainted. Those of us who are privileged have greater access to foods and culinary exposures, but very few of us can evade the chemical changes in our food chain. Could these be some of the factors in the health of our bodies and minds?

Finally, I’ve been mulling about how our on-line lives compare and interact with our lives in real life (IRL); also how these experiences vary greatly for different generations. The shift our society is going through, in information gathering/sharing, social connections/interactions and how we perceive the world, is monumental. It is both positive and negative. How will we use it to our advantage?

As you can see, these themes all tie back to what my art work often questions: How do we break free of our genetic, social, environmental, technological or self created confines to find truth and stability?

What's with all the wishbones? by Theresa Bricker

I'm a bit obsessed with them at the moment. It's an image I've used often, back to my earliest work.  To me, they represent hope.  Hope that you get the biggest part when snapping to make a wish. They're also bones, so they conjure thoughts of biology, structure and life. Each one is unique. When linked together they look like backbones or the double helix of DNA.  When painted upright they look like a hunched human figure.

I had been painting them for a while when another artist told me about Arthur Ganson. He made a kinetic sculpture with a "walking" wishbone. After watching this video, I had to go see it. Lucky for me his sculptures are on permanent exhibition at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA. Definitely worth a trip.

I expect many more wishbones to show up in my future work.  To me they represent the biological (physical, mental, emotional) hardships which we are all born with.  They may weigh us down, but may also be the exact things that make us, well . . . singular.  They might be hidden strengths that we thought to be weaknesses. They are hope.