Friday, January 13, 2012

Alone In The Dark

When it comes to household chores, I am sort of all over the place.  The one I am practically religious about is dirty dishes.  I cannot stand dirty dishes in the sink.  I have to be violently ill, or unable to walk for them not to get done.  Even then I have been known to drag myself to the sink and do them.

Clear at the opposite end of the spectrum I am terrible about making the bed.  I am not one of those people who jumps out of bed every morning (or afternoon in my case) ready to take on the day.  It's more of a slow, reluctant crawl.  The last thing on my mind is making the bed.  Now in all fairness, since R and I basically sleep in shifts, the bed is in use about 14 hours a day.  We do "tidy" it up before each of us goes to bed though.  I can't sleep messy.

The other night R was going to go to bed and we went in for the "tidying and tucking in ritual."  I had left a bear laying on his side of the bed.  He looked at it, looked at me, and said; "Really?"

He knows that it's not uncommon for me to sleep with a random bear.  While he has given me that will-you-never-grow-up-or-am-I-just-married-to-a-crazy-person look on many occasions over it, he has never come right out and asked me why I do this.  He probably thinks I am insecure or something.

The truth couldn't be farther away from that though.  Having chronic insomnia, I don't usually fall asleep for at least an hour after I get into bed unless I am bone weary or medicated.  So some years ago I found a way to utilize that time.  Lets face it, one can only think about things like the Heisenberg uncertainty principal and the multiverse/entanglement theory so much before you need something new to focus on, and for me counting sheep just doesn't cut it.

I am the type of person who likes to study something every way it can be studied.  Especially when it comes to making bears.  I have used five out of six senses over the years as often as I can.  I have smelled bears, listened to the way stuffing materials sound when they are squeezed, looked at them of course from every angle I could, and used that inate sixth sense that artists possess when it comes to making something.  I can honestly say I have never tasted one though.  Ew.

I think an often overlooked sense in creating art is touch.  Not the tactile touching we have when we like the feel of soft fur, or  I am referring to the type of touch the blind sometimes use when feeling a person's face.  To simply feel something in the dark gives you a whole new perspective on it.  You feel things in the shape of a piece you may not have noticed.  You might notice continuity differences in how it's stuffed, that a line in the design feels a bit off, or that the eyes protrude farther than you had realized.  There is a multitude to learn by doing this.

So here is my little challenge for you.  Take a piece of your own work, shut yourself in the dark with it for a little while.  Choose a time when you won't be disturbed and it's quiet so you can focus.  You might be surprised at what you discover when you remove sight from the equation.  If you can do it right before falling asleep all the better.  What you feel will permeate your subconscious and your sleeping brain will process it all the more.  You might be pleasantly surprised to wake up with a new idea, or a minor change you want to make.

I would be interested in hearing what you find out, so don't be shy about posting or e-mailing me if you can't leave a comment. 

Also the bear above is a little sneak peek of one of the new pieces coming for the update on the 18th! 

Now it's time for me to grab a bear and head off to bed!
Hugs, K. <3


KellyJo said...

Good post, I liked it. I am a very touchy feely person anyway. So I am always feeling and running my fingers over and around my bears. Especially the heads. I feel I really am sculpting with the filling, so if there is a small flat spot or something similar I will feel it. This is especially true with the furry bears. With my bald woven wool bears I can see any areas that need work. But they get the treatment too. :D
Another thing that I had been thinking about lately that you actually answered the question is, do other bear artist think about their bears and designs and other bear related things a lot of the time. I know I do, most of the time it is as I get into bed and before I fall asleep, I think and think and go over and over ideas and bears I've made.... I think your right too about it being a good time for ideas and such to really get into our brains. This is the time I have actually come up with a lot of my ideas. Okay, sorry for the ramble and thanks for the post.

Kays Kids said...

OK I will take a bear to bed with me tonight and feel its form. Sound like it would be a good learning thing to do.

Katy Cameron said...

What a fab idea! I have a nearly blind quilting friend, I must try feeling up my next creation and see what it would be like for him...

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