timothy wells photography

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  • Ponderings of transitions

    I sit at Panera for my internet fix and blogging time. The blog tool I'm using for now doesn't allow for easy updating and blogging, which may be a good thing.

    I'm a few weeks away from the end of my residency and pondering the transitions coming down the pike. It's been a flurishy few weeks of transitions. Making trips to help celebrate the retirement of someone making the transition from working to playing and a ICU visits as another transitions to an unknown (but promising) transition after an unexpected event. So it's hard to get too wrapped up in the end of my residency and that transitions that it will bring, or I hope it will bring.

    I guess that's the thing I'm pondering. The things I've done and not done during my residency and what habits I will maintain and sustain when I return to my regular studio space. And what changes I will be making in that space and activity when I return.

    The last four months haven't really been as much an artist in residency as a relocation of my studio and practice to a new place. In reading books about the creative process and such, a lot of creatives (artists, writers, etc) make regular excursions away from their normal studio space, often maintaining a cabin somewhere where they go for a few months each year to fuel their creative fires and energy and this experience has been more akin to that than a focused artist in residency, primarily because of the duration.

    I prepare myself for beginning to pack up things in my space I haven't used or am done using and the dismantling of the space to move out and move on.

    I need to make a list of the things I want to retain from the changes that have happened to me over the last four months. The removal of the distractions that tainted my creative practice and energy before this experience will be key.

    A quick note: last weekend the Mayflower Arts Center hosted two Hallowizard Parties, their 3rd annual. I created 40 light up wands from twigs and branches from the ivy that once covered the walls of the Mayflower and created a character of an absent minded wizard that led the party participants through various adventures and projects. I've been pondering installations and been keen to dig into one lately. The opportunity to be part of a team creating an experience was great fun and only whetted my desire to make a large, complex story-laden installation. 

    New adventures await me as October turns to November. Including cooking up some installation ideas, going through the various works and projects I've made the last few months, and doing some teaching at a local Unversity.

    Keeping the pump primed. The virtual t-shirt I'll be wearing the next few weeks and months.

     


  • Finding footings

    Some days, I call "footless" days, are ones where you have things you need to get done but just can't find your footing in the morning and you spend the rest of the day off-balance.

    I've been doing my artist-in-residency at the Mayflower Arts Center in Troy, OH, since early July and it will continue on through October. During the residency I've been mostly immersed in studio and creative life. It's been a real refreshing charge to my creativity and creative batteries. But you can't live the 24/7 studio life forever. Or can you?

    Leaving that debate on the backburner for now, the last 10 days I've been outside the studio and residency doing various family functions and trips. Pulling myself out of the studio mindset has had its plusses and minuses.

    I've gotten to visit with both sides of the family as they are entering new and challenging life changing events in their lives. 

    I've gotten to make some photographs I'm actually pretty happy with and excited about. The new places and fresh eyes always awaken and stir creative juices, even though I've been to the various places I visited many times - you can still find fresh eyes if you've been away from a place long enough.

    I got to fly and there's something about being in a plane that makes my brain shift, relax, see things differently, and pieces things together in a way that doesn't happen other places. It's always been that way for me. It's like shower epiphanies, but different.

    But I also missed my residency studio space and location. I sit here in my home studio for the first time in almost 3 months and trying to picture it as the creative space I've created and found at the Mayflower studio and realizing the things I've made, discovered, created, etc during my residency would not have happened in this studio. Nothing against this studio space. I like it, but it had become normal and comfortable. It had become too easy to get online and dwindle away the day. And how easy it is to fall back into the old habits, routines, and patterns that I was trying to break by doing my residency.

    I have three more weeks (ish) left in my residency and I head back down there this afternoon. And I need to do some serious pondering about what I've done, haven't done, what I wanted to do, what I didn't do, why, what, etc over the last three months and what I want to take away from the experience. 

    I will say that after this nice extended residency, having a two week residency somewhere else would be hard to pull off. But then again, now that I've done this one, I have a better understanding of what you can and can't accomplish by packing up your (or at least my) studio for a short period of time and try to find or refind your footings in your studio and creative life.

    May you find your footings in this crazy world of creating things. It's not easy and there are days when the footing just isn't there. On those days, ride the current and see where the day takes you. Sometimes, it's pretty exciting.