Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stranded on the "Isle of Nothingness" or Why We Went To a UO Basketball Game

While I didn’t drink the bleach water, the momentary, well, despair if I’m maximizing and disappointment if I minimize my emotional response to the news, made it awfully tempting.

If you’ve been reading the last few entries then you know (and if you haven’t, here’s a brief recap) that Groom and I are in the throes of being creative on demand. Yeah, that always works…

The clock is ticking for us to design half a dozen pieces of jewelry to be professionally photographed for the 2011 art show jurying season which opened November 1st. Each day that passes puts us further behind.

We had until Friday (yesterday) to complete the mini collection and present them to our East Coast consultant. I wrote here a few days ago, that if we were given the green light by this expert, the next step would be to ship the artwork to New York for their walk down the runway. If we were booed off the stage, I might drown my sorrows in bleach water.

Thumbs down was the review. We don’t pay the consultant to be nice or to tell us what we want to hear. We pay him to be brutal, to view our designs with a discerning and critical eye, to play judge and jury while there’s still room to make improvements rather than having the actual art jury exclude us from shows and by default, our income.

While he did not like the direction our created-in-a-pressure-cooker-work was taking, we sent him photographs of things we had made over the summer, which, surprisingly he liked. He even went as far as describing several of them as having that “wow factor,” and used adjectives such as rich, heraldic and imperial. A sharp contrast to a few other adjectives that he used about our initial jurying pieces.

The outcome of this consultation was that he advised using a couple of older pieces (circa June or July) and selecting elements from them to design the rest of the aggravation, er um, I mean aggregation.

I just finished a book called The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin and she suggests that when “your creative flow has dried up, leaving you deserted on the Isle of Nothingness,” then go do something else unrelated for a little while.

We took her advice and nothing could have been as unrelated in our bruised brains as going to a basketball game last night. A friend of ours works in the steel industry and had donor tickets so he invited us to attend the tip off game for the final 11 played at the University of Oregon’s historic Mac Court before they move to the newly finished Matthew Knight Arena.

The last time I was in McArthur Court was way back when Groom and I were registering for our senior year, pre-computers. We had to rush around on the basketball court like athletes ourselves, running to sign up for classes needed for graduation before others filled them up. The sweat, fear and anticipation smelled the same.

However, watching a live basketball game was a completely different, and, a surprisingly wonderful experience. I never, ever thought I’d cheer, clap, whoop and holler for five guys running around in squeaky shoes throwing a ball, but I’m glad I can still discover new things about myself. Prevents getting bored being me.

While having a delicious pre-game dinner at The Vintage and then watching the exciting, close game with North Dakota State (tied 84-84 and then going into overtime to finally win 97-92), Groom and I completely let go of thoughts about forcing creation and have decided to play today, allowing the natural evolution of our ideas to emerge.

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