"Get out of whatever situation is making you feel as though you have to justify your creative time/self by making a monetary return, it is death to your creative being. Trust me. One of my graduate school advisors used to tell us all the time, “do nothing”. When you are ok with doing nothing, the good stuff comes. Get out of whatever situation is causing the unneeded and unhealthy sense of urgency. No quicker way to killing your authentic voice than by silencing it with the pressure you put on yourself, or others have placed on you, to produce. Not everyone who seems interested in you and your work is someone you should be talking to about your work. The more we talk about our creative work, the less creative work we make. Sit alone by yourself, with no destination, and make some shit, as if there was no importance to the outcome or resulting art object."
Tabatha Lendquvist-Grace, Artist/Owner Lendquvist Studio
*Originally published on Wordpress May 4, 2019
"The problem of keeping a feathered bird cool can be broken into two distinct parts: coping with internal sources of heat (e.g., muscles working during exercise) and coping with external sources (e.g., sunshine). I decided to tackle the second question first---it seemed like something I could answer with a couple of thermometers and a dead woodpecker."
“I have been observing from a distance. I wanted to know what your ideas and thoughts on craft and art were without influence. I also find that it is an important discussion to have first with yourself, then to introduce new thoughts. What we see here is many of you will have arrived in two similar places: Either Art and Craft are one and the same OR Art and Craft are inherently different in some way. Art and Craft both manipulate materials into new forms, are ideas manifest in physical form, require an investment of time, involve many layered processes to reach a finished product, are considered skilled work, use the formal elements (line, color, shape, texture, contrast, unity), and can involve personal and emotional expression. Craft and art, especially with new and contemporary forms, have started to blur the lines of distinction. Therefore it is possible for art objects and craft objects to have a function, exist as aesthetic objects meant to be admired, have a history of production, become part of the everyday and are accessible to all. Art and Craft need to be studied, both are a learned skill taught by instructors, mentors, or by oneself. They now sit side by side in galleries, museums, and outdoor art spaces/environments.
The distinction then lies in the intent of the artist. When they come to form their object/non-object object, is the intent for it to become an art object. The Italians were the first to define Art and art objects, they began a language for describing and setting standards for art objects. Then other European and American art galleries, museums, historians, lecturers, the academic elite were those who made this determination. Artists have slowly been working to break down the walls, blur the lines, give art back to the people. There exists now Fine Craft, Outsider Art, Street Art, Guerrilla Art, Temporal Art, and on and on, there are artists who have Art/Life practices. The definition is always changing and progressing to involve new genres, schools, styles, forms. My point being, every person and each institution will have established their own idea for what art is or is not. For the sake of this class, we must follow and agree to the language of the text. This does not mean to say that any one person is right, wrong, or that there is even a right or wrong. I encourage artists to make and make freely, but make from the uniqueness of you.
There may be good art, there may be bad art. There is art that is revolutionary, there is art that is derivative. But artists are not artist geniuses, this is a myth, there are only those who have dedicated their time, efforts and resources to expanding their knowledge and refining their practices; those who make art as a hobby, and those who live and breathe art. It is a study of the human experience, and therefore as richly layered and complicated as any person (or community of persons) could possibly be. This is my response to all your responses.”
Tabatha Lendquvist-Grace, Artist/Owner Lendquvist Studio
*Originally published on Wordpress December 22, 2017
“The progressive reaction is characterized by the direct, intimate fusion of visual and emotional enjoyment with the orientation of the expert. Such fusion is of great social significance. The greater the decrease in the social significance of an art form, the sharper the distinction between criticism and enjoyment by the public. The conventional is uncritically enjoyed, and the truly new is criticized with aversion.”
Collaboration. Speed sketching. Painting in the dark. These are my secret weapons, and I’ve used them over the last several years to bring on new ideas and to bring me back to my creative self. They are all ways I’ve devised to push my creative boundaries. Creativity is often where most artists today are lacking: Gimmicktry, the well-made object, and spectator sport is where the art world seems to be dragging along. As a professor I do preach the importance of craftsmanship, and I adore work that really challenges… you know those pieces that require you to think. But I often wonder, where is the creativity in it all? How do you reinvent, refresh, reimagine your work so you can continue growing and evolving as an artist?
You are looking to start a new body of work, and you have a vague vision of the impression you want the work to make. How do you get there? Try learning not to judge, most of the time we don’t even know we are doing it. Thinking critically, making aesthetic decisions, solving visual problems; especially for trained artists (those of us who were consistently pushed to approach our work with a critical eye), all seem to be at the forefront of our process. However we have to remember “crit” happened after the work was completed. Somewhere along the line we start to integrate the process of critique into our art-visioning process. We try to predict the outcome and adjust our work before we have even attempted it. Sometimes making mindful decisions, whether based on formal aspects of art-making or perhaps in order to push the perception of a specific message, can make the act of creation somewhat oppressive. Oftentimes it is apparent in the final product. This is not always the case and as professionals we want to make work that is intentional. Yet if you are not happy with your work, or you are trying to reach new ground you may need to get over yourself. Shake it up. Try to get lost!
I spent the better part of graduate school trying to unlearn what I had taken away from my studio art undergraduate experience; where all my professors had very specific ideas about what “art” was and what it was not. I needed a recovery program! So I began my Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Art, and I soaked in the amazing depth and breadth of experiences and the different kinds, styles, and approaches to art. There was a constant intermingling, and we learned how to engage with art and more importantly learned how it flowed through life and our personal experiences and histories. To enjoy such diversity in the arts, I had to learn to lose control.
Lose control! There is a magic and undiscovered treasures to be found in losing control. Not everything is meant to be, nor can be, intentional. The idea of the artist as genius, if it holds true, is only so in the moment where the artist discovers, accepts, and then declares as their own the "unexpected". The unexpected is an artist’s work. It is intentional, in that, they were willing to do the work knowing they would not be able to fully predict the outcome. There was a searching, a realization, and then a thoughtful engagement with the materials and the concept(s). They were willing to EXPERIMENT. You can make the decision to create, choose your materials, your surface, your palette, etc., but there is a point where you must make without judgment to manifest that which you otherwise could not.
Whether these discoveries were born from your unconscious or whether they are gifted from the Universe, something outside of ourselves has become known. These unknowns are the building blocks for a new place to sit. If getting lost is not a practice you are well versed in, it does take some patience and practice. There are many great ways to get started, for example, having someone else make some of the decisions for you. Let someone pick the subject, colors, medium. Collaborate! You cannot control what flows from another being. Setting up experiments for myself has been the catalyst for a number of successful series. Another way to break through to the unknown is to work as fast as possible; literally and figuratively, put on that No Regrets t-shirt and make things… How you get there does not matter, and it may not be pretty or easy. Many successful experiments are at the end of a road littered with failures. However you can forget yourself and rediscover the joy of art, which is found in the making. Gift yourself.
Tabatha Lendquvist-Grace, Artist/Owner Lendquvist Studio
*Originally published on Wordpress December 3, 2017
Really a fabulous prompt, but I am paper biased. When I saw wrap, I instantly thought about brightly colored packages in fancy papers with glorious bows... you know... how we expect, or hope, our Christmas or Birthday presents will look. Except mine never quite do! But seriously, who doesn't love the look of an elaborately wrapped package? This combined with my obsessive preoccupation with paper and it is no real stretch to think I would want to experiment with decorating my own paper for wrapping.
I had visions of beautifully painted and stamped paper, (hey I said visions, I think my stamping skills need some work) and it is summer... All I can think is beach, beach, BEACH. Play time, summer time, rest and relaxation time! So around the house in circles I went looking for something small and flat, then my eyes landed on these tea bags. They were free, some sort of promotional thing. I didn't want to throw them out, they aren't my favorite but I'd drink them... perfect! I wanted something that I could wrap and place back in the Wreck It journal somewhere, and in the end I unexpectedly created a delightful R&R care package for myself! Cute, cute! One small challenge accepted and a long-time-coming experiment realized, and I am simply overflowing with new ideas!
*Originally published on Wordpress June 7, 2017
Memorial Day has come and passed. I don't remember a life before, or without, military influence. Father, step-father, uncles, grandfather's, cousins... if they aren't military they married military. Marine Corps pilots, the Airforce, it is all there... and even though, somehow I never learned to make a paper airplane! It actually boggles my mind, now that I'm thinking about it. Surely at some point someone had to at least have shown me. Even if they did, it obviously didn't make much of an impression on my young mind. I had already seen and flown in planes and helicopters. Paper airplanes aren't that impressive when compared to the real thing. But I still feel like I missed out on something. So I tried to fold this airplane, but I won't lie, I had my significant other fold it for me, it only took him all of a minute. Then I flew it... yeah it went about a foot and instantly began its descent into a crash landing about three feet away. Now I know why this is a contest! Crafting paper airplanes that fly the distance is no easy task. I can't say when the next time will be, that I...
Make a Paper Airplane
*Originally published on Wordpress June 1, 2017
CREATE A NONSTOP LINE
Considering what our life path looks like, quite literally. If we traced our paths from the moment we became mobile until the day we no longer moved, what would those images look like? There have been artists who have explored this concept, and it is fun to consider. While from afar I'm sure they would look a great deal like this, if we expanded, enlarged each individual's life path... I'd be willing to bet they would be as distinct and unique as a fingerprint.
*Originally published on Wordpress June 2, 2017
"Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing."
artspirations - NOUN /ɑrtspɪˈreɪʃ(ə)n/
[PLURAL] Naturally inquisitive and curious, the creative mind needs to be fed. We are connoisseurs of the visual, but the space of our minds is full of collected images, sounds, smells, language, textures... a cerebral journal, or sensory memory. Artists often study other artists, those who make similar work and those who make drastically different work. It becomes a way to expand our own personal visual languages. So we make note, document, collect them in various ways.
*How did I find this artist? Click Here
Circles have an interesting history for me, as I found out early in school that I was really quite good at drawing almost perfect circles with no aids, such as a compass. Good for me too, since I can't draw a straight line to save my life! This was also one of Picasso's favorite assignments for new artists, to draw a perfect circle. I even did a little research, and it seems there is a World Championship for free-handing circles. They fascinate me as they would most observers of the world, especially with the human inclination to make things straight, in a line, and with right angles, I almost crave the circle, the curve, the non-linear. Even my daughter had a hard time resisting the urge to interact while I worked to...
FILL THIS PAGE WITH CIRCLES
*Originally published on Wordpress February 15, 2017
Reigning in some creative energy, it is overflowing on this warm grey day... It definitely doesn't feel like winter here in Alabama. I decided to complete another sketchbook makeover. So here she is, the SUPERGIRL SKETCHBOOK...
I enjoy making these things more "mine". We should not judge books by their covers, but a little extra fancy never hurts. This particular sketchbook needed some Tender, Love, & Care. At 11x14 inches it gets a lot of wear when put into my laptop bag or the passenger seat of the car. The edges are beginning to look a little frazzled. Plus I like to look across the room, or my studio, and be inspired by the things around me. Now when I look at this sketchbook it says, "The world needs you. You have been given this gift. Do not hide from the world, and remember... use your creative powers for good!"
LOL. I just chuckled.
*Originally published on Wordpress February 13, 2017
"If you're not in a state of play, you can't make anything."
One of my weaknesses, since I was a child.... office supplies. I enjoy writing and holding new pencils, the smell and weight of new notebooks, the colorful and whimsical visions of paperclips, post-it notes, page markers, staples, and so on. They are just so inventive, useful, and nowadays fancy. I gather these things like a squirrel who works during the day as an eclectic secretary! There has been many a day where I have pondered alternative uses for my collections. So imagine the joy when I read the words...
COVER THIS PAGE USING ONLY OFFICE SUPPLIES
*Originally published on Wordpress January 27, 2017
Finally! They are finished. It took a while to decide and then complete all these numbers. All I knew is that I wanted to make sure they were as playful as possible, in my mind that meant messy. The "messy" was created by first painting little circles with white correction fluid in each corner, then using an acid-free, water and fade-resistant ink pen I wrote each of the numbers. Then I took a paper towel and smudged each number. Note that some pages went missing before I added numbers, and some pages will go missing after! Since the numbers are not really used as a guide for this book, I thought how can we really play with the notion...
ADD YOUR OWN PAGE NUMBERS : STARTING HERE ->
*Originally published on Wordpress January 26, 2017
Instructions are often up for interpretation, and I enjoy a little wordplay. Not to mention who doesn't love to color?!?! So I broke out a pencil, drew in some lines, to make even more lines. Then I used colored pencil to color them in, and lastly restated the pencil lines with a black colored pencil to make my drawn lines a bit bolder. To finish it off, inking in the question I was left with. As an artist I come across this saying all the time, and so I spend a great deal of time pondering all the possibilities of a statement such as...
COLOR OUTSIDE OF THE LINES
*Originally published on Wordpress January 25, 2017
What to do with left over paint………? I decided to use this extra paint, left over from another project, to have a little fun with mark making. Sometimes it can be fun simply to make marks and make them as fast as you can. Don’t be concerned with the final product of the piece. Just paint and then let your eye travel through the marks. Then locate all the marks that feel new. You can even use photography to frame the most interesting sections. It’s a great way to free your hands, and it can be a little like treasure hunting!
*Originally published on Tumblr 2013.
Know what is a lot of fun? Coloring in graph paper! Something I have always loved to do! There is something so meditative about the process. You can really get lost filling in each square, bringing you into a state of complete calm and relaxation. And what a great challenge to give yourself, to create a scene or image by filling in all the squares on your choice of graph paper. There are yellow and pink graph papers and even extra-large squared graph paper. Working creatively inside the box could stretch the imagination more than working outside of the box.
*Originally published on Tumblr 2013
A Brief Fall Poem
The winds bustling and trees are hustling to lose their Autumn leaves,
The lines are drawn and the pigskin’s on as we near Winter’s reprieve.
Ready the fires, hot chocolates, and ciders, all in the name of staying warm.
~Tabatha Lendquvist, 2012
It’s a drawing! It’s a 3D drawing! I was trying to decide how to combine two successive pages in my sketchbook to make one drawing, but not in an obvious way. As I was flipping and rotating the book around….. There! See it! The pages can be in a horizontal and/or vertical plane. Yes, YES! Now bring them together…. Optical illusion or smart art?
Originally published on Tumblr 2013
Tabatha Lendquvist-Grace works from her private studio located in Walker County, AL. She is an Interdisciplinary artist working across and in various mediums to include painting, bookmaking, and poetics. She taught Design I at the University of North Alabama and taught Drawing Foundations as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Tabatha has been involved in a number of community arts projects with At-Risk youth and has experience teaching art to youth and adults at various private and public schools, institutions, and art organizations. She earned a BA in Studio Art from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.