Thursday, September 4, 2014

Art with Abandon

Spring time. Sprinting up the stairs, late for class at the art retreat, I noticed art lying there on the steps. Not wanting to steal, thinking someone lost it, I set it on the table and figured the owner would return for it. Later that day a fellow artist came into class squealing that she found the Art Abandon Project book by the deMengs in the bathroom. Well, shouldn't she return it? Apparently not, this is the Art Abandonment mission, to leave art for free to the lucky person who discovers it. There is a note attached saying you can keep it.
Well, I'd blown my one chance because I didn't stop to read the note.
I did sell a suitcase full of leather journals that I re-purpose from vintage coats at the retreat. With all this art abandon, whose to say there couldn't be an art swap? I'd taken every bit of money that I didn't have just to attend the retreat, so this would be the only way to take home some goodies. Quite nervous to ask, but what the heck?  I traded a leather journal for Pam Carriker's mixed media adhesive. That's seemed kind of amazing.
 The Art Abandon book was never far from my thoughts. Would Andrea Matus deMeng want a couple leather journals in trade for her book? She did purposely leave one in the bathroom so there is a chance. My heart racing, hoping not to make a fool of myself.
Near the end of the day, I crept into her class and sheepishly asked, and she said, "Yes!" 
Every artist can use a leather journal. Andrea deMeng showing her clean hands at lunch.
Mid Summer. Every year, we attend the Western and Southern Open Tennis tournament in Ohio.
I make Tennis Art Journals with photograph/paintings of the players and have them sign their pages.
What if, this year, I randomly hand out leather tennis journals to the players?
Tennis players keep journals in their bags, keeping track of their progress and points to remember, tendences, coach tips not to forget, that sort of thing.
Plus, the public is usually taking something from the players such as an autographs, selfies, a towel, headbands and sometimes even their racquets. It might be nice to gift them something instead.

In the beginnings stages of the tournament we can get this close to the players as they are pacticing. Ernest Gulbis. Fernando Verdasco. Elise Cornet

Sometimes we can get even closer!
 It's complete abandonment of tennis journals with tennis ball designs on the covers.
First, I handed Jelena Jankovic a couple. She smiled.
Walking down the corridor, I notice Francesca Schiavone being very nice to some kids wanting selfies with her. So, why not. I hand her two of them and wasn't prepared from the response.
She held them to her chest and said, "no, no, this is too nice. No, I can't take this. Yes, I will take only one. This is much too nice." I thanked her and took one back. Then she grabbed me and did the Italian kisses on one side of my cheek and then the other. I was to reciprocate, but being American and we don't normally do this in America, rusty, I did kiss her on the cheek and say, "I'm glad you like it." She continued, "You just don't know, I write in journals all the time!"
Once I walked away, some guy came up to me and asked, "What did you give her?"
I told him and he said, "That looked really nice."
This was going better than expected. I passed out one to Wimbeldon Champion Petra Kvitova. She got one with parts from a Coach purse. Elise Cornet liked hers and thanked me very much in her French accent.
One of my favorite players on tour is Fabio Fognini, but you never know which Fabio will show up - he's a little wacky. I had two journals left that looked manly, plus I was tired of toting them around, so I told my family I was going to give the last two to Fabio. They told me not too because he probably wouldn't appreciate it. Well, I wasn't looking for appreciation, just fun.
You never know how this is going to go? So which Fabio will show up when handed the journals?
The really nice one!
My son took this photo and he looks pretty happy about his tennis journals.
Once home, I checked in to  Facebook to  post photos of tennis players, and I get a message that I WON for the submission of a Book Review Contest -
A boxload of art supplies from Pam Carriker!
How cool is all this stuff - and even Pam Carriker art!
Hmmm,  Karma. I spent the weekend giving away art to come home and find that I've been gifted art.
Our preacher once said, "Try to give something away. You can't. It will just come back."

So, we'll have to get busy making some more art with all these cool supplies.
Thank you so much Pam Carriker. I love it!