(My) Artplay at 60 ~ Using the Daily News as Inspiration

Rebecca Grace Jones in Shepherdstown, West Virginia has returned with a new month long daily project (My) Artplay at 60 ~ Using the Daily News as Inspiration

She explains the project as, "Using the cover photo and story of the Washington Post newspaper for inspiration to create a piece of artwork, in image and word, every day in the month of December 2013 and present the results as a show in January 2014"

Why did I decide to do this project and how has doing a daily project affected my life?

As an artist I have two needs ~ 1) the challenge of creating something and
2) someone to show it to.

This means that in the sixty years I’ve been walking around on this earth I’ve not evolved much from the child who would bound out of bed in the morning eager to see what I could scribble together with my crayons and then run to show it to my mother.

As a small child I was able to come up with my own inspiration for crayon scribbles. When I started attending school I learned that it was possible to make things from the suggestions of others. It was also quite satisfying, because then they would acknowledge my accomplishment in the form of a rating system called a “grade”.  This was different from my mother’s reaction in that it might not always be favorable, but the recognition fed me nonetheless.

The challenge of creating something from a presented idea became a puzzle to solve, an activity upon which I thrived. This made me a good art student through graduate school and a decent free-lance illustrator early in my career.

The audience has changed over the years from mother, to teacher, to art director, and now to you, the public. It’s been necessary to evolve, at least to a degree, in order to accept the levels of acknowledgement I receive and continue to produce my art regardless. As a child it’s possible that, if my mother hadn’t gushed over everything I showed her, I might not have pursued the life of an artist. Now, I find I’m able to, well, actually, I need to create things whether you, my audience, like them or not, though, of course, it’s nice when you do. I don’t think I could continue if what I created was being completely ignored, but I am able to find the motivation I need to keep working in even a limited amount of attention.

Having spent 2012 completing the 365 projects from Noah Scalin’s book, 365: A Daily Creativity Journal, where I was given ideas, I find now, that in order to keep up the daily practice of creating, I am in a position of having to make up my own assignments. That’s where this latest project comes in ~ Using the cover photo and story from the Washington Post for inspiration, I find something to draw or collage and write about, either as a synopsis of the story or a poem in haiku form. I enjoy writing, particularly constructing the haiku in its 5-7-5 syllable structure, because of the puzzle-solving element involved.

This project, the working title of which is (My) Artplay at 60 ~ Using the Daily News as Inspiration, gives me the structure of being there every day and presenting me with a challenge of finding something inspiring enough to be creative. When I post the artwork (or artplay) and word-thing on my blog, www.wordkeepers.blogspot.com, I get to see if it has any effect on anyone.

The incentive for this project was an invitation to have a show at the Fire House Gallery in Charles Town, WV for the month of January 2014, during which I will turn 60. It made me want to do something fresh and interesting.

How has this changed my life? It is the difference between getting up in the morning and being presented with a blur of things to do, and bounding out of bed to get the newspaper to see what today’s assignment is, and then to my computer to see if you got, or didn’t get, what I did yesterday. It’s what I need to do.

See all of Rebecca's project HERE.

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