I have been a member of the Torpedo Factory Artists Association for longer than I care to remember. One of the Staff members has been there longer than I. The Factory has been his life as he has always been the first there to open the doors and the last to leave after we close for the day. Last year he underwent cataract surgery but appeared the day after, sitting in his usual place. I asked why he had not stayed home. The answer was, “No input.”
I thought about this remark the other day when I noticed that there were several sockets on the back of my bedside radio. Each had a label: “IN”, OUT, AUX” and “VARIABLE”. Perhaps this could be a mantra to use now that I have given up my studio at the Factory. I need input. Life at home offers little inspiration .I have to depend on what is available in the house : radio, TV books and the computer. When I leave the house, there are groups, errands to run and such. And sometimes, the best thing to do is work on something and input may occur as the work progresses. A teacher was fond of saying, “Even if you get up in the morning and don’t feel like painting, go to your studio and start to work”. Just starting may provide the impetus you need to accomplish something. Maybe it would not be your best work, but it may lead on to better work.
The term, “auxiliary” might refer to the tools you use to create what the input has suggested. Each medium has its own tools to that are needed for the process and here is where “variable” comes in. Working on different project leads to experimentation. A needle and thread are traditional tools for sewing fiber, but they are used in bookmaking or even in sewing plastic and dyes and paints can be used on many surfaces other than fabric and paper. The list goes on and on. I’ll have to see if the mantra works.