Onerous, uncompleted tasks weigh on you, upending your peace of mind like someone you dislike at a good friend’s party. You don’t have to talk to them but knowing they’re there makes you self conscious and unable to relax. Not fair! Well, several years worth of unattended sidewalk face material crammed into three bags and a few spill over containers was frustrating my attempts to declutter the house and feel like I was on top of my game. It was making me doubt my ability to execute complex art assignments. It was messing with my domestic and creative mojo. Unh, unh unh!
I was tired of living with this problem and utterly unable to fix it.
I was invited by a good friend to her desert house for a long weekend (we did Covid tests). Because I am who I am, my first stupid thought was, how can I make this relaxing weekend productive? Like, is there a way I can lay in a hammock and get some of my shit handled at the same time?
Well as a matter of fact yes! I realized I could lug these annoying overstuffed satchels to the desert and organize them there. Excitement!
It’s amazing how much more pleasant it is to sort through two thousand unclassifiable objects when sipping coffee in the desert. As I listened to the wind, not rushing, I found myself appreciating all the forgotten treasures, remembering my ideas for them, wanting to play, wanting to make faces.
It’s a bit tricky to maintain the mental looseness of art making in tandem with the focused discipline demanded of organization. First I sorted, then created, then eliminated, then stored. Below are three objects I’ve had for ages, waiting for these exact faces to be made. That green plastic tab was shouting frog face! at me until I picked him up. I could have made him so much sooner but he got lost in the bag and I forgot about him. You can’t act on what you’ve forgotten about. Minimalism is partly about not forgetting, keeping what’s a priority always at attention.
The metal thing is nothing special but with two seeds and a stick he is pretty cute right? And what of that leathery leaf bit. It’s a miracle it didn’t grind to dust colliding with everything else. I love the texture and that oval shape keep suggesting an eye to me. So he finally got his day in the sun. I’ve released the metal and leaf to new adventures. The green tag I’m hanging onto. Maybe some day I will have a gallery show and he can be in it.
There were some onerous and exotic items I collected as well including a broken car side mirror, a full length bicycle chain and a Prada business card. I made more complex faces with those and will publish them in Part Three. The bicycle chain face has a walrus mustache. And he’s bald. What a relief it is to finally cross him off my mental to do list. I’m going to give myself a gold star!