Erring on the Side of Hope

Just reminding you loloINK and camel key followers, I have moved to a new blog spot. Read and follow, read and follow. 

Moving On

For those of you who have followed me or liked my posts, I have moved my site to one that easily allows me to combine my writing and art. Please consider following me or spreading the word. My new home:

http://kellyinrepeat.com/2013/04/07/the-un-doing-lets-begin/

silfarione:

Tree and Men

silfarione:

Tree and Men

(via wishflowers)

New winter drawing series is officially out.
Check out the rest at http://www.etsy.com/shop/kellyfrederickmizer

New winter drawing series is officially out.

Check out the rest at http://www.etsy.com/shop/kellyfrederickmizer

It’s Hallow. You Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine
Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper
2012
Kelly Frederick Mizer

It’s Hallow. You Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine

Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper

2012

Kelly Frederick Mizer

Flesh Wound
Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper
2012

Flesh Wound

Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper

2012

Our Wires Got Crossed and You Went Sledding
Mixed Media on Watercolor paper
2012

Our Wires Got Crossed and You Went Sledding

Mixed Media on Watercolor paper

2012

Falling in Love and the Rules of Art

Here is how I fell in love with my husband:

We were in Frank Roth’s painting class at SVA for our first critique. Frank asked someone to begin and Sean volunteered, starting with the phrase, “I like …” Incensed, Roth interrupted him and screamed, “I don’t care what you LIKE. I LIKE my fucking raincoat. Critiquing art work is not about what you LIKE.” And with that he threw his cigarette on the floor and stomped it out. I immediately felt my heart drop with empathy and love for the eighteen year old boy sitting on an art horse across from me.

Though I was a full merit scholarship winner at SVA, I struggled my last year. Most of the instructors I worked with told me that my work was too personal (since then, the art world has taken a dramatic turn in the opposite direction, but back then if I wasn’t making some sort of political statement or painting black squares on canvases, I was shit out of luck). I left SVA a little bit heartbroken, but still in love with that boy.

I did not create any art for several years after I graduated. I did not see the point. It was not until my first son was born, weighing two pounds, that I started to paint again. I had no where else to go with what I was feeling and painting gave my voice a place to breathe. The paintings I did then are still my favorites.

This morning, a former student, a former FAVORITE student of mine, objected to the fact that I posted photographs of my family on Behance. He did not believe them to be art. They are “unskilled,” and not “creative,” and “I would never go to a gallery to see a family album.” I am grateful for his feedback, for his response, and am not at all suprised that these photos made him (a man who spends his career creating really skilled, gorgeous photographs) angry. “They are not,” he declared, “art.”

Now in my defense, it’s not like I just posted a random shots of my kid’s soccer game or my husband’s 40th birthday party. I did not post random snapshots that just belong on Facebook or in my iPhoto library. I documented the survival of my one pound baby over the past sixteen months, his relationship with his three siblings, and his brief moments on my dying grandmother’s lap. I digress, it does not matter. It’s okay that he didn’t like them. It’s okay that they aren’t good enough for him to be moved.

When I graduated in 1993, a painting instructor said, “I don’t know why you bother. You are just one of those girls who should move back to the midwest, squeeze out a bunch of babies… You’ll never “make it.”

What I have learned over the years is that art, for me, is not about “making it.” What does that even mean? It, like art, is a relative term. I have found that people create art every day in all sorts of ways (a perfect cupcake, a photo of a dying grandparent, a mug that might fit neatly and squarely in the palm of ones hand) and that what it boils down to, for everyone, I think, is sharing evidence of how one sees and experiences the world.

My favorite book when I was a child was The Bear’s Picture, by Daniel Pinkwater. In the story, two fine and proper gentlemen (penquins) tear apart the work of a painter (the bear). The refrain in the story is, “I don’t care,” said the bear, “It’s my picture.” I still need to repeat that mantra sometimes, when someone is critical of my work.

Today I looked at some photos by a man who searches beaches for perfect grains of sand and then enlarges them about a zillion times. They were so cool, but they are art because of his search, not because of the end result. Does the world NEED to see these photos? Is there a sense of urgency or dispair about them? No. Are they beautiful? Sure. Does that matter? No.

In the long run, I am not particularly interested in debating the age old question, “What is art?” but I will say this to anyone who doubts that they are a creator:

If you are creating something that moves you, something that you want to share with the bigger world, if you are creating something that is raw, that deals with your heart, that deals with the day to day or the world at large or the universe or God or something as small as a grain of rice, if you are creating something that matters to your own landscape, your own way of being, and if when you create it you feel a release, you feel satisfied, you feel hungry for more, you feel validated, you feel like crying, you feel exhausted, you feel elated, then you are creating art. And if that art does not fit into someone else’s ideal or someone else’s rules or someone else’s SHOULD, it’s okay to let that bruise your heart a little bit. If it does, you should keep creating. It means you are an artist.

I think back to that Frank Roth critique often. He was right. Like has nothing to do with whether a piece is good or bad, but Like has everything to do with why it was created in the first place. It’s taken me forty years to learn that and to learn that Pinkwater’s bear probably did care, he just learned to cover his buttons. 

Mom to Four, Wife to One
  • (click on title to view photo journal)
     
  • Recently someone asked me how many children I have and when I answered four, they replied, “ALL WITH THE SAME PERSON?!” Um… yup. Then, last night, when our family was out at a restaurant for dinner, the manager came up and cooed over Quinn. “I’m forty years old and just had my first son,” he declared, “but this [he gestured to our table] this right here is the dream. This is wonderful.”
    My mom comes from a family of five kids and my dad, a family of six kids. Four doesn’t seem so unusual to me, but I guess, in today’s America, it is.
    Though I have never really considered myself a photographer, tonight, when I reviewed the shots I have taken over the past sixteen months and decided to showcase what has been a very crazed and eventful time for my family. There are fourteen years between my eldest son and my youngest. Both, were preemies. Quinn, born in September, weighed a mere 480 grams (1 pound).
    The photo portfolio here starts with his devastating birth and leads the viewer through various stages of our family life, ending with Quinn as he is today … far from devastated. 

The name loloINK stemmed from a need to honor my Grandma Lois, who, as I type this, is sitting in a blue chair, half in this world, half out. My relationship with her, with my paternal Grandma Jean, and my own mother have inspired the things I think, draw, and write about. I am the mom of four, wife to one, teacher to many. I like lemons and pies, cozy things, dogs, stories, sharp pencils, and the smell of my husband's studio. Visit me at etsy or on Twitter and all places in between. I'm glad for the cyber company.