I’m fascinated by language and have been for as long as I can remember. As a deaf child I would marvel when people who had very good hearing didn’t listen. I got curious when people used cliches and other slogans or phrases while seemingly unaware of what they meant. Hearing and using language were things I struggled hard with during my elementary school years full of speech therapy. It was difficult for the younger me to imagine anyone being so casual, even unthinking, with hearing and language.
Of course now as an adult I understand being busy and not paying attention when someone is talking. I’ve done that. As an adult now I also understand how we form habits of speech, hearing and using phrases without consciously thinking about what they mean. I’ve done that too. It’s easy to fall into wellworn ruts of habitual actions and attitudes.
These sorts of thoughts are what inspired all of the 25 artworks I’ve created for my upcoming exhibit at Caplan Art Designs titled “Figures of Speech“. I’ve taken common phrases and played with them and their meanings.
For example I painted an 8 inch wooden block to look like a cardboard box. The appearance of cardboard signifys our mundane life. One can read colorful handpainted letters around the 8 inch faux-cardboard box ending at the elephant character who is still in the process of painting the letters. This signifys our ongoing ability to look at and think about the mundane in new, more colorful, ways. In real life an elephant is much larger than a cardboard box – by humorously playing with scales and sizes I’m referring to how easy it is to forget that we humans have the power to choose our habits. My 3d sculpture is titled “Thinking Outside The Box” and will be part of my exhibit.
One of the many ways we can regularly think outside our habitual boxes, besides by reading widely, is to travel. My wife and I took a train trip to Seattle WA this week. Here’s a link to my newsletter about our adventures along with photos and my sketchbook pages that I did during our travels.
Below is our box loving cat during one of his outside-the-box moments near a window at home.
I hope your week is pleasant and is as much in or outside of boxes as you prefer.
See you next Monday.