Monday, November 5, 2012

September Mission-- Creating 1 art, 1 poem For the Haunting Muse

The mission between September and October was a two-fer: create a piece of art to display at The Haunting Muse, and write a poem or two to perform as well.


I wanted to do a work of art that was easy, creative, and autumnal in some sense. I did a lot of research online to get some good ideas, and a finally decided on a project that involved cutting circular wood chips about (75) from tree branches, painting those 75 chips about 8 different colors, painting a canvas black, and then gluing those chips onto the canvas in some order tbd.

And that was my idea. In total.

I would say this project took me about 10 hours total, and cost around 15 bucks. I was very glad I did this. It reminded me that creating art requires not only a good imagination, but also diligence and hard work. I expected my creation to spring from my mind—much like the birth of Athena from the mind of Zeus— fully grown and clothed. Not so. In the end, my wife had to help me come up with some ideas to make it more interesting, and though I am happy with the result, I’m not sure it is, well, beautiful in any sense of the word. In my mind it’s representative of an autumnal landscape.

It looked better in person.

As far as poetry is concerned, I wrote two. One poem titled “Halloween Lament” I intended to be a strong performance piece, highly rhythmical in style, fast-paced and rap-like. It was supposed to be fun and profound. The other, “Just Get A Stick” is a poem about how one only needs a simple stick to kill a slow, stupid zombie.  It is a prop poem, and I planned on bringing a nasty, gnarled stick with me to demonstrate. Read the poems and find out what happened at the night of the performance of The Haunting Muse in the next post highlighting our October Mission.


When Chris and I were brainstorming for the art project, we looked at a bunch of Autumn-themed pictures online. The most promising ones to me were the big full harvest moons that our search pulled up. A bright orange moon we saw got us thinking about making something like that out of brightly colored fall leaves, and that's what I set out to do.

This part of the mission was really rewarding. I got up early on the day I had set aside to make some art, went to a local park, and scouted the area for leaves of many different colors. It felt good to be out in nature as a way to start this creative process. I had decided to make 3 different pieces or panels, and so I gathered up colors with this in mind.

Once back at home I sorted the leaves by color, spray-glued them to each panel, and spray painted over the stencils I had made, My project took 9+ hours, and I ended up with 2 panels instead of 3, because one stencil got stuck to the leaves and after painting I couldn't remove it in one piece. I was pretty happy with the result; one panel that was a decent match to the harvest moon from the pictures, and one panel of dark tree silhouettes. 

The poem didn't go as smoothly as the art piece, as my first attempt got shot down by Chris. In retrospect, I should have known that the subject, a zombie who tells the story of killing (and eating) his family, was a little too horrifying for a church audience. My retry ended up being about 2 kids (ghosts) playing hide-and-seek in an abandoned castle. Writing it wasn't so bad, but presenting it was a real challenge, which you can read about in the next mission. 

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