Ash & Ice, Sun & Snow, Wind & Wood, Fail & Fun

  • January 11, 2014


Successing the fail. The idea was to glitch some lace, use it as a stencil, with fireplace ash as spray paint, and white snow on the lake as the canvas. I limited my tools: sifter, fabric, bag of ash, a cardboard box. (Later allowed some broken branches into the mix). The cardboard was to add some linear elements and rectilinear knockouts — my only condition was that it sorta had to have a digital look to it.

Doing art outside solidly puts you back in your skin, and  attunes you to nature: you feel the wind (for the direction of the falling ash), observe incoming clouds (for how they’ll change the light), smell the humidity (snow coming?), embrace the cold (going gloveless for precision), hear the ice cracking (danger?), see the sun going down (too quickly).  Day one’s first attempts were too late; got dark. Second day was bright, no wind… but -25 degrees, too cold to place and pull lace. Day three, conditions were perfect in the morning. (Lucky; windy later).

Working outdoors with limiting conditions means you can’t overthink or overanalyze, which is great: art becomes more of a sport than a puzzle. It’s not too precious: if you fail, it’s only a day or two of prep & work and fine, bye-bye, the weather takes it;  but also you have to let the ‘success’ go as well (and in that way, they become the same thing.)

(See how this evolved to works on canvas, HERE. See some other outdoor ephemeral works HERE.)

ash snow lake

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