Thursday, April 18, 2013

Not the usual dust of daily life.

"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls." Pablo Picasso

"Clean hands might make clean prints, but it seems to me it's the dirty hands that make the magic." Bridget Mailley

I realize, after reading through my most recent, late night post, then perusing the random writing I have done before with this blog, that I tend to cater to my heavy, long-winded, introspective, self-analyzing tendencies a bit too much with this space.

I swear to anyone who reads this and doesn't know me in real life - I laugh, obnoxiously, uncontrollably and often at the wrong times - and I do so quite frequently.

You know, just in case you thought I might be some sort of mole, holed up in her room, musing about life without actually going out and experiencing it... those are just my weekdays.

Just kidding... sort of.

As I mentioned last week, I need to write more. I love writing. Writing makes me happy. My friend and I were discussing the other day how, when one is surrounded by creative people constantly but does not have an outlet for creativity of their own, one suffers. A blog, or I should say, for me, my blog is just that - the easiest way to create something that makes me feel good. A personal pat on my own back that I can share with my friends, family and anyone else who stumbles upon it. Nothing significant to anyone but me, just a way to quench that need to create.

This desire to do more creating has been fueled lately by said exposure to creative people - mostly due in entirety to one creative type in particular - my sister, Jessica Caldas.

Here we can observe Jessica Caldas in her natural state - dirty, carving and injured.

You can google my sister. Unlike me, what you'll find is not just a jumble of random high school cross country results or newspaper articles. When you Google my sister, or explore her hashtag (#JessicaCaldas for those less social media literate) on Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram, you'll find images of her incredible prints, reviews of her solo and joint shows, articles and interviews galore, and all the information you could want about her many residencies, fellowships and art grants.

She is, literally, kind of a big deal.

(By the way, just because a ton of those hashtags were posted by me doesn't make them any less significant...)

An announcement for Jessica's opening at Beep Beep.

One of my biggest motivations for moving home happened to be Jessica's incredible ambition and motivation in increasing her already rapidly growing presence in the Atlanta art scene.

Here was my twin sister, just having received her undergraduate degree from UGA in 2010, beginning her first major residency, participating in first one group show, then another, then submitting to juried whatever-you-call-its, then kicking serious art butt with her first major solo exhibit just ONE YEAR after graduating, showing up in magazines and newspapers, getting invited to participate in crazy, cool artsy things, printing buildings and bridges and other stationary objects all over the city of Atlanta, receiving ANOTHER major residency, plus a whole ton of other things that filled up something like five pages of a resume...

And where was I?

So far away, so busy with school and work, and so broke that I can't be there for any of it... not one single moment since her senior exit show.

That shit just does not fly.

So I made it back to the ATL just in time to accomplish one of my major goals in moving home - to be there.

I got to be there for the opening of Jessica's second solo exhibit at Beep Beep Gallery. I, along with everyone else who attended, got to be blown away - not through the internet and second hand accounts - but in person, by the incredibly intricate, emotional and skilled work she showed. I got to be the one who took one look at the meager plate of cookies provided and perform the sisterly duty of jetting off to Trader Joe's and purchasing the most random assortment of meats, cheeses and fruits to fill the hors d'Ĺ“uvres table. I got to watch Jessica meet and greet, mingle and explain her work, seeing a new side of my twin that I haven't yet really learned.

I was there. And that alone, was awesome.

"Anything for the children." by Jessica Caldas

Even more awesome, this incredible review (one of many) that everyone should read if they haven't yet. I cried a little (read, I cried so hard I was practically hyperventilating) when I read words like "mastery" and "finesse".

And on top of that? Jessica has welcomed me into this strange and wonderful art world of hers. I am slowly meeting her print-making, painting, sculpting, street arting friends. I get to tag along to art events, dinners and meet ups that otherwise I would know nothing about. 

Sean Star Wars print for Atlanta Printmakers Studio Print Big event. Google that shit, its awesome.

The friend and I that had discussed the need to be creative were invited by Jessica to volunteer at the Atlanta Printmakers Studio Print Big event, as well as a fun, little VIP gathering the night before featuring Sean Starwars, some sort of infamous printer.

Walking around snapping photos, most of the people there who knew Jessica recognized that I was her sister, and usually began the conversation with, "Are you an artist as well?"

"Uh, no, not really. I'm, uh, just taking photos 'cause Jess asked me to. I don't, uh, do art."

Jessica, within earshot, would immediately interrupt sweetly with a comment about how I could and should be, or how I am a writer, or used to paint - something along those lines.

She's right. I should be an artist. Okay, maybe not an artist per say, but I should be more creative.

Spending the entire day watching all these extremely different people, from inner city high school students, to elderly women, to men that looked like they might be living on the street, even little bitty kids, all get together for an event that's sole purpose was to introduce more people to what I'm guessing is the slightly obscure art of print making, to give more artists, young and old, the opportunity to actually print some massive pieces, and to have a damn good time doing it, made me want to stop being so lazy and start utilizing some of my own artistic gifts.

I'm pretty sure the Sean StarWars guy's whole message was that it doesn't really matter if you are artistically talented or not, you should still go out there and create if you want to (I thinks that what he was saying, I honestly ended up a bit lost at some point during his presentation).

Art, or creating, really does seem like the perfect way to do away with daily worries, and my sister just happens to be the perfect inspiration for how to go about just creating.

So, here I am, joining her realm and actually trying to create (Sifu is in my head saying "Just do it!"), and although I should perhaps be focusing on creating my master's thesis or creating a job opportunity for myself, I have to admit, stringing a whole bunch of random words together for no good reason in this blog is kind of like taking happy pills.

You should try it :)


  1. Thanks for the reminder that I really ought to make a point of taking a night off work to come over to Atlanta to see her show sometime. I loved the work she had at her exit show and "After the Honeymoon" certainly hits home in certain ways. It's so rare to find art that I feel like I can start to understand, but she really knows how to tell a story!