I was invited to participate in the Little Alters project with a group of amazing artists. It's a project where you create a little piece of art for each person based on what inspires you. We each have a typeset style drawer with funny little compartments where each mini alter will be created. The intent behind alters is that often in our lives we collect objects and gather them together on table tops, nooks, and crannies. Why not create more art and alters at the same time? "Cool!" I thought. I can do that. "And what fun to be part of such an eclectic group!"
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We all started with our own box (Box A), the biggest spot in the drawer, which is not a square, not a rectangle, but it's a square with a square cut out. Grrr... there goes the even, orderly, balance & structure. Getting started on a group exchange project is often the hardest because you feel it sets the tone for what everyone else has done, but Peg, our fearless leader, has encouraged us to not follow a theme, but rather just to create what inspires us.
Whee! Free reign. Oh, wait - that can be unnerving to people like me who have learned to work within a structure. Structure creates freedom to be creative. Ok... so I'm starting with no theme and very little structure. So, I gotta consider the box shape my "structure" rather than rules. This leads me to my inspiration for my box, Box A.
This year, upon opening a ripe pomelo, I discovered it's delicious floral scent, much like that of walking through an orange grove. Pleasantly surprised and captivated, I had to have more. I wanted to bottle it up and wear it every day. The pith is what holds the richest scent. The pomelo flesh, is also very tasty - like a cross between an orange and a grapefruit and delightfully pink.
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When cut in a cross section, the contrast between the bright green rind, the pithy white and the cheerful pink pulp of the flesh segments is so inspiring. I love how the pomelo segments aren't even in cross section. They remind me of flowers drawn by kids.
So inspired to bottle up this scent, I went out and bought mason jars and all different kinds of citrus to make lemoncello, floral waters (via vodka) and vinegar for cleaning (thank you pinterest
! click the pic above to get a recipe to make your own). So, now that my counters are stacked with mason jars and the multitude of citrus offerings, the inspiration to draw these wonderful fruits happened.
Well, it took a while before I was hit with inspiration. This box, being less than evenly balanced on all sides jarred me so much that I couldn't create. I made that worse by berating myself for not doing anything, then was concerned that my artists block would continue long beyond just this one box into every other box I attempted. Damn that cut out square! But, I put the whole project into a drawer while frustrated and took the day off. I let myself relax, enjoy, and napped. Then, the day after the full moon, I just sat down and started drawing all the citrus that I had brought into my life. I let it all hang out and anchor near the lower right corner. Let the fruit fall where it may! Lo and behold, it behaved! I was able to cut a square out and still maintain the integrity of the art I created. Whew!
My favorite part about this was discovering the cross sections of each fruit. When I look at it, my heart skips a beat over both the pretty pink & green pomelo flower cross section and how I really captured the pink ripening spot on a grapefruit. I think, "Wow, I did that.... I did!"