Moss’ 2019 Makings
In the last few years, I’ve developed a couple of hobbies that take up most of my free time.
The first is wood working. I love to get into a workshop and build a box, or shelf, or some other household item or gadget out of all kinds of different woods. Being able to take a raw chunk of pine or walnut or even an exotic wood like padouk and turn it into something useful, appealing to the eye and something that someone can use on a daily basis is a huge thrill. I even sell and take commissions through an Instagram account (Instagram.com/6s.and.7s).
The other is painting. Over the last 5 or 6 years I’ve been gradually teaching myself to paint tattoo flash in the traditional style. It’s been a huge undertaking and my skills have been improving (albeit slowly) and I’m starting to actually like some of the stuff I’m producing. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s getting better and its fun to do. Trying out new inks, papers and brushes has been a really fulfilling journey. In fact, in 2019, I challenged myself to make 50 paintings, and I’ll be damned if I’m not at 42 with a little over two weeks to go.
But there’s an aspect to these “makings” that I do that’s deeper than it just being fun or artistically fulfilling. It’s the fact we live in such a disposable, consumption-based society.
I’ve become more and more aware of how much I consume in the world, how much I take and I feel like by doing something like a painting, or a woodworking commission, I’m putting something back into the world. I’m trying to regain that balance in my own life and not live so disposably.
It helps too when I’m emotionally at my lowest, to know that I’ve put some kind of joy out into the world via a client, or learning a new shading technique, or even just being able to have a conversation about art and creation with people in those fields that I’ve always looked up to.
As we approach 2020, with all that’s going on in the world, and all that’s potentially going to happen in the new year, I can’t help but feel like putting more back into the world is the only way we’re going to be able to tip the scales and shore things up as the taking happens.
For The Little Ones
If what you created for 2020 is a new human being, don’t forget that Ryan Sohmer is also the author of The Bear, art books featuring beautiful paintings by Rebecca Dreistadt of animals bonding with their children, accompanied by words of parental wisdom, emotion, or wonder.
Bear books, onesies, and a printed blanket are all on sale during the Blind Ferret Shop blowout.