Friday, February 20, 2009

"Emotion" Entry

I've been experimenting with some new and dramatic approaches with my journal entries. This one I've honestly been a bit afraid to try. Most of you know my work is usually representational, working from plein air, photos or "found objects". One of my dear artist friends told me about a painting she'd done in response to a very volital situation in her life - and it triggered a memory of a recent situation in my life. One that I'd not completely resolved. And it sounded like a very interesting opportunity to try something new - and express my feelings. So, oh boy, here we go.

I re-read the folded "private letter" that I'd written to the party I was having this situations with, which fired up my emotions all over again. And I was ready to start. I took some big, some smaller WC brushes - just splashing and dashing patterns onto my journal page. Next, I dipped my brush into black Indian ink, then into the wet pattern. I loved watching the ink spread and dance in granular patterns. With thick pigment, strong values I poked and exorcised my feelings as I repeated words I was feeling as I struck the paper. The "words" part just kind of came to me in the process. I'd ripped out images and text before I started painting and once the pigment and ink was dry, I arranged those around the pattern. Then glued them down with "Yes" glue (an archival, water soluble glue). I wanted to have that letter I'd written included, so I painted the photo holders black and glued them into place, adding text and painting on the letter to include it into the design.

I thought I was done. I wrote in my experience that had created the situation for me and left the journal for a day or two. But I kept thinking of it . . . I wanted to add something that felt hard and unfeeling, something with pointed edges that could hurt like I had felt that day. STAPLES! So they were added to page, completing the design - and apparently my emotional expression. I've not thought back about it now for days. It felt good to express, it felt precise in expressing where I was.

Perhaps you might try it around thoughts or situations you have strong emotions about. I'll do it again . . . be brave and explore your expression and yourself. You'll be astonished at the beauty you find there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Life Perspective

I've been working on a variety of projects lately. As mentioned a couple of post previously, January 22, 2009, to be exact, my two artist friends and I have this delicious project. It keeps us connected even though one lives in the Bay Area, one in Bodgea Bay and I, in Oregon. We mail it to one another and create a single sheet piece about 6 x 7.5, either responding to previous pages - or - in statement to where we are in our life right now. This time I approached the project wanting to say exactly where I was and what I was feeling in my life.

I'm usually "the delinquent one", taking a month or more to 'do' my page, even though I usually have a 'flash' visualization of what I want to respond with - right at the moment I open the envelope and view the new pieces. My newest piece also took a bit of time to do layers of matte medium. I wanted to use actual eggshells, hoping to build up enough cushion to keep them from being crushed in the mail. Layer after layer, I created this pad of matte medium holding together the eggshells. That piece I attempted to adhere to the 6 x 7.5 sheet of water color paper which I'd collaged with magazine and newspaper images and text. I applied several more layers of matte medium to seal it and then, using gouache, I applied paint where I wanted. To place the glistening little reflective orb, I cut out a hole in the paper (so that light could shine through) and again, using medium, stuck the 'gem' in it's place. To keep the medium which flowed behind the hole from sticking to my table, I place a plastic bag (which easily pulls away when the medium is dry).
This was my finished piece . . . pretty wild and expressive for me, painter of beautiful nature images. But like I've mentioned, these small, free expressions really let me try new ideas, mediums and expressions - not concerned with how they will look framed up.

I'd love to hear your ideas on what exactly I was expressing with this piece. It will be fun to see how it reads and what each individual reads into it. Please enter a comment if you have a guess . . .