Monday, December 19, 2011
Nancy's Dream 1980
I started college life thinking I would be a ceramic artist. I worked hard, made lots and lots of clunky shapes, both thrown and hand built, and at some point, realized that ceramics wasn't really my friend. Next, printmaking, worked hard, made lots and lots of lithographs, and realized I wasn't really cut out to be friends with lithography. Then, painting and drawing, again always working hard, and I was able to make large, slightly surreal paintings, mostly about people and animals. They weren't great, but they weren't bad.
I started taking my own photographs, not to be a photographer, but to have information to base my paintings and drawings on. At some point, in some flash of laziness, or genius, I'm not sure which, I began to paint on the photos with oil, thinking of them as rough sketches for my paintings. I found the surface slick and non-absorbent, and the photograph never disappeared, the way paint or marks on paper would when you tried to rework them. I loved these little 8'x10" photos that I painted on, that I didn't have to despair over the way I had everything else. I wish I could say that I immediately snapped to and understood what I had, but I was slower than that, and it took me several years before I finally understood that I had found my voice.