Sunday, April 28, 2013
Woman with Spots was one of the first pieces that I did incorporating the photographic transparency with the paint underneath. The face is me from my thirties. I was trying out a facial cream which involved putting white mud like stuff on my face, letting it dry, and then washing it off. I couldn't tell the difference from before and after, but I liked the way my face looked with the white on it. It was a strong piece, but there was something that wasn't quite interesting enough because of the straight, unaltered photo. In the end, I painted over it, and now all that exists is this digital record on my hard drive. **
**I came back to this panel, was able to remove the paint and resurrect the image. It now hangs in the home of my good friend, Colleen Schwend, and I'm glad I pulled it back into the world.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I loved finding this image, a self portrait. The photo is off me during a hike into Havisu Canyon in Arizona. The technique is oil paint over a gelatin silver print (8"x10" since I was still experimenting with this new way of working), and it pleases me to see my creative self beginning to understand all that I could do by marrying paint and photograph, still completely unexplored ground for me back in 1980. The image has a rich, beautiful quality that only oil paint can give, and an innocence that could only have come from still being so young in my life.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
They raised their children, created a beautiful home, and seemed in love, giving credit to the very foreign idea, to us, of making a relationship work that wasn't initially based on love. Then the bad news: he was diagnosed with cancer. At first it looked good, surgery and chemo, and he seemed to be recovering. We sighed with relief. A few years went by, all was good, their son married and had two beautiful grandchildren, but then, the cancer came back. All that could be done was done, but, too late. The cancer spread, and after a period of time, he died. She was left a widow, bearing her loss with great dignity and respect. We mourned for both of them.
Her body is made up of a beautiful tree house he had built on their property for their children. His body is made up of sticks and twigs, dried and broken, and rusted spring coils--all metaphors for the cancer. When I did the piece, I wasn't aware of where I was going, just that I was building the image using what I had at hand. When I was finished, looking at it, I suddenly realized what I had done: all the way from the pink of the woman and the blue of the man--I had made a portrait that was a snapshot in time, of their love, of his condition, and of her being the one that housed the relationship.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
That being said, I have to look at my own images and hope that I stay on the side not of stealing but, instead, of marrying diverse images to make something completely new and original. I'm hoping that Rembrandt, were he to walk into the room which held Mother with Daughter and Birds Leaving would, in seeing the head of Agatha Bas that he had painted so many years ago, not be angry at me. Instead I hope that he would be intrigued in seeing how I had used Angela's head to tell a story about a mother who is about to lose her daughter to the outside world. He would understand that the birds spoke of the eventual freedom of the girl, but he would also see the snake-like figure at the top, and would know that as well as freedom there was also implied danger. He would see the pride, but also the sorrow, that the mother feels. He would see that, in so beautifully capturing the face of Angela Bas, he gave me the perfect mother to tell this story.