Sunday, June 24, 2018

Young Woman Watching 2017

Part of starting a new body of work is trying to think of ways to make images that are new, not only to me, but to all people that look seriously at art. I've been making images now for almost 40 years, and I find that my main battle is in not letting myself do what I know how to do, what I've become good at and comfortable with.  Why would anyone want to do something that's easy, and familiar, that they are skilled at, when they can make themselves extremely anxious by doing what they've never done before?

Since painting is what always guides me, that's my first jump off the cliff:  how can I paint in a way that's new to me, or newish, after all these years of painting?  With that in mind, I recently discovered how to make clean hard edges with masking tape and polymer medium using colors new to me, purchased at Michael's, where all the serious hobbyists shop.  Painting finished, then another precipice to leap off of, this time finding, from my hoard of materials, the right photographs in combination with the right hand-painted papers, along with materials that have no logic to the painting but that somehow work--in this case, a page from an Asian textbook.  As well, I used my mother's pinking shears to cut the bangs, beautiful scissors that are probably as old as I am. And finally, after weeks of trying things out, putting different elements together, discarding, then reforming, I have a finished piece that pleases me. It seems new and different, a self portrait of a much younger me, something I didn't realize until I finished writing this piece.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Two Children Playing 2017/destroyed June 2018

  1. Sophies choice(Noun)
    A choice between two persons or things that will result in the death or destruction of the person or thing not chosen.
  2. Origin: From the title of the book Sophie's Choice by William Styron  Wictionary

    As I continue to work, and accumulate more work, much of which doesn't sell, and some of which never even gets exhibited, I have to face the fact that some of the work must die, or better said, be recycled so that I can make another image on the panel or surface it inhabited.  I sometimes think I'm not the best person to make the decision, being way too close to the images to have to choose.  But if not me, then who?  I can't even ask this of my husband, who is game to help me in anyway he can. So, it's up to me. I put the candidates for the death squad on the wall, and look at them for several days, sometimes weeks, sometimes years.  At last I decide who must go under the big gesso brush, then put them out on tables on the porch, all neatly lined up, and, with my heart breaking a little, dip my brush into the bucket of white Kilz and go to work. After two coats, sanding between each one, I'm left with ten to twelve beautiful new surfaces, all ready to start a new lives. But still, for a little while at least, I will remember  what exised underneath those beautiful white surfaces.