"Beautiful Woman", finished three days ago
The work of "Izzy" found at the Restore in Asheville, N.C. this last April. 20 paintings at $2 each.
This past fall I've been chasing my tail in the studio. I'd start something, then jump to something else, then find another process or idea that interested me--usually some new way to do a transfer. I experimented, messed up, continued, had some success, then would go back to the pieces I had been working on earlier, but still not finishing them. I'd print things out from my computer to use in my images, then sit in front of the screen and read the news, hunt for full frame Nikon cameras on eBay or craigslist, or look at Facebook posts. The minutes, then the hours would go by. Still, nothing done. I found myself consciously trying to make things ugly. I did, and they were indeed ugly. I decided to use old nude photos of myself taken when I was in my 20's, then backed out, nervous about having them out in the world. And so I continued to circle, and circle, and circle.
Then a few days ago I thought to pull out the paintings I'd bought in North Carolina from a thriftstore earlier this year. Only one is signed, but they are all by the same hand--Izzy's. They aren't great art, but they have a liveliness and an authenticity to them that I was attracted to, and so I ended up buying 20 from the more than 50 that were there. I removed all my work from the long shelf in my studio and put Izzy's work up. I looked at them for most of the afternoon--really looked. They were energentic, bold, and unafraid, all qualities that I seemed to have been lacking this fall. I played around with a few of Izzy's portraits, adding mouths and eyes and lips to them, and then, quite unexpectedly I started working on my own pieces. Within a few hours I had laid out four panels, then finished them all off in the next few days. For me, they were strange, quirky, and oddly wonderful, all portraits, "Beautiful Woman" being the last of the four.