Sunday, July 12, 2015

Seven Degrees of Separation, Part 7

A Turning Point

I don’t know why it is, but the third piece in a series is often a turning point for me…and it is always a difficult birth!  I started this one with two major strikes against me.  The first was color.  I had picked up a rich umber color at the paint store, but I found that after working with such lovely colors in the first two pieces, this color was dull…dull…dull.   The second strike was the image I chose from Pinterest. 

I have a rule, of sorts, that states, “you can choose any image or two that you want, but once chosen, you can’t go back to Pinterest.”  Why you ask am I so strict with the rules?  It might be my Catholic school education that kept us on the straight and narrow…and it might be a way to make myself push beyond my stuck places.  Whatever it is, the rule exists and I work with it.

The art work I chose had a tag “ceramic” from the Duane Reed Gallery in St. Louis, MO.  It reminded me of a Chihuly piece that was commissioned by our public library.  I could vision paper-wrapped wire swirling out of one of my canvas windows.  It actually might have been a Chihuly after all because the links led nowhere; I couldn't find the art work on Google images or in any of the works of any of the current artists.  That IS one of the draw backs of Pinterest.  Images are pinned and repined constantly with no artist credits—I’m guilty of that as well—and the descriptors and links get detached from the images. 

I decided to keep the inner window unpainted and planned to somehow wax “squiggles”.  I worked for a week on that darn idea!  Nothing looked good.  Nothing was working…but in that length of time, at least the color was beginning to grow on me.  I know from long experience that I can’t force a painting to go where I want it to go.  It has to take its own course.

Here are some of my trials and errors. 

In frustration, I did what I sometimes do...I tore off the waxed paper and started over with the same form. The Chihuly images suddenly morphed into the former Du Chau work, leaving behind the umber for the "bubble gum" pink chip I had chosen from last summer.  I kept seeing soft rain through a window.

By this time, I had to know where I was going.  I've always liked the phrase, "Make your way by walking..." but there are times when you have to look at a map.  What did these three pieces have in common?  What did I discover so far?  Where did I actually want to go?  Every series is about a path.

The word, "path" actually gave me the insight I needed and the direction that had been embedded in the series with all of the intuitive decisions I had made from the start of the project.  To see how PATH and the meaning of this series are entwined, stay tuned.

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