Friday, April 25, 2008
Yesterday when I sat down I was able to see it with a fresh set of eyes, and I feel I am making progress now in a different way. The original idea I had of the painting had become irrelevant, and I was able to reframe it and make some choices that were outside the original concept. I can see a way through the piece now and ultimately to its ending.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Here is part of my "nest" ruminations. I purchased a Bible and what seems to be a Chinese Hymnal several months ago at a Goodwill in Phoenix. The paper is very thin, translucent almost and the text is delicate enough to read as an overall value in the background. I took the books to Kinko's and had the spines cut off - I felt really bad doing that to the Bible...But I did it anyway. And yesterday I started cutting this nest into a small linoblock I had laying around in the studio. It was all very impulsive. I stopped cutting and printed a proof, but I was so surprised by how well it looked I didn't bother revising the cut block at all instead I began printing my edition of 25. Yea! I love them. Please forgive the magnet included in the image of the print. They were still hanging up to dry when I photographed them.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I would encourage you to Google the artist to view other images of his work and get a better sense of his style and subject matter. Most of his paintings were near photographic in their observation. The subjects were not always rendered with the definite edges and finite shapes that film could provide. Instead there was the sense that he was painting - as one got close to the canvas and realized the information provided was merely an impression, an imperfect blot of paint, a ragged edge indicative of brush work. But the work was exhaustive. Lopez Garcia is not working from photograph! He is spending years sometimes visiting sites and painstakingly making accommodations for changes in light and objects. I was overwhelmed. His courage to take seemingly endless cityscapes and work them out building by building; tone by tone. Truly inspiring.
What does it take to build a home? And what are the components? I feel strongly that collecting is part of this. The wrens and robins collect moss, grass, trash whatever is in their surrounding environment and the areas where they commonly return to find food. The composition of their nests is defined by their habits, surroundings, and physical features. Do their feet have the ability to knit and weave? Are their beaks suited to the task? Some birds do not build nests at all - instead purloining the work of their industrious counterparts or perhaps hollowing out the trunk of a tree. What am I working to grasp and collect to create a sense of belonging?...
So here is my nest. I made it without the use of needles in what I believe is more akin to crocheting. I am considering dipping them in wax and adhering drawings to them. We'll see.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Above is a photo of a hanging nest that I began finger knitting. I am not sure I should even use this term...am I using it correctly? Let's just say that I made this with yarn in a knitting like fashion without needles. I am thinking a lot about nests lately, and this is a solution for visually expressing the Nest. We shall see.
Below is a step in the development of the stitching idea. Sewing objects on canvas is very slow going. I want to produce my pieces more quickly than sewing will allow me to do. So I thought about stiching on images of birds drawn and cut out of other pieces of canvas. We'll also see about this as well.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
I have been liberated by my recent spate of grad school rejections. I feel a little differently about painting right now. I am was so careful the past few months because I knew I needed each and every painting to be a success so that it could be added to the portfolio I hoped would get me into an MFA program. Well, now that I'm not going - by the way, I'm not going. I know I haven't mentioned that yet; but I didn't get in anywhere. I sort of feel relieved as far as art making is concerned. I feel expanded. There is more of a chance now to experiment and take risks because if it doesn't work out, "hey, that's okay".
Hence the idea of sewing drawing. Strangely enough while I was perusing my friend, Mithi's blog, I found she had hit upon the same idea. Even beter was that she had posed the question of "how to" and her readers had given her a litany of enthusiastic replies. And the ideas worked! Thank you Mithi. I know very little about sewing machines, and when I sat down to attempt this initially, before reading Mithi's blog, I was trying to freehand sew with a normal set up. Well the fabric pulled and the thread rebelled. And it was a mess. But here I've replaced the plate underneath the foot in order to raise the cloth off the feeder (feed dogs...that's what they're called, really) and I have changed the foot as well. The result: a very even stitch despite the fact that I was running the machine backwards and forwards, turning it left and right. It looks like a nice continuous line. Now that I know I can do it, I began research into subject matter for some new work.
I don't know about the cardinal painting right now. I suspect it will be abandoned. Then there is the Mockingbird piece that I was working on when we left Phoenix. That is in suspension. And there's also a large piece I researched and bought the supplies for that I never began. I don't know what will happen with those loose ends yet. We'll see.