Daily life has changed so much since COVID-19 came to town. My structured life and studio time have become fluid. I do what I can when I can, and when I do I find I need to create more freely.
This piece has gone through many changes since it began in 2018. I've been thinking about how to combine my interests in painting and textiles, so in a fit of exploration ripped the fence fabric and painted it to the canvas. Then came the birds!
It's 60" x 48" and finally complete.
In an effort to return to a large canvas, I repurposed a stretcher frame from last year. Space in the studio is limited so reuse is the best option. On the left is the source image from NASA's Instagram account - a gorgeous shot taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of, as they say, "a monster young star."
I've only done four days of work so far and my star is starting to form. It's daunting and difficult and I don't know how it's going to work out. I just can't wait to get to the main event of taking a paint pen to the thing and drawing in the finishing touches. So, between now and then is the glorious middle, which is the stuff of confusion and second guesses and sometimes boredom. Into the abyss we go.
Sometimes I wrestle with a painting quite a bit. The delicate balance of meaning + color + atmosphere + technique becomes a puzzle.
In this piece I'm asking questions about personal power in addition to showing a natural disaster. The original photo was taken at a mountaintop lake in Colorado, but the power just wasn't there. So it sat to the side for a few weeks. One of the many things I enjoy about a large painting is that I can make the scale of the elements closer to life size. This is NOT a large painting, which is irksome AND a good challenge. So, I did what I could do and enlarged the subject. Then I added a volcano. Better.
This piece still isn't done. The components are not in balance the way I'd like. I'm not giving up on her, just reworking the components until I feel like I've solved it in a way that makes me love it.
Does the balance pass me by sometimes? You bet. Sometimes I repaint just to realize I should have left it alone. That's why it's good to take some time off between reworkings. Give it a rest and wait. But then continue unafraid and keep trying to solve that darn puzzle.
UNT is offering free Saturday events to inspire creativity in kids! Info here on my blog for Discover Denton.
New work is currently showing at tAd gallery through December 8. This show features the mannequin hands photographs, which depict the times in our lives when we stop being present and mindlessly flow through our days.
This work of photographing and painting hands examines our relationships with each other, the environment, and ourselves by focusing on one of the crucial differences between us and other species: our hands. Hands appear in this art as symbols of emotional connections to our world. They clasp the hands of others as proof of communication and bonds with other people. Combined in a group they form other objects, such as family trees. Birds rely on the structures of the hands as other species are interconnected with humans. We relate to our environment based on our interpersonal relationships and how we were raised.
Hands also perform the rituals of everyday. They connect us to our surroundings and are the tools that we use to interact with our world.
Although the concept remains the same, the media used to create the art varies as the body of work grows. Images begin as raw photographs and then become a painting, a digitally manipulated photograph, a video, and/or an installation. The outcome of each piece depends on the individual message of the work, as well as the space in which it will be shown.