Tuesday, June 14, 2011
roudly and fearlessly undergo surgery to live as collage material on a mixed media painting, not unlike an organ donor—except the donor stays intact! My process starts with what I wish to illustrate, then I pick the color palette du jour.
I have my journal pages scanned into my PC so I can “leaf” through the files and print four copies of each lucky, qualified page for my chosen palette. Working on four substrates at once as a series helps me to work quickly without overthinking. If a piece does not work on one canvas, it will work on another.
I prepare the canvas with thick Gesso to add texture (did I mention that I love Gesso?). After that dries, I use acrylics to abstract a background. Using my surgical instruments (known as scissors to the commoners, or non-artsy folk), I start dissecting the pages for the collage layer.
I use polymer medium for gluing, being careful to envelope the entire paper in polymer medium to retain the non-acidic, archival nature of the acrylic. Shown here is a work in progress—stay-tuned for the finale!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Last week when visiting with my 94-year-old mother in the nursing home, she asked me what my ambition was. I thought it was a rather odd question at the time, one that you ask a teenager, not a mature woman contemplating retirement. However, since Mom cannot always distinguish the “now” from the “then” anymore, I simply answered her question. I was succinct and I did not hesitate, “to create art every day,” I told her. I looked at her as she sat in her wheelchair and asked her the same question. She replied, also without hesitation, “To sit in a comfortable chair”. That simple. Both of our answers were essentially identical. We both have the same ambition—we both want to feel comfortable. And it’s not always that easy, or that simple.
Macular Degeneration took Mom’s eyesight, and she suffered a broken hip from a fall last year that still causes her pain. She needs help getting dressed and out of bed into a wheelchair. It’s a daily struggle for her. I am on the opposite end of the spectrum.
I have both physical and mental health, along with healthy goals (maybe too many). Yet, I too, struggle with the ambition of my artful day. Life gets in the way—even though it’s what I want the most. Distractions and obstacles are many—in the form of full-time employment, household chores, stress, the list is endless. “Not enough hours in a day” is my mantra. Yet, somehow, I manage to make every day an “artful” one, even if it’s a quick sketch in my art journal. J.L. Spalding’s said, “We always make time to do the things we love”. How true that is. If we don’t make time for art, we’re only cheating ourselves. Making art isn’t an option, it’s a necessity—my ambition. It’s my comfortable chair.