Friday, December 03, 2010

What is Old is New

I recently took a trip back to my 'old' style work, that being mixed media more in the style of my Common Denominator series. In this case I made an abstract for a group show that recently ended.

Gentle Noble Earth, 20" x 20" on canvas (click to enlarge)
It was weird working on canvas after having done so much work on wood panel and claybord. It was also weird using Molding Paste (I found this huge tub of it when I cleaned recently). I have become so accustomed to using Wood Icing that I had forgotten how long it takes the Molding Paste to dry. Oy Vay am I ever impatient, ha!
So I took this piece to my Critique Group on Tuesday night. I kind of wanted to bring my encaustics, but I had already hung them at the store, along with all the rock pieces. I thought about not even bringing a piece, but instead grabbed this one at the last minute. It was the only new-ish work I had on hand and truth be known I didn't even want to discuss it because it was done already, varnished, had been in a show.
But then, just when I am least expecting it (and I say this not because my group doesn't add good input, but because I foolishly didn't think there was anything to say) I hear brilliant words coming from the mouths of artists who I respect.
And the feedback was all about see that little white square in the middle? If you enlarge you may be able to see my words, from a vintage book page, random yet meaningful, done a la Humument,  meaning that I painted over the words I did not want. I do this in a very random, meditative way and it never fails to amaze me the messages that appear. Words have played a big role in all my work from the very start. I have always suspected it was my journalism degree kicking in, this compulsion to add commentary to everything I do. I have been putting little word 'captions' in my work for over 10 years now. They are wildly meaningful to me, sacred almost. Sometimes I feel like they are the true guts of my work and I simply can.not.stop. using them.
So anyhoo, two people in my group both locked in on the words. One felt they were 'shy' and the other suggested I use more of them for there to be a real impact.
Slap self in head.
Amazing food for thought and now this sends my brain spinning in new directions.


  1. Looks very good - although I couldn't read the writing there. I really enjoyed your story about your t.v. appearance and the girls! Reminded me of Bette Midler calling her's Truth and Beauty :)

  2. Wonderful painting! Gosh but I do wish I could see it in person and experience the words for myself. Darn it!!

  3. I love this, the colour combo wins my heart!

  4. PS: Like you I find myself incorporating words into my art as well. Only I will make stencils of Hebrew words that just feel right concerning the piece and make them a part of the design. Interesting isn't it this need to communicate.


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