Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shot in the Dark, or A Creative Process?

OK. So I've been working on this piece whose creation has been very organic. I have hesitated to put it up here because it is not finished, and it could turn out to be crap. But if I am going to take one of the creative avenues I like to take in painting, I have to assume the risk that it will turn out to be time ill spent. (So may reading this journal of the experience--a warning to the reader!) Today's entry is the back story.

I began last fall working on the idea of using my small, hand-carved soft blocks as the actual builders of form in my paintings. I knew I didn't want to work on paper; I wanted the finished works to be on canvas. It is very hard to make a good print on a piece of stretched canvas, so I decided to gesso my own cloth (bought as scraps for cheap at fabric stores.) I gessoed three layers on the cloth at least, leaving the fabric to dry between coats. It made a great surface on which to work flat, because I might press with as much firmness as I needed to transfer a print. (Of course, it meant I had to stretch it when I was done, but one must suffer for one's art.)

Below is one of the several paintings using this process that I completed last fall. It sold in November to one of my local collectors.

Under Cover, acrylic

Then I began playing with creating gessoed "cloth" for the making of other items. My friend and longtime printmaking student, Inge, took several pieces of this "cloth" and has been using it to create purses and covers for notebooks. This is an example of our collaboration.

She is an interior designer and has many samples of cloth, buttons, etc. The square in the center is a piece of the gessoed cloth I printed. She made all the other design and constuction choices. I have several of these for sale in my studio.

This is all preface to say that I had been pondering what to do with a sheet of this "cloth" that I had left over from Inge's efforts. I taped it up on the wall of my studio and left it hanging there some weeks while I "watched" it. I will often do this when I don't have a clear idea of the direction a painting should go. I leave it where I may look at it out of the corner of my eye, without pressure, until the solution emerges in my head.

This is the trimmed end of the watched swatch...

More later, for those who dare!

1 comment:

ariel freeman said...

I am sure you will come up with something grand. I can't wait to see it. Thanks for the creative insight.