Friday, June 12, 2009
In a historic town, the demand for artwork depicting the various historic and/or local scenes is high. Which makes me, as a local artist, squirm just a bit. It seems that once you make a piece or series of pieces that catch the eye and imagination of the tourist or collector, you feel great pressure to continue making such works, sometimes to the detriment of your own creative fun.
I love my town and love to create works which have local interest. When I can (commissions are a different matter!) it is my goal to make art ABOUT my town, not OF my town, if you get the difference. (One of my former teachers, Karen Richards, always says to her students, This is not your painting OF the vase, it is your painting ABOUT the vase.) In other words, your painting is your unique, artistic interpretation, no matter your subject.
So, the above little plaque (no more than 3" x 8", on historic St. George's discarded roofing slate) is my work ABOUT Fredericksburg, in which Carl's ice cream and St. George's are featured, and the rest is more my fantastical renderings of the local surroundings.
I made a block out of the soft carve material which I called Scenes on Princess Anne St. The funny thing is, several wonderful people who have bought these prints, have told me they know exactly where in the city I created it from! It is a four color reduction print, and when I was done cutting on the block, there was a bare outline of the shapes of the original. I have, since, used it to print on slate, and then I hand paint the image, each one different. The slate hangs from leather knotted through holes I drilled. The slate I found in just that shape.