It is that time of year again. Things are fading. Going away. Finding other directions. Personally I am going for the “other directions”. I am going to alter the way I do things. It is time to change a little.
New works in the studio are going to be based on the Driveway Messages from a couple of weeks ago. There is something appealing about how much story (narrative) can be built in a piece made up of separate sections. And how those separate pieces cling to each other with a seam forcing them to stay there. It is more about the relationships than design and color juxtapositions. It is about relationships and dependency to be complete or at the very least agreeable to the whole.
So I will show another of those Driveway Messages that have got me to thinking.
The next one will be a long horizontal landscape piece with not only etchings but drawings and/or paintings using watercolors made from soils. I think even woven patches of spun papers. More plates will need to be etched. More fabrics with some sort of history will have to be printed onto. Like whenever I start something new, I see it in my head and then just go there until it is done. But what I am attempting is collage and to do that I need lots of the parts strewn about to pick up and hold next to each other.
Which makes me think of so much of the collage/assemblage work I see today. If you look at them, what makes them appealing is not any sort of narrative but how lovely the parts are and how well they go together. Let’s say a Japanese themed piece. You can’t go wrong with this. Just some Japanese script, some beige, preferably some torn bit of corrugated cardboard, smear of gesso, a bit of jute string tying something rolled up. Slip in a bit of black cloth or paper somewhere and there you have it! Lovely!
All you need is the stuff to make a design with. No need to tell a story, just hint at some magical message in the Japanese writing, which could be saying almost anything. It could be from a grocery list to some private correspondence. But one thing is for sure, it will sell and be easy to offer workshops on how to glue it all together.
Sorry about that. There really is some good collage out there….just not enough that speak of the maker more than the materials.
And admittedly I am so much more interested in the makers point of view than a bunch of lovely bits and pieces artfully arranged.
On another subject, my husband Lee turns 80 years old this week. And by the end of the month we will have been married 50 years. Such large numbers that I never even considered when we started out together. And of course always the question, “Where did the time go?” Over that time I was at least ten different people while he stayed the same. He adjusted to my changes and I was glad he was still there. I suppose that is marriage in a nutshell….adjustments and joy.
Here we are at about 30 years in. A detail of the large quilt-like piece using our clothes.
And part of the pieces now as we adjust to his dementia.
It is strange how some work never goes beyond the makers need to create it. I think of Lin who I wrote my last blog about. Her stunning neck pieces of well placed found objects will probably be on many bodies, be quite visible and commented on. But the hard wrought work about the old testament stories told with tattered dolls will likely forever be in boxes. She might be remembered artistically as a very clever designer while her statements on war and religion remain still. But she made the work. It mattered enough to her to make the work.
And that is my inspiration to continue in the studio. Have something matter enough to make it.
In the meantime Lee and I are off to a brewery for a beer and lunch with friends. More friends taking classes at the folk school pop in this evening for a good catch up. Tomorrow I head back into the studio intent on making more pieces to assemble into a larger work.
Corrugated cardboard and scraps of a Japanese ledger will not be part of it. That I am sure of.
Til next week with new pictures.