The wall has been going through some changes these last few weeks. There’s been some problem solving, much needed breaks, and some breakthroughs. I’m really having fun with this project and the idea has taken on a different kind of significance and study. I feel like it’s moving forward.
So with the much needed breaks I’ve also been working on a few other paintings to keep it interesting. I’ve ordered more wood to keep going on a series of smaller abstractions and of course wood panels.
After a wonderful opening this weekend at the Workhouse Arts Center, I am back at it again. This time I’ve decided to work on some wood. I ordered some cypress wood rounds, and decided to go back to using some thread. So I don’t know if this qualifies as a painting. Right now it seems more like a sculpture. Check it out.
Come see new work at the Workhouse Arts Center. I’m really proud of this body of work. 18 new pieces on wood. 18 rivers of the world represented. When I started creating these works my goal was to experiment with the textures of the wood. How would the washes lay on top of the grain? What if I treated the wood before I applied the paint? What if I let the paint soak into the grain? Although the rivers come from areas across the globe, the common theme is movement and texture… and flow.
I finally started working on a series of new pieces on wood. I’m really liking the random textures I’m getting from the sealed and unsealed pieces. I have never worked with wood before (I know, shocker.), but I’m trying to experiment with the grain. I like how it creates a pattern and is already there before I even paint. Some of the pieces have been sealed before, so the paint lays differently on the surface. Other ones I’ve left heavier brush marks of left the wood untouched so the color seeps into the porous surface. I’m liking the different reactions I’m getting.
I decided to choose 20 major rivers around the world. I also decided to draw the river from the mouth (the end point). It’s really interesting to follow these lengthy rivers on a map to find out where the origin is, and how most of these rivers run along borders of neighboring countries. Almost all of these rivers actually run through several countries, making them hugely important to many cultures who build lives along the banks of these water bodies. I think it’s one of the reasons why I choose rivers. All civilizations start along water bodies, cultures grow up alongside of these important places and create their own systems of living. Even though I’ve lived in many different places, I’ve always lived very close to rivers. Sometimes even blocks away. There is something rich and interesting about waterways. Symbolic and purposeful.
Are you tired of the Pokemon phenomenon yet? It takes me back to when I started teaching and had to take away all the Pokemon pongs during class because the sixth graders were out of control with their virtual games. It seems like Pokemon is a good distraction for some, but what about art? Art is an even better way to reconnect with your own imagination and allows people to create their own virtual worlds. Without art, I might be on the hunt for some of those characters too, who knows? However, to me, art is something that is much deeper, carries more pleasure, and allows me to delve into new ways of making and creating.
This week I delved into painting on wood. I’m still working out the logistics, but I really like seeing the wood grain in my work. I think it’s something that I’ll continue to play around with and do some experimenting.
So as you ponder life’s questions throughout the week- maybe ask yourself this: What makes up your virtual world? Who or what is in it? What does it look like? How does it evolve?