In the past my artwork rarely started out with any significant relevance to my life at the time. Some of my drawings were inspired by flowers or a collection of bones my students found for me in the woods. Others were mixed media pieces where I used prints from my silkscreen editions along with my handmade paper and spray cement texture. The piece on the left (22″ X 28″) was done many years ago. It is a reminder of a flurry of artistic activity which I did in our attic in the NJ house. Our children were old enough for me to spend some time on art and less time supervising them. That didn’t happen often during those years and I am happy to now be at a point in my life where my opportunities to create art are more abundant and totally determined by me.
Today I returned to the clipping file/paper scraps with only the intention to use colors and shapes that appealed to me. With no particular direction in mind I cut a colorful arrangement of glass decanters that I found in an article in Martha Stewart’s magazine “Living.” I flipped the cut image, split it in two and glued it on top of a red background with print. After applying some tinted gesso, creating some texture while it was still wet, and adding both a few magazine photos of watermelon potholders and a moon with bean craters, I waited for everything to dry.
At this point the use of colored pencil helps to redefine edges that become hidden or muted by the gesso. The pencil also emphasizes the textured gesso. Once the decanter shapes turned into shapes of print and poppies, I felt better about the the degree of manipulation. Such a transformation eliminates the possibility that the original artist copyright has been violated. While working on this piece my husband and I both came to the conclusion that the decanters now looked more like the minarets that are sometimes atop a mosque. After looking at the last few collages I have done, it is pretty obvious that I am still using similar forms, textures and ideas from days gone by. All along I thought my work was something new, but I guess you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The something new is that I am dedicating time for art on a regular basis.