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talking shop

mixed media and found objects on altered postcard

lately i've been noticing some changes going on in my art. over the last year or so my focus has been on collage..my mixed media assemblages have always had elements of collage, but i'm talking more about 2-dimensional types of collage, where paper cuttings and rippings are dominant.

i read something in eunice parson's art statement for her recent showing at chambers in portland that really struck a cord with me. it was one of the best statements i've ever read. unpretentious and straightforward. her progression through many mediums brought her to collage, a way of making art that both challenged and provided great satisfaction for her.

i realized that perhaps i'm not the only artist in the world who feels inadequate because i can't draw a horse, a dog, or even a person from memory (or from models or pictures for that matter) with any great skill. for some reason, i've just always felt funny that i can't perform in certain expected ways as an artist. for instance, i'm not eccentric (o.k. i'm a found object artist who picks up junk that most people consider trash. that might be considered weird) but, i don't have unnaturally colored hair or have the hippest clothes and i'm painfully shy. i guess you could say i'm the anti-artist. all i know is, i can't go to sleep, dream, or wake up without thinking about art. my kind of art.

another part of eunice's statement that stayed with me was the fact that she initially used collage as a means to resolve compositional issues..almost like studies for larger works. just in the past few weeks i've been having multiple eureka moments while collaging. points where i thought i knew where i was headed with a piece and it took a totally different direction. like in the piece above..i initially clipped stray pieces of yellow and white ephemera to fill in the bottom so i could then layer more on top and it wouldn't look all bumpy and wavy. and then i stopped and looked. i nearly dropped to my knees because the 'fill in' looked so beautiful to me. it seemed half hazard, but in a purposefully bold way. the piece was taking on painterly qualities, too..but, i'm not a painter. (at least not yet. never say never) the textures suddenly became brushstrokes. the work also became kinetic, as the 'Y' looks like it's precariously dangling on a cliff on its way down. and the composition seems both complex AND simple to me, something i'm always trying to achieve.

these moments don't come very often, but when they do, it's the best drug in the world..


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 10th, 2006 09:56 am (UTC)
This is.. beautiful.
And I needed this, selfish but..
thank you for this post, I'm still chewing on it's dialog,
mulling it all over in my head. x
Jan. 10th, 2006 05:45 pm (UTC)
i'm happy you gleaned something from my ramblings..
maybe i needed to write it as much as you needed to read it.
anyway, it's part of a promise to start being more open about my process (and being more honest with myself)

hope you're having a great day!
Jan. 11th, 2006 02:30 am (UTC)
I think to express yourself as an artist is what it's all about. Painting, sculpture, collage, photography, the list is endless. How many people do you know who can do all of these things well? Not many. I can paint and sketch buildings and imaginary objects, yet I'm always at the bottom of the class in figure drawing.
Jan. 11th, 2006 05:32 am (UTC)
yes yes.
i agree.

i'm beginning to feel much more comfortable with the process of progression. passion=productivity to me..and just because i feel deficient in one medium (like figure drawing...i, too, sucked!) might just mean i don't give a shit about it. it's like algebra to me...it's one of those things you learn to achieve technique and pay your dues.

i heard a robert rauschenberg quote recently that said something to the effect..'it's not worth doing if i know how to do it..' and to me that says it all. as an artist i think the search for that inner voice, and the constant determination to push yourself beyond the comfort zone..remains the greatest challenge.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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