Friday, September 5, 2008

Abstracting The Essence

Pretending not to know something is a good way to find it out all over again, in a fresher way. That was my mission when I took some work outside yesterday. I THOUGHT the temperature was in the 70's. Not. But 84 felt like a cool front compared to the 100 degree days we have been having here in Texas...and there was a slight breeze on my face. I needed that slight change of pace and no distractions to get back into gear. So I unplugged. (I would much rather that Sprite have been a Bloody Mary with a Tabasco soaked green bean in it BTW, but there wasn't one to be found. Hey, it has been a tough week. Ahem.)

I needed to explore a couple of key ideas and I wanted to play with some collage. So I picked the first image I came to out of that chock a block box you see in the first photo. Random is good when using a beginner's mind. Let's see what I made of it.

Bits of glue, newspaper, inked lines I did from that list last week and the ground is a cut up Whole Foods bag, these are my tools. I am big on using what is found and around when at these maquette stages. These are rehearsals, explorations, if you will. With these bits, there is no barrier to using the materials, no cost inhibitors. No,"Oh, no I made a mistake. I am an idiot AND I wasted the good stuff." So I am pretty free and pretty blank in my brain at this point. Just an art dummy playing with glue and paper.

And you know what I see? A small aha moment that strengthens the series. Let's take a closer look.

The collage brings man meeting nature into glaring focus for me. The cut up bits are so much more interesting than the photo at this point. (Although I could fall into that happily). Oh, the photo puts me right back there at part of my base camp, but the collage tells me, hm, here's what you're painting. It tells me that the role of man will be geometrical, crisp corners, mechanical and I can play that up. Everything that is nature in this shot flows. Is restrained only by the geometry of intrusion. Aha. A point of tension. And that, I can play with too.

Big stuff? Maybe not. But if I know the "it" of it, I can take that and run. What's the core idea? It's kind of an Ockham's razor way of exploring. What's the most that needs to be there and the least? Before this simple collage I thought I would exclude the image of a scientist pulling a little red wagon across no man's land. And now, I know it is essential. Score one for the art dummy. Oh yeah. And here's a bridge to the printmaking I have been wanting to incorporate in my work. And this is just one collage. There are several to be done. So now I am excited. Each one of these can lead to new work, new ideas, or a new take on an old idea. What, all this by going back to the basics? You bet.

So Brush, bring out those Bloody Marys. It IS Naughty Friday, virtual cocktails for everyone today...and thanks for all your very kind emails. They really helped. Every one at home is good. A few bugs to work out in the re-entry system, but they are removing branches and the lights are back on for most of my friends. C'mon Brush, Pencil, grab the scissors and let's go run....


A Brush with Color said...

love the collage! I think that's a great exercise--I have so many times felt like "I wasted that paper," and then I tell myself--"good grief, you're learning, get over yourself." I like your addition of the gulls there! Charming! have a great weekend. I'll have a frozen mango margarita, s'il vous plait.

Janice C. Cartier said...

One frozen mango margarita coming up! An excellent choice I might add.

Yeah, I hate that oops, if it isn't salvagable. Cost of doing it though. I am glad you like the collage. I do love the collage and the exercise too. They really help work through the big picture sometimes because I have to cut and paste, physically put tangible hand held shapes there and look for values in whatever the day's paper has in it, and whatever I've made up in the way of collage materials. No thoughts, except would this work, mostly. Gets the preciosity out and the experimental in.

(Those birds are in that one because one afternoon a flock of about 3 HUNDRED Pelicans came in and surrounded me on the boat. )

Have a fabo weekend there too.

Amy Derby said...

Love it. :-)

ParisBreakfasts said...

Love the look of that jumble of stuff and then the perfect simplicity you made out of it.

Janice C. Cartier said...

Thanks Punk Duck Amy. ;-)

PB-Wow. Thanks. I am after a few good poems.

I always liked Braque's and Picasso's collages. Thought they were striking. Very oriental too. ;-)