Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Troublemakers and Two Words

Troublemakers woke me up this morning. Heuristic and atavistic. Those are the two words. And then there are Bobby DeNiro and Al Pacino. You can see them staring from that collage can't you? I am not sure they would normally use heuristic and atavistic in a conversation, but they could. And they brought them forcefully to my attention just in the past twenty four hours.

It all started from this definition of lateral thinking and me innocently working on that stripity list yesterday. Noun 1. lateral thinking - a heuristic for solving problems; you try to look at the problem from many angles instead of tackling it head-on

I was minding my own creative business tackling those 4 collages on the list of things to do for Tuesday, looking for values, textures, cutting and gluing away. Using that beginner's mind to work through a series of images I am doing. Sure I could just go straight to the painting, but I am after a difference in my work, exploring some ideas I have had for some time now. Just kinetically playing with shapes and values, lights and darks. Forms on my island.

I needed a sufficiently dark background, a foil for some broken and scattered shells. Just some wetted sand that has texture and depth. I saw this movie ad which seemed to have both. Laughingly and going with random...snip, snip, glue. It felt kind of funny cutting seas shells and gluing them over the guys, but after awhile I realized that was exactly what I was supposed to do.

I put that one aside for a while and went on to the next collage. Then the next. More snipping, more random, more glue. Later when I gathered them all up. Checked to see if they were dry, there these guys were staring back at me. Hm. Will you look at that... bold and alive, a little mysterious...just like this texture you are looking for. They seemed to say, "Lay it down like you mean it, or else. Just look at us." I laughed. Silly muse, you're using Hollywood now?

So out came the paints and the rag this morning because those two words woke me up, heuristic and atavistic. I looked the second up again just to make sure I was getting the message right. Discovery for one and primal for the other. Go at it boldly that way. And I only thought it fitting, I killed a darling too. Underneath, lies another painting. Yep, it'll be buried in the sand. Hey, it's DeNiro and Pacino, who am I to argue? Sometimes you have to listen to the muse that shows up. Any muses talking to you today?


Evelyn Lim said...

Brilliant post! I don't have a muse that has shown up yet today but thanks for pointing out that I can "listen" for it.

ellen wilson said...


You blow me away with your knowledge. I don't know what those words mean (a & h) and now I have to look them up to give myself a smart fix.

I don't have any muse but food on my mind today. E

Janice C. Cartier said...

Evelyn- Thanks. Muses come from all kinds of places. Listening... well that's up to us.

Ellen- Hey, I owe you too for reminding me of Sontag. Thanks for that. One of those I 'll get around to it reads that has moved way up to the top of my list.

I'm thinking a cookie would be good ...