April 09, 2013

Conversations with Paper Towels

  Have you missed me? I've been 'away' on a playful adventure, of late. It's one that has led me to whole new horizons whithout even leaving home! I 've brought along photos to show you some of the landmarks!

  The 'adventure' was this: exploring possibilites in paper towels. OK. I can hear you thinking, "Wow,"she's really lost her marbles this time!" But wait, hear me out..... 

  About a year ago, I began 'recycling' the paper towels I used to clean my brushes by immersing them in bonding adhesives and priming them onto canvas, then painting. The results gave intriguing textures and rich depths, like this one:

"Wild Poppies' 18x24 Acrylic on repurposed materials SOLD
One day, while creating one of these pieces with my 'paint rag' paper towels. I noticed the subtle lines and suggestions of form that the towels made. A thought crossed my mind: 'What if...?"

Instead of imposing what I want the image to become on the surface, why not allow the bumps, lumps and crevices to whisper their input and thoughts? Like finding dinosaurs and puppy dogs in cloud formations, I began to 'see' images in the the paper towels' landscapes. A clear horizon of potential spread out before me.

I detemined to step back and 'listen'to what the images sugested, instead of rushing forward to paint my pre determined ideas for composition. I decided to take a different approach to my 'conversation' with the painting, offering it respect rather than control.

Ever the lover of allegory and symbolism, I was struck with the similarity between creating a painting and having a conversation. They are both interactive call and responses. I reflected on the fact that just as when I often approach a conversation with a clear intention and a predetermined agenda, it expires quickly into a certain stale quality. Conversely, conversations I enter that are allowed to be open, organic and fluid are far more interesting, adventuresome and colorful.

As I 'listened', my paintings became filled with intriguing and delightfully surprising imagery. Indeed, upon beginning each new one, I felt as though I was meeting someone for the very first time and became delighted in conversing,
finding out just who they were.

The first one I 'discovered' was a poignant image of a woman in mourning.

This is how they begin; smeared, dried, paint stained paper towels unfurl into visual story line.
"They Were All Waiting" in its initial beginging stage

'They Were All Waiting' first washes of color
"They Were All Waiting" completed

This one reminds me of my many friends whose commitment to adopting children often requires patient waiting.

This one appeared as quite a surprise! As it developed, it's imagery reminded me of those with a 'different' spirit, who are doggedly determinded to volunteer for causes they passionately believe in and refuse to take 'No" for an answer.!

This one below, won my heart at first glance. It's humble beginings grew into a 'magical' delight for the imagination.

Well, thanks for letting me share the tales from this journey! More will follow!

 For locals, these new pieces will be displayed in my monthly Open Studios at Golden Belt in downtown Durham. The next one is scheduled for April 19. I'm in studio #3-114 in Building 3 of the Golden Belt campus.When completed, this body of work will contain aproximately 25 pieces and be featured in a local solo exhibit. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for being a part of my world.


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