january and february hit hard and in a very nice way. i had no idea the first weeks of the year would have looked and felt like this. i remember telling my mother before the new year, that i would need to spend some serious time mapping out my year. that if i didn't, i'd find myself in a canoe without any paddles. in january, you may recall, i completed a self portrait for the :not you: self portrait show in atlanta. i am glad to have had this opportunity, for the chance to create a self portrait, to take two atlanta trips with two of the greatest girls, to show amongst a wide variety of artists from all over the world, to meet travis and see his art in real life, and to eat one of the greatest breakfast. (more breakfast to come in the new year! a promise i've made to myself.)
i began the new year, as many others have, deciding spontaneously, to try and take a photo everyday for the entire year. come to find out my own 365 project, seems to have been exactly what the doctor would've ordered, had i asked. i'm a challenged non photographer. only a small percentage of my artistic self, desires to delve into the world of photography. i don't think there are any photography classes in my future and i am not sure i'll ever get my 35mm fixed or if i'll sink a few hundred dollars into a new digital this year. i'll never say never and could never have imagined how wonderful and immensely fulfilling this experience has become. i figure it's the best way i know how to record the year, a memory maker, that is so simple. i'm not going for anything big here, just mindful everyday of the journey.
at the beginning of february i was asked by the ensemble theatre of chattanooga to create a specific piece for 'mixed media:art inspires theatre inspires art'. i was given one of four plays, to read and then create a piece specifically representing the play itself. the artwork is then displayed in the performance. i decided to paint a tree within a house; title of the play: the dollhouse. i plan to see the show on april 1st. i was so excited to have been asked, couldn't believe it! and really am thrilled for all those involved. i needed to give a description of my planned, finished art, this is what i sent them for their review;
The Art Work is actually 24"x48" on gallery stretched canvas.
With all my work I cover the canvas with a layer of tissue paper, in strips of different colors. For this piece I have covered the canvas in a range of light pastel colors; pink, yellow, silver, brown and gold. Over that layer I have covered with white tissue paper. My goal is to make the color look human and fleshy.
The piece includes a house, inside the house will be a large tree. The tree will be crashing out of the house, 'busting' through walls and windows. The piece will be abstract but it will be obvious to the viewer that it's a house and a tree. With all my work the color of the tissue paper is typically the only color of the piece itself. The surrounding applied paint is dark, either grey or black, very neutral compared to the lighter background. The idea is that the house and tree will glow in a positive way and that the surrounding dark paint might fade out into darkness. The piece is very geometric and highly refined, so it may actually look as though it is a print or large computer graphic. There are many layers that may not be obvious from far away but the closer one comes it becomes clearer. So an audience will experience seeing something rich and deep and not have really any idea of how it was constructed/created.
The house and tree both represent a different kind of life, a different kind of living, different kind of love. The piece itself will represent the destruction of traditional family structures (the perceived and man made or built) and values. The house with walls represent a confinement, spoken and unspoken rules and roles, comfort and love too, with a roof and walls to protect. The tree also represents life and love; a symbol also of procreation, masculine (fraternal) strength (whereas when thinking about house/home you think maternally). The house is preventing the tree from growing, thus the tree is 'busting' out of the house. But the irony is that the tree is destroying the house from the inside out. Even as the tree represents a love, between these two men, the tree is hurt because of the house in it's way of growing but the tree is also hurt/damaged because of itself. If the tree decided to grow less or keep it's love to a minimum and not try so hard to be like a house (or like traditional love, by trying to have a family, a child), but different, then it would be fighting, it wouldn't be hurting. It seems the tree is trying to hard to please itself, creating something it's not ready for, not built to do or created to do. The house just won't crumble/fall, thus the conflict. So the piece is universally appealing with soft and hard suggestions.
i have also had the opportunity, to submit a proposal to the city of chattanooga; parks & recreation, for the ::on the fence:: design/urban art competition thing(y). i had only one idea, presented it to my brothers, asked my talented friend nano to help and sent it off last friday. i'm keeping my fingers crossed, ought to be notified in a couple of days. as soon as i find out, yes/no, i'll post up my idea, drawings/plans and a graphic work in progress.
and last but not least, started a new commission; which is due march 19; to look like ::splatter building trees:: but a whole lot bigger. i've got only one other work in progress which i hope to finish up before the end of the month. then i'm thinking some brand new stuff is in order. april is going to sort of be a vacation month anyway, will be heading to asheville to celebrate a family birthday.
and i promise to keep you posted.