Sunday, February 01, 2009
I thought it might be interesting to post some of my older work to see how it compares, stands up to, resembles or differs from what I'm doing right now. Easier said than done, as I had to poke about my house for pieces I could photograph with my digital camera. I have old slides and photos - but I've not conquered scanning them into my computer.
The large ( 36"x48") painting: "Beadie's Back" was painted in 1987. The year before I had suffered a fractured skull and severe concussion in a riding accident which meant months of slow recovery. When I returned to my job (grants writer and program director for a NY arts council), I realized I was fast approaching terminal burn-out. I had made only three paintings in ten years! I couldn't stop thinking about how my life had nearly ended, and I'd never really been the artist inside me.
The summer of '87 I was able to spend two weeks at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina having an art and life choices R&R. The class I wanted to take was full, so I ended up in a non-traditional basketry group, but I quickly learned that it didn't matter what the class was, however, because the entire atmosphere at Penland was charged with creativity. I never spent two more enjoyable weeks in my life. Everything about the experience was wonderful from the people I met to the fun of staying in a dorm to the food, to the breathtaking mountain setting. (There's a link to Penland at right under "cool sites." If you have the opportunity to go there, don't miss it. It's a magical place that I highly recommend.)
Back in New York, I began to paint and draw like mad. Changes were coming.
The bird drawing is the beginning of my black bird obsession. It's colored pencil and crayon and measures about 12x12". If I'm asked why I began doing them, I can't really say, but the urge to do them has stayed with me all this time.
I began to experiment with capturing allegorical happenings from my life, especially those I found disturbing. I had a Dwarf Netherland bunny named Ernie who was the most gentle of pets. Then one day when I went to pick him up, he bit right through the flesh between my thumb and forefinger and wouldn't let go. I literally had to shake him off. Poor Ernie, as it turned out, had developed a brain tumor. I couldn't get that image of him clamped onto my hand out of my head - so I drew it, painted it, and purged it from my psyche. Shown here is one of the drawings in colored pencil and crayon.
Looking at these twenty-year old pieces made me realize that personal style comes through no matter the subject, no matter the influence, no matter the size or medium. How 'bout that?