Sunday, August 29, 2010
I was challeneged by the Mini Works show that Unison Art Center is having at the Unison Gallery at Water Street Market. I had blown off the assignment, mainly because I had been back and forth to Kentucky for a month, then spent the next three weeks recuperating before I took off for vacation. So what do I do, but leave the project until a week before it is due.
I had mulled over the theme "Submerged" while I was gone. Having spent a week at the ocean and living by a lagoon, I had certainly seen a lot of things that were "submerged". I knew that my medium had to be acrylic or mixed media rather than oils -- as the oils would not have enough time to dry.
When I returned home, I went into the studio and cleaned out some brushes that I had left in the cleaner, and started picking up around the studio. I came across a piece I did,and love, but but it is not holding up to the test of time. After all, it was a very quick demo which I had put together for students. But the image was of a pueblo style church, collaged onto a monoprint, and half painted over. Instantly I saw the imersed quality of this icon of Catholicism, and it clicked.
First image that came to mind was Atlantis. I googled, queried "submerged civilizations" and got an array of astounding archeological/scientific finds.I knew I had found my series.
The problem was, how do I get all that onto a canvas with limited time and resources? I had a million images in my head, but I don't have the technical skill to execute all of them.
So I did some more research in order to get the feel of the cultures. Alexandria, where the palace of Cleopatra is believed to be buried. Atlantis, which some believe to actually have been Antartica (land found underneath it). Yonaguni-Jima, Japan, with its mysterious pyramids carved ? in the ocean floor below. The Bay of Cambay, India, where a 9,500 year old city lies beneath the water.
Much of this challenges science, and beliefs on the origin of man, much like Champoleon did when he was able to break the code of the hieroglyphs. Fortunately in this age, we won't have to suffer like he did due to the pressure of the Church, and science is willingly interested in proving/disproving these finds.
Much of this challenged me. I struggled w/the medium. Encaustic would have been ideal to "submerge" the antique images I had found, but I did not feel that the canvas was a stable enough ground, nor did I have the time to build up 20 layers of varnish to get the translucency I wanted. Instead I poured a thing coat of acrylic resin and hope that it somewhat achieved my goal...
I know I can continue this series, and I think it should be using the same medium. I am so all-over as an artist, and this forces me to do a bunch of work on one theme. A true test of my art is if they don't sell, that I am ecstatic to put it somewhere in my home, and I will be very happy to find a place to hang them (though I am running out of wall space.)
Goal for the week is to buy more 5 x5 " canvases, and keep it going while I have momentum. The Ashokan Reservoir and Lake Powell will be amoung the pieces that I do. And maybe if I give myself more time, I may even paint some of them.