Sunday, December 16, 2012

Do not ask, I do not know

I have not titled this piece yet, but am considering "All my Relations."  I host a painting group in my studio on Saturdays and some of the artists were working on older pieces they had never finished.  I pulled this piece, an 18 x 24 gallery wrapped canvas that I had painted a few years ago for a show of "in the moment" pieces by several artists. 

It was originally a blueish celestial type of image.  There was a smear of white, and other colors forming images to my eye.  I decided to rework the entire canvas.  I considered the original to be quite dull.  Interesting image, but dull color. 

I started to develope largest face I saw, had it half done when another artist visited to see what I was doing.  Something in the image made her cry.  I did not have an idea where this piece would go, where it would bring me.  I was interested in using gold and blue to create the facial image.  As I continued with the piece, the other faces emerged from the paint of the original piece.  They bear no resemblance to anyone I know.  The woman on the bottom right began as a male with a long white beard.  The woman at top right center, originally looked male.  I just kept going applying paint at whim.  As a particpant in several visual conversations, a process that began because my artist's statement contains the phrase ... My goal is achieved when friends and strangers engage in a visual conversation with my work.  I think a piece is successful when it catches the attention of another human being, and elicits a reaction.  The type of reaction doesn't matter.  It's the communication from artist to viewer that is important.

The bird in flight was in the original piece.  That is the only part of that image to remain.  I wanted to balance the stark black of the bird and put in a dark shoulder.  There were several changes, overpainting, details added and subtracted.  I fussed and enjoyed it all.  The process was very similar to developing a Touch Drawing.  (See a long ago post)

Working over a previously done painting can be fun.  You don't know what will happen.  I wasn't thinking ahead, and wish I had taken a picture of the original.  I have another I have begun to paint over, and did take a digital of that one.  Not before I started, but I will have some record of the progression to the final product. 

I haven't posted here since April.  That appears to coincide with the start of my current employment for a steady paycheck.  I've had time to paint and did participate in some sunshine art fairs. 

At present, I'm not at all interested in marketing my work.  My artistic journey is changing direction.  Process brings me pleasure.  I'm always surprised at the results the journey produces.  I am enjoying the journey.  I'm always learning something new, and it comes easily, whatever "it" is.  I feel the flow, sometimes raging and othertimes quiet and gentle. 

I've made friends with the digital camera in my smart phone, so perhaps I will be more interested in sharing my latest images.  The one in this post is unusual for me.  As I wrote earlier, my journey has taken me to some different techniques.  Exploring them has been rewarding. 

As the holidays quickly approach, my best wishes to all for love and peace in their lives. 


  1. Jennifer, I really like this piece. I can really feel that there is a sense of connection between the figures. In a way it feels like maybe the connection is symbolic of guidance or a relationship in the past. The figure in the forefront seems to be meditating and perhaps sensing that connection? The bird... seems to be a crow. One of aspect of the crow figure in mythology is that is a messenger/communicator between this world and the unseen world. Anyway, that's my rambling. I feel it is a powerful and inspiring work.

  2. Thank you for sharing your reaction to this piece. It's still drying on the wall in my studio. The crow has shown up in my latest piece I'm developing. Stay tuned, he/she may be in and out of my work. I love the concept of t he unseen world perhaps being brought into a fleeting focus. Again, thanks.