“Something Blue” has been a year in the works. It all started with a painting I did for a a group show called “Transitions” with Mother Artists at Work. “Something Blue” was created using my shredded credit cards, a Swiss franc from a previous trip, and automobile glass collected from when someone broke my car windows and stole my car stereo. These objects might seem purely decorative but they directly tell my personal story about coming of age as a millennial. “Something Blue” was the key painting which inspired my most recent body of work which relates to the young modern bride and the anticipation of matrimony. I created 12 new painting for this series and had the honor of exhibiting them in a solo show at NX Gallery. In my bride series I attempt to evoke the transitional nature of identity which becomes even more fluid and unstable when entering the state of marriage. Instead of presenting a commentary about marriage I am more interested in representing the emotions involved in this transitory stage of “becoming one with another.”
Having an art history background I always feel compelled to find commonalities in art and categorize them. Whenever my husband and I were out and about we noticed that there are other local artists were working in themes similar to mine. Woman’s face and abstracted hair/and or body. As an avid pinner I also noticed similar themes being explored throughout the country. I was excited by the possibility that I was apart of something larger. My work and other artists doing similar work were making things that are the hallmark of the time we live in. Time will only tell but I couldn’t help but think that all these paintings that combine the human figure with abstracted hair could potentially signify a style and thematic preoccupation particular to this decade, or perhaps the century. Now I will be absolutely clear in saying that Gustav Klimt and other modernists are major influences in my work. Klimt did the same thing by rendering a realistic figure and juxtaposing it with a patterned surface which space became blurred (as most backgrounds and foregrounds in his paintings were indistinguishable) and abstract and figurative elements were harmoniously married together. As for my work I’m currently interested in marriage of other contrasts decorative/substantive, surface/metaphysical, intellectual/spiritual, emotion/thought, universal/specific, process/result to name a few.
Sometimes I think of selling my artwork as the equivalent of working a pet store. I get so emotionally attached to a painting that I just want to see it go to a good and loving home. Well, one of my favorite paintings is currently in route to some good friends in a beautiful suburb outside of Chicago. When I say good friends I mean “show up at your doorstep at 3am” good friends. Very recently my family and I were on our way to San Francisco with what was supposed to be a small layover in Chicago. A nasty storm was raging and after getting to Chicago we got word around 3am that our connecting flight to SF was cancelled. Without any hesitation our friends told us to come and stay with them until our next flight. Needless to say it’s good to have good friends.
I exhibited “View from Here” in some great venues and she was even my Facebook profile pic for a good long while. I’m extremely critical of my paintings so it is very occasional that I actually like one and rare that one is my favorite. While I am sad to see her go, I’m also elated that she will be in the company of such great friends.
Legendary Columbus artists Kojo Kamau and Pepper Johnson have promoted and advocated for community artists for decades through the organization Art for Community Expression (better known as ACE). Ann Starr of blog The Starr Review wrote this lovely piece about this show. Oh yeah, I got a little mention too! Check it out
In addition it is a really well written and beautiful blog (I should ask Ann for some pointers). You can see the whole blog at http://starr-review.blogspot.com
I’m guilty. Life got in the way and I’ve let my blog fall to the wayside. My days are spent taking care of my two lovely young kids and my evenings are spent in my attic studio. On the heels of another birthday I’ve decided to give blogging another shot and this time I promise to make a good effort. Please hold me to it.
Working on the “Speak” exhibit encouraged me to steer toward social commentary. I have always looked for a genuine way to incorporate a social message into my own paintings. A couple of months ago I was engrossed by the memoir of Leymah Gbowee, ” Mighty Be Our Powers.” In short she tells this amazing story of how she went from a poor single mother to peace activist. She was instrumental to mobilizing women to end the civil war in her native country of Liberia. In the book Gbowee mentions this ancient curse found in several traditional African societies when a married or elder woman strips her clothes. The man who beholds the naked body is shamed and cursed. In some societies the curse has serious social ramifications such as the loss of property and the inability to marry. I was completely tantalized by this idea. This painting is the product of my fascination with the female body and the power it wields.