With Ways to Dissolve, I continued my exploration of the red pigments. After painting the atmospheric Turning Red, I wanted to use the same red pigments in a more solid structured way. I also wanted to get into it with gutsy brush-strokes as opposed to the smooth wispy paint in Turning Red. At the time, I was looking a lot at Willem de Kooning’s Clam Diggers and Jasper Johns’s Target and Numbers and I can see where their influence fed into this painting.
Inspired by a visit from Tibetan Buddhist Monks, we had an assignment in Painting III to paint our own mandala. I had difficulty with this project, because I didn’t like the idea of arranging icons or painting a clean design. However, i did enjoy designing the structure with a compass. The whole design is based on circles; I used the intersections of these circles as points to draw the lines. I then went over each section multiple times building up layers of drips, which allowed me to feel like the highly structured painting had a human element.
One of the projects in Painting I at Brevard College was a self-portrait in the style of an artist we hadn’t heard of before. Well, I can’t find the sketchbook from that class, so I can’t tell you who I was emulating here. This painting is usually hidden facing the wall so that it doesn’t frighten the family.
During mixed media class, I made a series of 3 paintings inspired by the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry.” For this painting, I painted the surface pink, spray-painted it black and then applied a dollop of white gesso. Two pounds of strawberries were then carefully placed into the gesso and then violently hammered into the surface with a 2×4. Once dry, everything was coated in acrylic polymer gel to prevent the piece from rotting.
18 in by 15 in, strawberries, spraypaint and acrylic on canvas, 2011.
During mixed media class, I made a series of 3 paintings inspired by the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry.” I was inspired by a series of monoprints made with rotting bananas by the artist Dieter Roth. I wrapped up two pounds of strawberries in canvas tied up tight with twine. The bundle was then placed in Kings Creek for ten days under a bridge weighed down by a piece of broken concrete. After the canvas was dry, I selected an area for the character and composition of the stains, cropped it, stretched it, and coated it with polymer gel to protect the stains and surface.
18 in by 15 in, acrylic, library card on stained canvas, 2011.
During mixed media class, I made a series of 3 paintings inspired by the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry,’ in which he describes a difficulty found in teaching poetry. He also describes a way I like to think about art as experience and a means of expression. A line from this poem, “press an ear against its hive,” was written in a few pages of my sketchbook as a reminder of what I hope to accomplish.
15 in by 18 in, acrylic, gel transfer, and paper on canvas, 2011.