Monday, January 23, 2012

Mini 25 - halfway point!

I can't believe I am halfway through the "Power in Precision" project!  I don't know why, but I've always liked beautiful numbers (that's why, for example, the project has 50 miniatures in a year instead of 52 (or, gasp! 51 - a hideous number that looks like it should be prime, but isn't)).  So, I'd been putting pressure on myself to make mini 25, the midway point of the project and a quarter of 100 (one of the most beautiful numbers of all), especially good.  Not surprisingly, this back-fired, and I hesitated to start this mini, and the longer I waited, the more overwhelmed I got with "making a really good mini this week" in the midst of also being extra busy (that's right - extra).  I almost used my emergency week, thinking that if I couldn't make #25 extra-special, then maybe I shouldn't make one at all this week.  But then I thought about it some more (not to bore with too much philosophizing, but I concluded that giving up would be throwing away time that I'd never be able to get back, and that seemed like a very bad idea.)  So, I refocused and on Saturday and Sunday made mini 25.

 Miniature #25 - January 16 - 22, 2012, 5 in (D), ink and acrylic on canvas

Mini 25 is ink and acrylic on canvas (I used a new pen and canvas from New York).  The style, in which the form is built up in layers of very fine hatching, reminds me a little of Paul Cadmus  (I saw a really nice, and, you guessed it, tiny work of his on display at the Whitney Museum as part of the Real/Surreal show during my trip - fantastic.)  The materials are similar to mini 20, but this time, include the element of color.  I used my favorite turquoise and offset it with its complementary red-pink.  The design is a love-child of art noveau and Austrian Expressionism (two of my favorite things).  

As for the content, I would mentally file mini 25 under the heading of "beautiful disaster" paintings, a category to which I am particularly drawn.  My hope is that, initially, it's beautiful, but in a slightly unsettling way that slowly reveals darkness upon further inspection.  The flowers are poppies, and there are flies on them (I promise they're there; they're just really tiny) – symbols for delusion and decay.  There's also a tiny plane flying overhead to suggest hovering, impending catastrophe just outside the frame (and a reference to the "fields and fields of poppies" outside the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz suggests that there is a city outside the frame).  But it can also be viewed as a cute, little painting with flowers.  I think it's both at the same time.