Monday, May 27, 2013

Phase 7 - look for patterns (then do something), round up

"Neo-Gothic (Iris)" 17 x 5," mixed media on two mitered panels

I tried (twice) to paint address numbers for my house, but instead ended up making this two panel collage. The figure is Iris - the Classical goddess of the rainbow and a messenger to the gods (inspired by the rainbow, pictured last week). Also, I celebrated the end of the semester with a YA fantasy book - I listened to The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan (which, as a big classics nerd, I love!) The author re-imagines classical mythology in a contemporary setting. The series chronicles the adventures and misadventures of demi-god heroes in a way that I feel is in keeping with the spirit of the original myths.

But back to the artwork! The elongated proportions (17 x 5") and style are similar to "the refrain," but this piece has a more limited palette. For me, the frequency of a technique is inversely proportional to its potency (aspects of drawing (like line weight, color, extreme value contrast, etc.) don't stand out as much when they're used everywhere in a piece, but are more striking when used sparingly in the right context.) In this piece, the neon stands in for "light" (like a contemporary version of the way gold is used in medieval art.) I wanted it to function like a well-placed rest in a piece of music.  The color is pure, straight-out-of-the-tube-neon laid down in one, translucent coat over dry black and white. The technique allows the modeling to show through the unmixed color (it's a favorite method of the 19th century French painter Ingres - this black and white "like" is in the Met, and another, full color version is in the Louver - too bad he didn't have any neon paint available, no? ;) )

It feels like I've been working on phase 7 for a while, maybe because the idea of "notice patterns, then do something" overlaps closely with the concept of the whole Tempus Fugit project.  (Also, while I really like lists, I usually stick to a maximum of 5 to 7 items per list.)  Maybe one of the big patterns in terms of time/space management is that I'm always in a rush. 'Tempus Fugit,' is usually translated "time flies." The "flies" is not winged-creature-like flight, but taking flight on the battlefield, so I think of it more as: "time slips away." I'm in a rush because I feel like there will never be enough to see and make all the art-things I'd like to see and make. Even though I've been trying to manage space and time to reflect art-devotion for this project, I'm finding that it's kind of like a drawing, where I can have an idea for the overall composition, but can only refine one area at a time. For the first half of the project, most of the focus has been on space (picking a location, moving there, and finding and setting up (my first ever!) long-term studio.) Still much work to be done, but I think I'm ready to shift the focus from space to time.

The first "time mission:" I want to spend a little time going back over the old phases of the project before going on to new ones. I don't plan to stop making new art (since I think by making pictures, then analyzing them), but I want to make sure I devote enough time to caring for artwork that already exists (for example - I used one of the figure drawings from two weeks ago as the basis for Iris.) Some upcoming space/time challenges for existing work - figuring out how to store "Lacrimae Rerum," framing the black scroll work piece in a way that is aesthetically/conceptually pleasing, but durable and light enough to ship to North Carolina (where it's going to be included in the Southeastern College Art Conference juried exhibition next fall - Yay!!), and developing a system for putting together and displaying "Fortuna" and other life-size collages in the studio.

Much to do, but overall - thumbs up for phase 7 and onward (backward?)!
close-up of a 2 x 2.5 inch section