Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Constellation. What to do? What to do?

Sometimes as an artists grows and matures, they come across old work and find that they no longer have any intellectual or emotional connection to the piece.  Many artists will keep it anyway due to some nostalgia or fear or discomfort at losing the work (or at least at 'losing' the time that went in to it).  Although I can understand that point of view, I find that a piece that I have no connection to is a new exploration waiting to happen.  All you have to do is to remember that nothing is precious.

Here is Constellation from a show image taken during The Gorilla-Fart Showcase back in 2005 at MidCoast Gallery West.  I had only created a few carved frames at that point and was using my old wood to (GASP!) actually just serve as a fairly mundane frame on some of my pieces.  Slow learner.....

Once I decided that Constellation was going to be reworked, the first thing I did was to remove the wooden frame and then the structure at the bottom of the piece.

I want to play off of the pre-existing 'divisions'/bands within the piece, so they seemed like the appropriate place to put these paradigm houses/structures.

Gotta include Mr. Anthropomorphic Salt Shaker!

Including a memento from my roadtrip this past Fall.  A portion of the sign from The Buckaroo Motel.

I can tell already, that even when I finish putting in the color for the first layer of imagery, fundamentally it is a disastrous composition and will need to be covered by at least one more layer of imagery/paint. Roughly 80% of the surface is meant to be 'cultural white noise' and it is currently demanding too much attention.

Now with all of its color -soon to be painted/hazed over.

A proper 'hazing'.

I'm thinking about adding a canvas (or a portion thereof) as part of the final layer on this piece.  So while the paint is dry, I play around with various configurations to develop a rough/preliminary idea of how they look and interact with what is already on the canvas.

The piece I am strongly considering including is a cast-off piece from the original Merican-Tastic! with the working title of:  Unheld. Untouched. Undone.  Here is an early shot of it.

This is all the further I developed the image before cutting it from the roster for Merican-Tastic!

Unheld. Untouched. Undone. took up too much space initially, so I removed the green part and tore the canvas into two pieces and played around with their placement.

A quick way to see what stitching might look like.

The results were inconclusive, so it is time to add the next layer of imagery (hopefully it will be the last layer, since the surface of the canvas is heavily textured by cement and more than a bit of a nuisance to paint on).

Time to dive in with the line work.

One of my favorite elements from the preceding layer, Mr. Anthropomorphic Salt Shaker, is making me less happy with how it participates in this layer.  This may be a problem.....

Line work done! (at least for this layer)

Here's what it looked like after adding color to the new layer of line work.

A couple of detail shots to show how some of the under layers of imagery contribute to the overall image.

I'm suspecting that Constellation is going to take some more work/analysis beyond what I had initially thought, so I will close this post with a few sketches from one of my notebooks that were used for some of the imagery.  My sketchbooks/notebooks are a combination of doodles & drawings, along with notes from some of my classes in college.

So here are two drawings and where they end up on the piece.   What you can see in this image are remnants from my Biology notes.

The text in these comes from my Philosophy class notes.

Still not quite right.....

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