12" x 12"
acrylic paint and painted papers on board
As I work along through the day, I tend to write things down in my sketchbook which is really a kind of diary as well as a place to doodle shapes. Generally, when I am in between pieces I am kind of gathering my thoughts. The sketchbook is a useful place to corral those thoughts where sometimes they turn into ideas or images. Ultimately, after some consideration, I have found that the sketchbook notes and these pieces go hand in hand. Whatever it was that I was thinking and wrote about or sketched tends to show up in the finsihed collages.
As an example of that synchronization, the blue square in the lower left corner came about because I read about something called "the blue wall." Trump has asserted that the Electoral College is skewed towards democrats. There is a political theory dealing with contiguous red and blue states and the uphill battle faced by Republicans. (I am really crying! Boo hoo! Read about it here.) Anyhow, I got interested in whether or not a solid blue shape, which is how I envisioned the above wall, could start out my collage. The blue is very dark in value and a solid square. What else would I need to add to balance that out? I began to think in terms of opposite ideas and then that gray grid thing showed up. It's very open and is lighter in value and larger. It works nicely.
The whole piece took a while to get off the ground. I struggled after the first couple of moves. I started layering on solid shapes which didn't work. I don't like a "collection" of shapes. In my mind and to my eyes everything needs to be tied together somehow. So, I was kind of stuck for a few days. Eventually, I cut out one of the solid shapes, added the pink line shape instead and at that point things flowed more smoothly. I hit upon the idea for a group of colored lines acting as one shape. The rest became easier.
What does the piece mean? You tell me. My notes in my sketchbook reflect what I was thinking about and as I mentioned above, those ideas frequently show up somewhere in the collages. The red line is sort of an antithesis to the blue wall idea. My friend's stepson is going off to college at UCLA. I pictured those megaphones used by cheerleaders (sort of old fashioned 1920's rah-rah type stuff) and a giant sock kicking some balls. The sock was kind of an argyle sock in my mind (very collegiate somehow) and I imagined children everywhere being booted out of the nest to go away to school. I chose a sort of reverse image infinity sign to symbolize some parent paying forever for their child to get a degree. Gray clouds for gray days and I even added a UCLA inspired bear! Why not?
Alright! Enough silliness. I am going to start on another piece this week, I hope, and I will see what happens. Thanks for reading and commenting.