|Walking in Memphis (Blue Suede Shoes)|
painted acrylic paper collage 14" x 18"
The title of my piece references the song, Walking in Memphis, originally written and sung by Marc Cohn. The X-Files episode's closing scene features a Cher impersonator singing this song. (It's a great closing scene, btw, and one of the real reasons I love this episode.) I didn't know anything about Marc Cohn actually so I read up on him via Wikipedia. The article is worth a read because his search for a hit song, which takes him to Memphis, is a great instance of the randomness and the pulling together of threads that exemplifies the creative process for me. I have never found an answer for what to paint or do creatively when I was directly looking for that answer. The solutions have always come to me in the form of other experiences, often that have nothing to do with art making. Stephen King talks a lot about this in his book, On Writing. For the most part, the ideas for his books don't arrive in his mind fully formed. They are snippets of experiences and thoughts gathered together over a period of time, often unrelated, but pulled together loosely to form an idea or really, a question: what if? I find that my work evolves in the same way, roughly.
The above piece started with the idea of blue suede shoes, referencing Elvis I guess. I wanted to add the shoes, which turned into boots, but still didn't know if the piece would be about anything. As I worked, I added some shapes here and there which eventually coalesced into some definite imagery for me. The green triangle shapes are the grasses in Memphis, the red bridge shape with the water exemplifies the general flooding that takes place in that area of the country, and I added the blue "propeller" to signify a flying plane. (Listen to the song I guess or read the lyrics.) I added the orange grid because I like grids but it could also stand for the layout of city streets. And lastly, I added the circular shape with a kind of golden "crown." (Elvis was The King, afterall.)
None of the above was planned, mind you, but came together as I worked. I just pulled random things out of my hat, so to speak, which is what happens for me (and others I suspect) during the "creative process." Had I set out to make an Elvis themed piece or an X Files piece, I would still be staring at a blank piece of paper. I couldn't do it. In any case, I am happy with the above results and at the end of the day that is all I care about.
Hope all is well with anyone reading. No snow here in my little town as predicted but that is OK with me! Thanks for reading and commenting.