Tuesday, May 17, 2016
New Work: Stop Making Sense
The title of this piece comes from two things. The first is a movie from the 80's that featured the band, The Talking Heads. For the record, I have never seen this movie nor was I ever a big Talking Heads fan. The second thing is the quirkiness of the English language. It is filled with phrases, idioms, strange rules, and irregularities. Is it any wonder that people from other countries sometimes have a difficult time learning it? I picked the title sort of at random because it described the things that I was thinking about while I was working. I was considering those times when things in the world cease to be understandable in an expected way. Right becomes wrong, up becomes down, etc. What happens when a portion of someone's known world comes to a grinding halt because they can't make sense of things? What happens then? And I am showing both the right side up and upside down view of the piece. You can decide.
I have been going through a creative block lately. It's too tedious to get in to but I did make some observations while working this piece. Here they are:
* It's difficult (for me) to structure something in a way that doesn't seem like a landscape. Logic and order, which I find in traditional landscape work, make sense to me. But, I also recognize things that seem quirky or slightly off kilter. Both ends of the spectrum are appealing. It's especially great when something follows a kind of order and logic but is still kind of off somehow. I like that.
* Words and images are the two things that help me to think. I make associations with both of them and this seems to be coming out in these collages. Colors conjure up emotions and certain objects and symbols carry some basic meanings for me. Those symbols can be fluid too and don't necessarily have to have a fixed interpretation.
* These collages are turning out to be a visual response to some things that I think about or have learned. It's different than writing about something. Being forced to come up with images to represent thoughts or feelings is the ultimate form of editing!
* Organization of objects on the picture plane is difficult. I find this necessary to think about though when putting these collages together. To overlap or not overlap is a conscious choice.
* In a review of my past work, (and in an effort to break the creative block), I realized that it's hard for me to set out to make a piece about something specific. It's also a problem to have nothing in mind at all when I start. The best starting point seems to be some sort of a prompt: a shape, a vague idea, maybe a word or a color. From there, once I get going, I can build a story. The developing story line helps me to add shapes and to finish the piece.
OK, hope everyone is doing well and being productive in their own special way:) Thanks for reading and commenting.