Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pushing Past the Comfort Zone

Sometimes while looking at an old piece of my work I experience a moment of "what if?". Typically during this time my mind wanders to a place other than where I think I should be focused at that given moment in time. Most times the current piece of work is set aside so that the birthing of a new idea can take place. Usually this birthing requires me to "push past my comfort zone" to create something that has been swirling around in my mind sub-consciously. A lot of times the urge to "push past" is accompanied by some fear of messing up what my physical eyes see as a fine piece of work. The "pushing past the comfort zone" I do believe is my spirit yelling out "don't become boring for the sake of safety, dare to be new."

With that being said I'm now "pushing past my comfort zone" into an area that I've desired to go for some time and that's fabric and embellishment. Above is one of my mini mask which originated from a piece done a couple of years ago titled, "The Voyage". The image was scanned, elongated a bit and printed to canvas. Hmmm, what else can you do says Spirit? Well, I immediately thought the mask would look great on a piece of craft felt(can never have too much color). So on to the felt the mask went, but again Spirit spoke and said that's safe and boring. So the mask asked for a few stitches and a shirt. By now the piece has titled itself and asked to be accompanied by the rest of his family members. So the creation of the "Urban Warriors" was born. This series pays tribute to some important unsung stay tuned.

1)First image is safe and boring.

2) Responding (on right)to the urge for stitching and embellishment which includes various beads including seed.

3) Now the third image(below) is my response to Spirit when urged to try a digital enhancement which resulted in the woodcut image.

All images on this site are copyrighted.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Passing The Torch"

Well, last weeks reception at the Rhodes Tower for "Passing On the Torch" was great. There are so many talented artists in Columbus and around the state. Ran into some old friends and met new ones as well. Antoinette of Ancestral Blessings has her dolls showcased in the main entrance behind the security desk...check 'em out. Stephanie Matthews B/W photos are amazing and her website photos of children of the Congo brought tears to my eyes. Textile artist LaVerne Kemp has a wonderful family tree including roots that cascade and trail across the floor. Met painter, Curtis Goldstein, who does some wonderful the way love your paintings of various landmarks around town, especially the old diner in the Short North. Teri T's mixed media work continues to evolve, while one of Aaron T's paintings is coming home with me. Lauren Luna's black and white paintings are also evolving...And of course, I have to thank all the ladies from SOTA(Sistahs of the Arts) for coming out and supporting us...Freda, Nora, Xantha and Voszi. The exhibit is up through the end of the month if you haven't had a chance to catch it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Heart's Desire

What's the object of my heart's desire? Depends on what day you ask me...but typically my heart's desire is to honor God in all that I do...learn to love as Christ loved(unconditionally). Thought I had that one down until the end of last year when God made it so apparent to me that I wasn't "walking in love." I'd been estranged from a family member for too long and God wanted restoration to take place in my family. It's amazing how an act of restoration could impact my art.

All I know is that the work has been jumping off my table since making peace with my family member. Sometimes we encounter offenses in our lives that we feel are too great to forgive...the nonsensical killing of a loved one...spurned love...or someone who just didn't treat us right! Sometimes we don't even remember the original offense 'cause we're just plain old mad. What I've come to realize is that my unforgiving spirit was a huge stumbling block. Got anyone you need to forgive?

On a different note have two pieces along with sistah artist Antoinette at the "Passing the Torch" exhibition for Black History Month. Looking forward to the reception this week. Included in the exhibit which features 60+ artists from Ohio are my two pieces titled "Rose" and "Domestic".

Both "Rose" and "The Domestic" were from my first large solo exhibition in 2007. With both of these pieces I was exploring some different techniques with my collage work. "Rose" was the first time I experimented with the use of bees wax and melted crayon. The outline of her body is black fabric, while the rest of the clothing and accessories utilize paper towel, vintage wallpaper and buttons. Her face is again my collage and acrylic with color pencil on black fabric. After completing her I covered the entire stretched canvas in melted bees wax. The background began with a bright red(you know I luv some red) and then a layer of walnut dye was brushed on. "Rose" is a hard worker but makes a point to never miss church on Sundays.

"The Domestic" actually began with a piece of archival fome core that I normally use as backing when framing. It has a couple of layers of green paint with a reddish brown acrylic added with a sponge for the background. The face is the collage on fabric with acrylic. She was fun to do and yes, it's a woman (she's been mistaken for a male on many occasions) she's not had an easy life. Clothing is white duck cloth, buttons and paint for the shading. She pays tribute to all our mothers and grandmothers who have done "day work". Cooking, cleaning, ironing and looking after other peoples children.

So, guess you could say right now my heart's desire is to continue birthing these art pieces and trying to discover all that's within.