Exploring the cross theme is richer than I imagined. I have yet to leap into creating a large piece on white canvas or paper, but I made a conscious choice to work over existing pieces (which satisfies my desire to re-use/re-purpose) and as I paint, I see how I relate to the underlying piece. Even if I “erase” it, it affects how I chose to develop the the image. And in pushing myself to work with crosses almost exclusively, I’m uncovering my relationship to it, and questioning what I consciously thought about it, while allowing myself to go down all sorts of paths and make all sorts of connections without censorship.
The 3 below were made the other day and are directly related to madonna figures I’ve painted/drawn that include vegetation. They have a solid, earthy quality.
The following are particularly exciting. The 2 on the left were made last week (and I admit they felt close to finished) but I worked into them. This action of “working into” a piece, or working with one image, has been especially hard for me to understand, in large part because my practice has been developing a light, quick and facile style. I’ve spent years developing a spontaneous, authentic line. But that mercurial style belies a restlessness thread in my work as well as my life. The good side of that quality is agility and an ability to adapt, but the flip side is difficulty sticking with, and committing to, a project after the initial bloom wears off. I’m actually working very directly with that restlessness in daily life. This decision to do a graduate program has upended my life in ways I couldn’t predict, and restlessness is rampant, but just as I’ve made the commitment to be still and pay attention in day-to-day decisions, I’ve also committed to a similar art practice, and it’s finally making sense.
Now for my life to make sense. I actually doubt that “making sense” is even the point… 🙂