Thursday, January 5, 2017

Measuring Progress Over Time Part II

"Journey - Feather Moon II" 21"x21" poured watercolor
In April 2015, at the Intensive Studies Seminar at Taos, NM, Katherine Chang Liu challenged me to figure out how to combine my non-representational gestural marks with my love of pouring paint.  "I plan everything I do" Katherine told  me. "I don't have a lot of time to paint and I don't want to waste the time I have." That brief conversation changed my approach to painting. I could not get those words out of my head. She plans those beautiful collages and paintings?!  I look back to that exchange almost 2 years ago and realize now how much it influenced my thinking and changed my approach to painting.

"Journey - Feather Moon I" 21"x21" poured watercolor
For two years now I have explored shapes and symbols that have meaning to me and that help me express the thoughts and feelings about people and the earth that began to crystallize during my trips to Arizona and New Mexico in 2015. I've developed a symbolic language of my own, taken shapes and arranged them and poured a LOT of paint. 100 paintings, collages and weavings are on my inventory list for those two years and more than half of them are planned poured watercolor or acrylic.

While I've identified and learned to use many symbols, I had yet to figure out how to incorporate my gestural marks.  A couple weeks ago I took several sheets of paper and using a marker I just made large sweeping gestural marks. Each was distinct. So I looked at the mark I find most often in past paintings which was the very first paper I had marked and then I tried to figure out how I could incorporate that sweeping gesture in a painting plan. Once I changed the mark from a line to a shape I immediately saw how that could replace the twisted energy lines I'd used in earlier paintings. Now I had my own gestural energy shape!
"Feather Moon II" 21"x14"
poured watercolor

"Feather Moon II" was completed on Feb. 3, 2016. It is one of my personal favorite paintings of the past year. These two new paintings take the same symbols and put them into a square format which required a different composition. Here is the symbolism: feather is journey, moon is cycle (not necessarily a period of time), stars are wishes, the coins are the payment or the reward. The swirl is, as I said, energy. Now you can make up your own story, cast your feathers into the winds, make your wishes, pay your price and reap your reward. Happy New Year everyone.

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