Sunday, March 27, 2016

Keep Experimenting, Keep Growing

Now that spring is really underway, we see growth and reawakening all around us. I am using all the renewal and energy that the season brings with it as inspiration for my artwork. It is time to bring on the new colors and techniques - different subject matter and materials. Using new paints on a different ground automatically stimulates the imagination and leads to new and interesting discoveries. Fun! 

Painting, Writing, Composing 
This one was a real challenge, being much larger than my usual watercolor papers and definitely outside my comfort zone -  mixed media on a sheet of heavy, brown paper, 70x100 cm.  The first layer is a collage of old sheet music (please forgive me for tearing music apart, but it all is for the sake of art) and India ink; succeeding layers are acrylic; brushed, printed and sprayed; graphite, acrylic ink and a bit more India ink applied with a bamboo pen.

Then, while the paint was still figuratively wet on this piece, I started a series of very small, postcard sized works to challenge my imagination in the other direction. These are mostly oil paints monoprinted onto washi paper (a very thin, tissue-like oriental paper traditionally used for sumi-e and calligraphy). Of the 17 pieces that I made, here are a few of my favorites - some with a few extra brushstrokes and bits of collage to round out the compositions.
Japanese Dreams
Paper Dreams

Crazy Fiddle
Crazy Sax
My musical accompaniment for all this color chaos has also been equally mixed. While I was working on the large format (we were a group of eight exploring the theme of "Workplace - between action and standstill"), there was tango music as inspiration. Here is a small tidbit, performed by friends of mine here in the Philharmonie, Berlin. .
To complete the week of contrasting experimentation, my musical choice here at home has been Mozart (again). Last weekend I was part of a performance of the G minor Symphony, Nr. 40. No matter how many times I have played this piece of music over the years, it's charm and genius haven't lessened. I love being surrounded by those sounds. We had a Viennese conductor, so the interpretation was definitely different than one expects here in Berlin. Appropriately, though, I wasn't surprised to find that this older Harnoncourt version was very much like ours. 

My thought for the day came from a lovely print I found in a gift shop at the Detroit airport, where I was trying my best to stay awake and constructively use my waiting time . . . 

"Most people don't know that there are angels whose only job is to make sure you don't get too comfortable and fall asleep and miss your life."

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