Monday, March 19, 2018

Art and Current Events

When we start a new project we usually have an emotion to convey. The influence of a sunlit scene might be in our subconscious even though we are painting a still life indoors, an imagined scene or abstract. That brightness or warmth may show up in the colors we select for our palette.

Besides imagery there are other influences that get channeled to our canvas. Here is an example of how one of my projects was influenced by current events.
Last year I was experimenting with some plastic netting and spray paints. I made several 9x12” sheets of patterns. I had no purpose in mind. Just letting it happen. 

Although I was intrigued with the results I didn’t know what to do with these patterns, so I just stashed them.
Last month I decided to try a collage. I didn’t have an image in mind, but I was thinking of a floral theme. As I looked through sketchbooks and other materials in the studio for ideas I came across my netting experiments. Ahha, a use for these…

As I cut shapes from these pages I was thinking of my typical blue, yellow, sienna color as glazes over the net patterns.

I tried many, many layouts and
 configurations of the materials. 
Pictured are some of the later ones. 

By this stage I was getting focused, but that was as far as I got before it was time for me to leave. I was away for a week. I was anxious to get back and complete my project.

Back in the studio I was starting to paste down some of the cut outs…still thinking blue, pale yellow, sienna…then an alert on my phone caught my attention. A school shooting in Florida, multiple deaths. I just saw the headline. I didn’t read the news post. The phone screen faded to black.

I went back to work, cutting and pasting. I entered the zone where the creative flow takes over….but things had changed. Shapes and images took another direction; colors went neutral and darker.

Dark Heart

I was surprised by the result. Just the headline of a tragedy totally changed my painting….