The first piece I have painted for my solo show is “Order and Chaos”. It consists of an organized grouping of paper wasps suspending a tangled red thread below them.
The idea developed slowly, starting off with a single tiny paper wasp that I found deceased. It was such a small thing I could hardly make out its details, none the less I was drawn to it.
I took a photograph using my macro lenses hoping to see it more clearly. I was struck by the dynamic pose and vibrant colors that could only be made out when viewed close-up. To capture the wasp in a photo I decided to pose it by pinning it through its thorax. This allowed me to capture every angle. It also provided me an image that kept coming to the forefront of my creative plans. The vision of the paper wasp speared with the pin extending out below, left such a strong mark on my mind that I wanted/needed to experiment with ways to use it in a painting.
The final composition came after many iterations. Organizing the wasps in a circle happened quickly because I have always used circles in my work, it seemed only natural. Though I originally planned to lay them out in an actual circle rather than an implied ellipse.
The idea of thread came from past works as well. I started by trying to create a straight line or linear structural element with actual thread but was never happy with the look of it and conceptually it made no sense. I took a moment to think about what I really wanted: a long contrasting element below the wasps that both balanced and created tension in the composition. So, I tried placing the thread in straight lines going down from the ellipse and played with the idea of making geometric patterns or grids. None of that worked. In frustration I threw the thread to the side and it landed in a way that switched on my light bulb. The tangle of thread was beautiful, it had an artless pattern of flowing curves and chaotic overlaps. That was it! The chaotic jumble of thread would juxtapose nicely next to the organized ellipse while still balancing the composition. A few dozen more adjustments and I had it.
I am excited to announce I was selected as the winner of the Open 30 Solo Show Prize at Laredo College. I was chosen from a group of artists whose works were juried to be included the Open 30 Show. The selection was decided by vote, I am so humbled and honored to have won.
The show is tentatively set for next Fall, so that gives me some time to make new work. I have been playing around with ideas for several new pieces for a while now but, haven’t put much paint to paper yet. I’m looking at this as a good push to get back into gear. I’m also looking to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit, in this new year and with this show. I plan to start documenting and sharing my process on my blog and social media pages, to give a glimpse at my creative process and show all the successes and mistakes that I will inevitably go through.
The first piece I am working on is “Order and Chaos”, I started this piece last Summer and have only worked on it a little bit here and there, then I put it away for a few months. Now with the show coming up I have brought it out and have it almost complete. It only needs some small touches to be finished. This piece is a good example of the vein I plan to take with my future paintings.
If you are reading this, thank you. Sharing myself and my work this way goes against my grain and I find it extremely difficult, but I hope it helps me grow as an artist and human. If it helps others on their paths as well then, all the better. Wish me luck!