Thursday, July 14, 2011

Collage 4

There's a perfectly bland title for a blog post "Collage 4". Nice.

Well, here I am again. I've been making marks on a canvas for a few weeks now, with no sense of where it might go. It was a painful struggle because I desperately wanted to feel a story in me. I started imagining borrowing other peoples' stories, but Good Friend Paul talked me out of the untruth of it—the lack of personal resonance. Maybe he didn't exactly say it that way. Maybe he just texted something like, "Stick with your own story." Whatever the case, he's probably right.

Rather than go on and on about what I've been working on, I'll just do one post with a timeline of progression. I might stab a few words between the images to give you a sense of what my mind was trying to accomplish, the steps, if you will.

Step 1. Find the canvas that needs to be obliterated.

Step 2. Dig out a Sharpie® Marker and begin to talk about random things that come to mind.

Step 3. Rotate the canvas and paint over the whole thing because you can't find your way around. Heck, it worked last time!

Step 4. Glue on a bunch of images that seem like they might have a story to tell.

Step 5. Ask myself what it is that I'm trying to accomplish—ask right on the canvas.

Step 6. Glue more things down, try to reduce the number of elements, comment with Sharpie® again.

Step 7. Cover all of it up with a color that I can't bear and will want to get rid of.

Step 8. Take out a Sharpie and try to make some image marks.

Step 9. Wonder what the heck I'm doing, but try to go with it anyway.

Step 10. Start filling out the shapes that I've made with collaged paper.

The description sounds sterile, and I'm sorry about that. The whole thing is a bit like tuning into a conversation. At first it's faint, but by and by it gets louder. I can't really say that there's a story here yet, but there is a kernel of one. Paul wisely told met that I shouldn't really talk too much about the contents of the work. At first I wasn't sure, but when I gave it some thought, I decided he was right. Let's say you hear a song, and you're really into the lyrics, and you think you know the story being told. Well, let's say that you got to talk to the singer/songwriter and they told you that the story was about a furry pet hamster that they had as a kid—not your story. The song would lose its meaning to you. So, in an attempt to allow my image to mean something to you, my limited audience, I will refrain from psychoanalyzing it. You, however, are allowed to completely psychoanalyze your response to it.

1 comment:

felicia reynolds said...

This is fantastic! I am loving the opportunity to follow your process. You have my sympathy for the struggle - I'm now on the 4th layer of paint on a painting too, and I'm only beginning to think I might like it, so I feel your pain. I really liked your comment about not telling your story so as not to interfere with the other person's story. I've had that experience, losing a song because you found out what it's "really" about. Keep us posted - the process itself is a great story.