Thursday, May 6, 2010

Not so Still Life

















Art teachers often have to teach this idea of "still life", you know, oranges and lemons in bowls, piles of seemingly random junk cleverly arranged on wooden tables, flowery table cloths, or chipped-paint shelves.
One of my missions as an artist and teacher is to take old (OK, "traditional") ideas and try new mediums and processes in order to put my own spin on the idea. I was stuck one day in my studio, and first looked for a surface to play on. I found a piece of plexiglass. I had a sharpie in my hand, as I walked back to my table, I saw my shelf full of art supplies through the plexiglass. So I stopped in my tracks, propped the plexi on my hip, and traced my stuff as I saw it THROUGH the plexi directly ONTO the plexi with black sharpie. I next considered painting with acrylics, but wanted something more tactile and time-consuming. I turned to a big box of yarn and went crazy, first gluing down the contours with black yarn, then filling in with whatever colors I felt called to me.
I am excited by what is happening. The lines give these usually lifeless objects some intense energy. It is taking many hours to complete, but the process has been both a design challenge and a meditative exercise for me in this over-scheduled spring. And bonus, a happy accident! I noticed that the yarn was starting to peel off the plexiglass, intact because the glue was holding it all together. I am hoping that when it's finished, I'll be able to peel the whole piece off like a band-aid and tack it up on the wall.