Friday, June 14, 2013
06/05 I arrive at my studio around 11am. I have no idea how to hang the 6 guardian pieces. I feel like I did not take them in the direction I had originally intended and I am worried that they will feel disconnected to the viewer. I think they feel disconnected to each other and I am feeling anxiety over them. Laura B. is coming to help me take the big piece down and install the whole thing downstairs.
While I am waiting for her I go over each section and color of the piece and do a final round of tweaking. I feel hyper and really on edge. Laura arrives and I ask her to see if she can come up with an order for the six. She doesn't get much farther than I did. I ask her to take some pictures of my my final day of working on the big piece.
I ask her to double check my "work" and let me know if there is anything that I am missing - that I need to tweak.
Tweaks to the black.
Golden black gesso was used as the background support and then Golden and Liquitex heavy body paints overtop. White lettering and body detail was Golden liquid acrylic. Black cracks and mantra writing in the white blocks was Liquitex black gesso which is more fluid than the Golden black gesso.
Most of the color on this piece was applied with a cheap plastic palette knife because I like the level of smooth that a knife can provide. I have metal knives but the plastic ones seem to allow me more control despite their lack of flex which would make my wrists hurt. It was only towards the end that I used various sized brushes to tweak and touch up. All of the lettering was done with small liner type brushes.
Making sure things feel balanced.
Other than black and white, I only used 6 colors on this piece. I used up three tubes of the green, one each of the blues and half a large tube of the yellow. I had contemplated using a lighter green overtop of the green but that never materialized. The Six used all the same colors with the addition of the light green on one of the six.
I'd used this funky silicone "brush" (which I'd never used before) to apply the white. Adding final tweaks in white.
When I was working on The Six Guardian pieces, I was thinking about naming one after my grandmother but I never made it to the naming stage of The Six. Interestingly, Gram showed up anyway. As I had included the RA MA DA SA SA SAY SO HUNG mantra around the outside protective later of white, I wrote it as it fit and in the one block completely unplanned, was the G from HUNG followed by RA M which looks like GRAM. :o)
I had tested several different colors of yellow prior to this one and had initially thought I'd be using a warmer yellow but this one ended up being the perfect balance between warm and cool.
I am enough!
I tell her that I keep hearing a line from the Van Halen song Mean Streets running through my head: "It's all over but the shouting, I come to take what's mine." I think it's because I know that it's all over but the signing… I don't want to stop tweaking. I put the song on and vow to stop once DLR sings the line. I am evening out the black line around the face when it comes on. I put the brush down. Now I need to just sign the piece. But I don't want to. I say that I can't see where to put it - that if I sign it in the lower right corner that it will break the flow of the green rays. I am practically throwing a temper tantrum and most definitely procrastinating. Laura suggests I try signing in different colors on a separate test piece. Good idea. I try light green - over the green, not opaque enough. I try white - too harsh. Black it is. I hem and haw, I don't want to do it. It means the end. I am not ready to let her go. Laura asks if I need her to leave the room. I say no, that she should stay, but I close the door because I am starting to choke up.
Freaking out because I can't bring myself to sign it. As much as I wanted the process to be over (because it was consuming so much of my energy) I wasn't ready to let her go. This was quite an emotional moment.
I sit down in front of her to gather my thoughts. I grab a brush and I just do it. Had Laura not been there, I still might not have signed it. And like that, "Poof!" it was done. I'd come to take what's mine.
At that point we left the studio and went to eat crepes. My sinuses have been a mess and I'm not feeling my best. I'm sure the stress of finishing this process isn't helping. I didn't just decide to paint a painting for my Featured Artist exhibit. I painted 7. I also took hundreds of "work in progress" pictures and edited them down to slightly over 200. I also wrote about the entire process for my blog and for Facebook. All of the images were edited in Lightroom and uploaded to Flickr. I wrote artist statements and bios and sent e-mail blasts and created events and advertised them on Facebook and invited thousands of friends to view the opening of my exhibit.
When we finish eating our lunch, it is time to take her down. I pull out all of the staples holding her to the wall except those at the top. This in effect, frees her and I am feeling better about letting her go. We gather all of the supplies we will need to hang her and take it all downstairs. The lobby of the Banana Factory is a busy place and it adds stress because I still don't know in what order to hang the six guardian pieces.
I staple her to the wall first and because the wall slants back towards the top, it looks a little odd. I have no choice but to get over it. I decide to use upholstery tacks to hang the six and they can't be pushed into the wall by hand and I'm all sweaty and nervous and it's hard to hold and hammer them - they are going in crooked. I hang the lower right piece first because it feels like it's the only place it can go. I get the four corner pieces hung but I can't figure out where to put the middle two. There is so much traffic in the lobby I could cry. I want this to be over with. I want someone to do it for me. I am now *furious* at the fact that I did not properly measure and cut The Six. Every one is wonky and I think it looks like a display of children's work. I am ready to pull the six down and cut them straight but since I *hate* measuring things, I envision myself making things worse instead of better. Thank god Alison showed up.
Alison Bessesdotter is a fellow BF resident artist and one of the things she does is quilting. I beg her to lend me her eye. She happily suggests I swap the middle two pieces from the way I was about to hang them and explains why. I ask if the wonky dimensions of the Six look really bad and she said no. She understood that their organic sizing was part of my process and I could have hugged her for that. The track lights need to be rearranged and there are two different kinds. Standing on top of a step stool, I can't figure out how to move them and I'm growing agitated. I finally figure out how they release and they are hot and easy and now I can't get them back into the track. Once I finally get them all lined up, Laura takes a picture of me with the exhibit and we notice something strange- you can't take a picture of her without a large glare over her head and chest. (She is (I AM) Light) It's as if she is radiating an inner light that can only be seen in a photo- a type of paranormal photography...
With the last tack in place, all I have left to do is to write and print up the artist statement/descriptions - which I had originally intended to do by hand - white ink on black paper but I realize that there just isn't anything left in me. I have no energy left. But I still have to ready the studio for Friday because Laura is going to watch it as I split my time between my studio and being down with the exhibit.
Linny Fowler looks over my shoulder with approval. Linny, who passed a way just a short time ago, was the founding artist and major benefactor to the Banana Factory. Without her generosity, I might never of had the opportunity to create art in this capacity. Thank you Linny.
Laura helps me to choose and hang new work inside and outside my studio. After she leaves for the day I paint paper with black gesso and then matte medium which I will either paint the statements on, or I will hang the statements over top of them.
Feeling apprehensive. Nervous. Unsure if the exhibit feels as connected as I'd intended. Wishing I would have painted the wall black. I did so much in less than 40 days...
I leave my studio and I go to Staples where I buy three clear plastic frames that I can potentially use to hold the statements and then mount them over the black paper. I go home and start working on the statements. I am using iDraw and I use the figure's head (mandala) as a transparent background layer behind the text and I am totally digging it. I create QR codes for people to access more info about the mantras I used in the art as well as the page where I've included all of the blog posts about the work.
06/06 I finished and hung the painting yesterday. I fiddled with it for a while, touching up this and that. No longer fearful of the I AM statements that I'd included in the DNA- but I had such a difficult time signing it. It meant letting go and it felt the same as when I finish the "Grow" piece. Like a separation was about to take place. Last year I attributed that feeling to somehow knowing in advance that it wouldn't be coming back to my studio and it feels the same way now. As much as I'd like to hang on to her. I see someone else living with that creation. And that's okay because I can always make more- if I so choose. It was so hard to sign- signing means "it's over", no matter how painful or easy the creation process. This time was different. Knowing it was my time to display again, it was in my DNA to go big again and to choose challenging subject matter. I didn't have anything come to me (which was causing me to start to panic) until the last day in April. I'm not sure I ever really acted this creatively from a vision before-I was in the shower and I seen green rays of light surrounding a figure and that's where I started. On the heels of taking my power back and gaining closure from a personal matter, I envisioned a positive a posture of letting go, of acceptance, of forgiveness. Arms spread, I saw her like the Miraculous Mary and surrounded with that green healing light. This piece would be really important to my growth because I had to continuously trust that the ideas would keep coming to me. It was never known to me how each step would progress or how it would end up. As such, I was finally immersed in the process of creation with little censoring along the way. I use the words and mantras as I desired as they are and continue to be a big part of me.