Monday, April 25, 2011

Dear You: Thank You

A while back I suggested to a friend that she might want to work a particular design she was developing into a larger format art piece. It took nearly a week for me to click to the fact that while I was extolling her to work larger, I, myself had begun working smaller. Much, much smaller.

I don't regret doing it at all, some deeply intimate and heartfelt art has come from this period, but I feel that I can hardly recommend something that I'm not willing to risk doing, myself. And working large has become a risk to me, more than I would have thought possible- years past, all my work was huge and it never intimidated me. But I have to admit that my confidence has been shaken by events of the past eight to ten months, and working in a large format seemed to me like an excellent opportunity to fail on a grand scale.

Still, pushing myself to work in areas that frighten or intimidate me has become one of my favorite ways of taking myself in surprising directions. I never know exactly what the outcome of a professional or creative risk is going to be, but even if it's a raging disaster, there's a lot of information to be mined from such events.

In that spirit, I recently broke out two large canvases from my very earliest days of experimenting with painting. These old pieces didn't look like art to me and more importantly, they didn't feel like art and never really had. The frugal artist in me won out over the archivist who wants to save everything, and I Gesso'd both pieces within an inch of their lives before starting them over again.

This is what emerged from my studio this afternoon.

"Dear You: Thank You"  
30" x 40" 
India ink, acrylics, Stacked Journaling 
on stretched artist canvas

There are some very special people in my life who have spent a great deal of time and energy in the last few months talking me down from the ceiling, people without whom I would have not have been able to manage. This letter, written with love to each and every one of them, is one of the ways I would like to try and thank them. They make the risk worth everything.

Happy creating!
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