River Walk 1
16" x 16"
collage on board
As 2023 came to a close, I found myself wanting to switch the way that I make art. During 2023, I had explored the use of found images and different papers: free web based photographs, vintage family photos, and some specialty papers purchased online. Many of the collages had to do with my interior life and how I expressed those feelings and ideas with different materials. Truthfully though, my art making became very dependent on finding photos, scanning and editing them, and then printing them. As much as I loved the photos and the resulting work, I was sick of being on the computer! What a grind. And to make things worse, my computer crashed and some of my source photos were lost. It was then that I realized that I was perhaps working in the wrong direction and with the wrong tools for my temperament.
So, I slowly began to pivot. I thought of ways to make art that didn't involve the computer so much. I unearthed my printing plate (gelli plate) from the closet and started to mess around with it. I also broke out my artist grade crayons, my colored pencils and my sewing machine. Going low tech never felt so good!
To begin things, I chose to work on two themes that have been reoccurring in my work for awhile now: nature and nurture. I have worked on both ideas separately. What would happen if I tried to combine them in a more purposeful way?
With the images I print and the colors that I select, I am trying to focus on what I see around me on my walks and sporadic hikes. At the same time, I have quilts on my mind: The patterns, the colors, and their history: Quilts are the ultimate in nurturing. They keep us warm and are given to us in love and friendship. Maybe I am drawing a tenuous attachment here but I see nature as nurturing and the quilts as nurturing in the same sort of way. Quilts too are very reassuring with their grid like construction and block repetition. There is an orderliness there that is similar to what you find in nature. For the first time too I am stitching the pieces together with my sewing machine. I see this as an active and tangible way to fuse the two ideas of nature and nurture together.
One thing is sure. As the year progresses I will continue to put these two ideas together. For now I am actively fleshing them out, as they say. Nature and nurture are part of my experience in the world. They are both pieces of the puzzle that I try to solve every day. It's my hope that as I work, the materials and format will tell me what I need to know.