Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cannibalism Isn't All Bad

I don't save my good dishes for the holidays. I enjoy eating my meals on beautiful china and antique plates. I don't keep "good" clothes reserved for going out to a special event. If I want to dress up for no reason, I do. And I don't have cartons of stored treasures in my attic or garage. If it's not something that brings me pleasure each day, I let it go to family, friends or a thrift store. Because to me, I see no benefit in keeping things packed away where they never have a chance to shine or fulfill their purpose, only to be dealt with after one's passing by family members who don't want the stuff anyways. And an even greater crime in my opinion is artwork packed into a drawer where it's never seen or appreciated, a crime I am guilty of. That brings me to today's subject.

I have spent a fair amount of time doing plein air painting, hauling my easel, watercolors and assorted accoutrements into the field where I would stand with wild, wind blown hair, paint brush in hand and a crazed look in my eyes painting my impression of the scene in front of me. I enjoyed the experience immensely. The paintings were so-so; not good enough to garner praise or the exchange of money for art, and not desired by my collectors who preferred my whimsical subject matter. But I liked them so I kept them, tossing them into a drawer of a bureau in the spare bedroom. They joined the year's worth of cloud paintings I had done for a show. But living in a little beach house, there just isn't enough room to hang everything. And one day when I opened that drawer, I felt a sense of remorse and melancholy seeing those images peeping out into the morning light.

So began my foray into cannibalism. I suppose a more polite way to say it would be to use the word recycle. But honestly, cutting these paintings apart, a bit here, a bit there, felt more like ripping off diseased limbs, painful yet necessary. The saved pieces would be used as backdrops for my other subjects. Really it's a wonderful way to combine my two loves, the whimsical elements and my love of place. Someone can now look at one of these Frankensteined paintings and recognize the location yet still see it through my eyes.

If you look at my previous entry showing Coquina Beach dunes, you can see the Dune Buggies backdrop in its previous form. These photos show two works in progress along with a finished painting featuring my beloved Bodie Island. So now I have given them new life, a new outlook and hopefully they will find a new home upon someone's wall instead of tucked away in the darkness. And my easel might be moving back into my car.

My favorite spot, Bodie Island.

Look carefully and you'll see dune buggies at Coquina Beach.
My Buddha at Kitty Hawk Landing, catfishing.

1 comment:

  1. I remember these paintings!! I even remember joining you on a couple of these particular occasions. And I love the combination of plein-air you, and plain-funny you! (And, to keep the puns up, nothing "plain" about either!!) Love the new work.