Once upon a time, well, in 1994, I sat in my tiny, hot apartment in Rochester, NY, and drew this nude self-portrait:
I was pretty pleased with the result, had it matted and framed, and hung it on the wall for many years. A couple years ago, my husband, who is usually very positive about my artwork, but who never lies, finally came out and told me that he really doesn't like it. I accepted this opinion but never really considered doing much about it, I just figured that maybe someone else would like it and, oh, say, buy the damn thing. No such luck. So a month or so ago, I was possessed by an image in my mind about how words rarely hold as much meaning as actions, and often my best intentions of telling someone my thoughts and feelings don't seem to come out the way I intended them, and instead wind up falling like barely discernible little leaves into the air. So with this vision firmly planted in my head, I proceeded to take the frame apart, hoping that I had not trimmed all of the paper away from the sides of the original drawing. Upon getting it apart, I discovered that I had a good bit of space off to either side of the figure to work with, and I proceeded all the way through conception, planning and execution in about half a day. Here is the result: The original drawing was created by a reductive method (think of laying down a medium toned even color all over the paper, then erasing out the white parts and penciling in the dark parts) in pastel and pencil. I drew new lips onto the figure directly with colored pencil. The heart was drawn with colored pencil onto a separate paper and collaged on. The words were created with a graphics program, digitally blurred, softened and faded, printed out, torn out of the page, then collaged on. A few extra pastel and pencil details later, it was done!
A couple of days after finishing it, I read the announcement for the juried show entitled "Wordplay" at the Wooden Cow Gallery here in Albuquerque, and I thought to myself that it must be kismet or something, as this piece seemed perfect for such a theme. It must have been kismet, since they accepted the work, and now it will be appearing in the show in August.
For any local readers, the Wooden Cow Gallery is located at 7400 Montgomery Blvd NE in Albuquerque, and the opening should be on Friday, August 7 from 5 pm to 8 pm. Hope to see you there!!