Monday, March 9, 2009

New work from old

I'm at it again... cutting up paintings that aren't working. This is the second mixed media work from my In the family line series that I've cut into smaller paintings and then reworked. A little background information on the series might help you view this work.

My family was one of 160 families forced to leave their home when an American base was built in Argentia, Newfoundland in the early 1940's. This community had a long history with the first census in 1687 showing 35 inhabitants. The main occupation was fishing and the community was large and close knit. Having to take your belongings and leave house and outbuildings behind to be bulldozed into the ground was a very traumatic ordeal for my family and I'm sure for everyone involved. To add insult to injury, they received approximately $ 3000 in compensation for their property. While they moved to a community, Jerseyside, only 20 minute drive from Argentia, it was another world to them. Many of the everyday objects painted in my Remnants series made that move from Argentia. Throughout my career, I've explored this event in a number of ways.

In this work, I've taken many liberties with composition in my effort to give the feeling of being disrupted, dislocated, and unsettled. One of the techniques I've used is shifting many of the images out to the edges (bad karma in composition ) and leaving open spaces in the middles. I guess this is a case of breaking the rules to achieve a specific feeling. I would appreciate any feedback you might like to give on this work.

All three are 8 x 8 inches on board.

I need to integrate the organic shapes above the house more. This was even more obvious when the work was photographed. Since I now photograph my work throughout the process of creation, I find it a very helpful way to stand back from my work to decide what's next. Another strategy I use to help with overall value considerations is to copy the photograph on my black and white laser printer.

While the upper left looks white, it is blue green and fairly integrated. For some reason- light reflection or my poor photography skills - it won't photograph that way.

I'm considering this one complete.

There are two others that are not working out that well. They may have to be abandoned.

8 comments:

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I don't know why you would abandon these. I don't see a flaw. I think they tell the story, which is compelling.

Jill Smith said...

I love your mixed media art and l wondered if you would do a interview with me ( just answering questions) to put on my blog which is below, http://jillsmithart.blogspot.com/

Tina Steele Lindsey said...

I love these paintings, and I think they tell your story wonderfully. I had no idea about this history you share, and I was listening to some very poignant music while reading your post and viewing the images of your work, oh my, it was like a movie. Thank you for sharing, I am with Leslie, compelling.

Miki Willa said...

These pieces truly reflect the too often told story about forced relocation. There is an intense beauty in each of them, but also a tale of loss. I like all three of them, but the third is my favorite. Thank you for sharing them and your family story.

Margaret Ryall said...

Thanks to all who commented. I'm glad to hear the "feeling" comments about this work because it is so personal to me. Sometimes that makes it harder to be objective about the compositional aspects of it.

Interestingly enough, the community that my family moved to is having a big Come Home Year celebration in July. They are collecting information for a display about the history of the community. Do I have things for them!

A rambling rose said...

What a history you have that finds its way into your art!

Patrice said...

You do take recycling to an all time new level. These look wonderful as they are and promising of more...

Jo Reimer said...

your skillful reworking of less than satisfactory old work while imparting historical meaning to it is inspiring. I love all three pieces and really like the way you used the textures of rice papers to partially obscure some of the original work.