Friday, September 4, 2015

Endings and beginnings

Yearly transitions have marked my life since I first began teaching in the early 1970s.  September still remains a month for new beginnings and untold possibilities.  I need that this year after a dismal summer of cold weather,  unexpected house repairs, and then a fire in our Duntara workshop.

The way it was....


Summer is my time to create art and our workshop was where it happened. My summer art pursuits changed over the last three years.  If you aren't familiar with my new work you can read about my Compositions in Time here and here.

I lost most  of my salvaged wood  gathered over the last three years,  2 partially finished assemblages, encaustic medium, my lovely band saw and lots of small bits and bobs.  As a result the sum of my  assemblage creations this year was 2, one of which has smoke damage. That might not be so bad if I weren't getting ready for a group show in July and a  solo show September 2016.

Samples of past compositions  ( better composed  than photographed)

                  2014 (Private collection)                                   2013 (Private Collection)

2013 ( Private Collection)

 The pressure is on.

It's not like you can order my materials from a store.  I came upon them in dribs and drabs, and I was so proud of my collection of "specials",  the objects/woods that usually prompt a composition.   I loved them so much I had them standing along the work benches to ogle them.  Ah pride goeth before the fall.  These were the ones that were damaged beyond use with smoke and noxious gasses.   They're gone now, and with them all sorts of possibilities.  Interestingly, the insurance guy describes them as scraps of wood with no monetary value.   Really?

 Up to this point all my wood came from the  areas around my summer house on the Bonavista Peninsula.  I liked the colour consistency that automatically happens when you are working with a palette limited by location.  Some of the work was obviously sourced from outside buildings as the third one above and others were woods used  inside. It's clear that the wood controls the composition and the feel of each piece.

 September: Begin chapter 2

Friends have taken up the cause and are bringing me any salvaged wood they find.  My criteria of must be worn and have paint on it is seems to make it easy to find these gems.  If it has bits of wallpaper even better.

 An artist friend began my new collection after hearing about our plight.  I now have a new colour and the compositions will be from the Avalon peninsula,  specifically  Bay Roberts.  Thanks Peter!

 I've collected some new wood myself while walking.   I'm getting calls from other friends who have things for me.

 My husband is getting worried because all of this is ending up in our small workshop in St.  John's, his domain, not a shared one.   I am not allowed to take over, and I have to store the wood in my studio.  The ground rules have been laid.  Many I not end up consumed by creativity and forget my place!

For the first time in a month I feel optimistic.


Jeanette Jobson said...

How immensely frustrating for you to lose your supplies and pieces in a fire. Perhaps a salvaged piece or two from the remains, smoked and charred, could be the impetus for something new? Think phoenix...

I have just the piece waiting for you. I found it on a beach during the summer and immediately thought of you. I'll email you a photo and you can determine if its useful.

Margaret Ryall said...

Thank you Jeanette. I am sure your find will be useful. I have tried to clean some of my wood, but the smoke stink lingers. Not pleasant for someone's home. I am working on an outside piece from my remains.