Can’t say that starting a new year off with an artist residency is a mistake. My initial goal was to mix abstract images with organic shapes and to mix media, that being charcoal, ink and paint. When it was time to sit down and work, all I wanted to do was play with gouache swatches. “The Alternative Polka Dot” is what I’m tentatively calling the series. I’ve taken swatches I've painted, cut them into circles, arranged them into designs which I will digitize and turn into repeat patterns for fabric.
I eventually sat down to paint and churned out black trees. I painted other things beforehand, but currently there are black trees sitting on an easel in the studio. My attempt at adding to the series of geometric paintings I did last year was a terrible one. I couldn’t get into “the groove.” Anyway, the black trees represent life. Your life, my life, you know---a life. I plan to fill the background with dozens of colors---which will represent the chaotic world around us.
I haven’t completely forgotten about using charcoal and ink. It’s in the back of my head. I’ll find the motivation and desire at some point, I’m sure. Maybe that’s just not something to focus on for this Colorado venture. Meanwhile, I’ve been tossing back and forth the similarities and differences between being an artist and a designer. Right now I feel more like a designer than an artist. I’m excited to go to Lasting Impressions, a local screen printing shop to get some swatches made from the “Alternative Polka Dot” series. I’m upset I feel like I have to choose between being an artist and a designer.
I finally figured out how to explain the idea I proposed for this residency in the beginning. ‘To create chaos using tools of order.” I feel like my paintings revolve around chaos and order. I have this need to paint geometry, to control the lines and colors, to use shapes I create. I should have discussed this at the meet and greet with the residents of Paonia, but I couldn’t. This is the type of work I’ve created in the last couple years, and so I probably should've shared it. Instead I decided to wing the presentation. And boy did I wing it or what.
I ended up talking about my desire to design textiles and my desire to paint. “I like painting” is exactly what I said. Woop di doo. I studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. That explains it. Err, maybe. I’m pretty sure I confused everyone there by getting straight to a point and not discussing the different aspects and concepts of my art or its history or future. It was truly abrupt. I’m going to be working on my presentation skills indefinitely.
I am happy I was able to bring something different to the table though---abstract, modern designs with textile aspirations.
My fellow residents and I have decided to have an art show at the end of the month, January 29th to be exact.
The four of us had a critique earlier this week, which was the best I’ve ever experienced. After feeling a little lost and torn between things, they helped me discover how to combine it all. The geometric paintings and contemporary textile designs will be brought to life in an installation. I’ve never created one before so this is exciting. One large installation will be the piece I’ll be showcasing at the end of the month. I’ve inserted some photos below to show you the starting point of this residency and where I am now.