I love picking up rusty junk, odd pieces of wood and other detritus. While waiting for the paint to dry on the next painting, I started playing around with some objects.
It’s not glued down yet. Here’s another version. I think I like the one with the skull better.
is shining inside
close my eyes
and the world
explodes into forever
silence that shouts “yes!”
Thornton Dial, a wonderful assemblage artist from Alabama, died in January. He was always making things, from childhood on, and was employed for many years as a metalworker. His later years were entirely devoted to his art, which incorporated recycled materials and often dealt with political themes. Anything he found that had been discarded was an inspiration for his creations.
“Stars of Everything” is one of his more well-known works, and includes metal and plastic cans, clothing, wood, steel, plastic straws, carpet and rope. For my first interpretation, below, I tried to stay closer to the original, but then I decided just to cut out stars from the earth, water and sky and growing things, and ended up with the mandala above. That one reflects more of Dial’s spirit I think.
“Art is like a bright star up ahead in the darkness of the world. It can lead peoples through the darkness and help them from being afraid of the darkness….Art is a guide for every person who is looking for something.”
The poem is another shadorma.
Yesterday I thought of this piece which has been up in the attic for a lot of years. Dragged it down, washed it off and worked on it a little more.
I think the parts may be better than the whole. A few close ups:
I took apart the turtle I found and the object in the center is his underside or undershell. My husband didn’t get this piece at all. That’s why I wrote under it. Kerfe gave me a book of skeletons which I like a lot; I attempted a drawing of a turtle skeleton on the right. On the left is a drawing of the underside.
Close up of my drawing:
I keep collecting acorns because they will be gone soon. A multitude of acorns, some say, predict a harsh winter. I did another little plaque with the phrase written correctly. The lines were written by David Everett and the entire quote goes like this:
You’d scarce expect one of my age
To speak in public on the stage;
And if I chance to fall below
Demosthenes or Cicero,
Don’t view me with a critic’s eye,
But pass my imperfections by.
Large streams from little fountains flow,
Tall oaks from little acorns grow.
I still have some acorns. Don’t you agree that they are adorable?
I found another head shaped piece of wood and combined it with a birch wood body. I’m just going with this somewhat goofy direction because any direction is a good direction. Back to my roots when I used to do a lot of sculptural pieces with stuff found on the beach in Provincetown.
I found the wood head of the animal by the tracks and used it today in this mixed media piece. I worked the rest of the picture around the animal and it’s oddly kind of pleasing to me. In art lately I’m just trying to break out of a slump.
“But when I fell in love with black, it contained all color. It wasn’t a negation of color. It was an acceptance. Because black encompasses all colors.” –Louise Nevelson
The NY Times has a bad habit of reviewing art shows right before they close. Two weeks ago on Friday, they reviewed a Louise Nevelson show in Chelsea that was closing the next day.
On the spur of the moment, on Saturday, I decided to go see it, especially to see the collages.
Keeping to a neutral palette, the artist used cardboard, paper, wood, metal, and other objects to make dimensional and evocative abstracts.
She painted and arrange pieces of wood, a favorite medium.
And there were of course a few of the sculptural, all-black pieces Nevelson is justly famous for.
Although I’ve long thought about doing a group of all or mostly black collages, the right-hand collage in the top photo of this post is actually the base for a collage I’m doing which is inspired by a show of Dubuffet drawings I saw at MOMA. He too likes texture and neutral shades (more on that when I finish the collage). But I thought it was an appropriate accompaniment at this stage for Nevelson’s wonderful work.