Friday, October 5, 2012

New Endeavor

Throughout my schooling at Winthrop University, painting had been a variety of things. What started out as paint on a canvas via a paintbrush morphed into slinging watercolor onto paper, then canned spray paint, then painting with spray foam insulation for highly volumed and textured three dimensional wall sculptures.  In February of 2010 I had a solo show of these wall sculptures and I was dissatisfied by the physical response of the 60+ viewers who moved through the gallery.  They stood back from a distance without coming closer to examine the art.  This experience lead to a reactionary move back to drawing to achieve the detail I had forfeited in order to experiment with looser styles and materials.  I learned from my experiences and experimentation, that for me, I need to harness my imagery with detail, in order to say what I want to say.

Now in my painting.  I am thinking of ways to further incorporate students into my work.  Currently at Donna Downey Studios, classes are held multiple times a week and I have noticed that stencils are regularly used to add detail and imagery in a highly efficient way.  Stencils enable anyone to efficiently understand the process of imagery creation, if in fact the original artist incorporated stencils in their exemplified design.  But the problem for me is the limited variety in specific stencil templates that fit the direction I want to take.  Why does this matter?  Because I too want to teach classes on my art as well!

In conversations with Donna's husband Bill, he has encouraged me numerous times to stay true to my own form of art in all that that means.  He says this because he knows of my temptation to conform to how Donna works, for the sake of selling my classes which translates into dollars and sense to pay back the student loans.  Donna has proven her way is successful because it is a perfect combination of necessary opposites, challenge and ease, fun and work,  imagery and text, chaos and control, etc.  All understandable of course except that by changing my direction for a temporary goal, I rob the students themselves to learn anything authentic from me in our classes.  

So as a result of thinking this through I have decided to make a list of what I have learned so far in a very short time.

1. I want to create art recognized as my own.

2. I want to be able to teach others to make similar works in a class environment regardless of artistic backgrounds.

3. Artistic tools make art production more efficient concerning time.  (a digital photographer or videographer is able to achieve a finished product faster than film because no processing time is required.  An acrylic painter has less dry time than an oil painter.  A glass maker can make a work of art in only minutes because of the technology used. etc.)

So my conclusion? 

I have decided to make a series of my own hand cut stencils which will be used in the production of my next series of art.  These stencils will allow me to paint in a way that I clearly understand what I am doing, with the intention of communicating those steps and lessons on to others.  All-the-while, I will make paintings that I find very interesting and original to my own style and vision.

Here is an example of my first hand cut stencil.  This took me about 4 hours to completely cut out with an x-acto blade! Can't wait for a computer to do the job faster! :)

Detail of Stencil

Finished stencil.
Now onto the next stencil! I'll keep you posted.  If you come to my stencil class later in the month or in November, you will have access to using my hand cut stencils in your own works of art!