Boy in Blue, Skewed
For those who enjoy the process pics, below is the sequence preceding the final piece, including Tamayo's original.
Readers!! You might have noticed a name change on this website. JenWalls.com is now officially JenJovan.com! But never fear -the old domain name will redirect you here, so you will never miss a blog post or an update. New name but the same malarkey and shenanigans!
The Bare Bones of Grace
When humbled into the open, often against our will, our bones can rattle like wind chimes, making beautiful and haunting music, though it aches to do so. - MARK NEPO
The emptying half of life makes my bones rattle. But it also leaves me softened, lighter, clattering in the breeze and tumbling in the tide, content to land where the wind and waves take me. It delights me to see the paint manifest these stories in ways words cannot.
And this is exactly where the pause becomes important (in life and in art). Once I added the additional layer of watercolor glazing, I stepped away from this for a day. By pausing for 24 hours, I was able to see (with help from the Grand Master himself) this piece was done - even though there were more steps in the process. If I had continued to paint and fiddle and try to clarify the piece, it would have become less ambiguous, less impactful and probably a chicken - can you see the chicken next to the keyboard in the first steps photo?
Despite the intensity of this piece, it is only watercolor over the random marks (oil pastel, charcoal, colored pencil, regular pencil). Not a drop of acrylic or gesso, which would have been next in the process. Yet it packs a wallop, and has a lot to say without saying exactly anything at all. Which is perhaps the point of abstraction.
In life, a pause before speaking, acting or reacting allows the brain and heart to have a little meeting and maybe sort out what matters most. As I contemplate the variety of tattoos available in the world, I wonder if perhaps a pause button would be an effective symbol to get inked onto some very visible part of my body (like maybe my forehead?) so I won't forget how important it is to WAIT JUST A GOSH DARN MINUTE before slapping on more paint or speaking my thoughts out loud? Let's stop a moment and think about that.
You'd think a girl would need a long rest after workshop week, but Kurth's sketchbooks prompted me to begin a daily sketch practice - small studies in squares to locate shapes, color combinations and compositions which become muscle memory in the brain. I'm beginning with a study of Rufino Tamayo's works. First the characters and shapes, then the colors.
Kurth reminded us of how important it is to constantly, consistently study the works of other artists. My inner nerd would be in school forever if she could, so this gives me a reason to pull out the art books and create my own study program. I hope I am a nice teacher. Maybe I should bring myself an apple?