Collage is a natural for Halloween, the dark hinge in the year that creaks as something opens the door. The bits and pieces of paper are ghosts or forlorn spirits, no longer “alive” in their original context. You cut them, dismember them, rip them up, seek underworld messages from scraps of text, and bury theme in paint. You can “skin” them as well. Then, like good little ghosts, they march out and live again, speaking in paper whispers.
Yesterday, in the class I teach at Sebastopol Center for the Arts, I was trying to model how to develop a series theme. I shared to the class that in my notebook I had written that I wanted to do a series that was like “Edgar Allen Poe on acid.” I like to read horror stories and murder mysteries; husband Scott actually prescribes them for me as an antidote if I get too bound up in art books or my secret indulgence bonbons, preachy self-help books, which I love but invariably depress me with how much help I still need to add to Self. I had been hanging on to scratchy black and white compositional studies for years; liked ’em but didn’t know how to take them further. The Choirboys had been altered into a very damaged acrylic skin. I tore them up into two pieces and mounted them on two paintings, paired with a quote from a cave painting book, and my landscape transformed itself into the River Styx. Mixed media included Utrecht Pro Gesso as my white paint… love the opaque chalkiness… and Derwent Inktense pencils for the purple automatic writing marks. Payne’s Grey makes a gorgeous blue/black. If this little group comes to your door tonight, I wouldn’t open it.
Mythic News: Avernus, a crater lake of Italy near Naples, is supposed to be the entry to the Greco-Roman underworld. Our own Crater Lake in Oregon is creepy enough… dead, because not fed by springs. Dead, because the volcano crater goes down, down to the center of the earth, or near enough. Birds and fish often avoid these lakes as well. I’ll see Avernus around Christmas on our Italian trip.
Saltworkstudio events: We have our annual Open Studios this weekend, November 5 and 6, 2012, at the old naval airbase , 3840 Finley Ave, Santa Rosa. I have a new series of B/W paintings and you can see the top of a WWII bunker from my studio window. Drop by Saltworkstudio. I will be doing demos and would love to visit with you.