Tuesday, February 28, 2012

always experiment with ideas

It's been a long while since I've written here and that is because I've been more active and feeling "recovered" from surgeries and chemotherapy.  This new life has it restrictions but experimenting with imagery and art isn't one of them.  So while I do my physical therapy and get stronger I'm never without thoughts of what sorts of paintings to do next. 

Recently I've been engaged with ideas for a series of "chair" paintings.  Mostly due, I suppose by a piece of artwork from an old friend that is still with me after many years.  A wiggly, wonky chair made out of telephone wire that sits atop a small box with a drawer in it.  It's called, "one of the wishing chairs".  It is no more than 10" tall and is getting a bit natty, but it is still a prized posession.

My "wishing chairs" are a tumult of colour and a chaos of ideas.  Always almost a story but not quite.  The most recent on is "Windmill Wishing Chair"  made up of images taken from the landscape around me.  The chair, a piece from an old neighbors aging outdoor furniture.  The windmills from a recent trip to Ontario where the landscape is littered with the large power generating propellers.  The barn is from a day trip running the back road in Lenawee county, MI.  Together they make sort of a "wizard of oz" mystique to me. 

There are two other "chair" paintings started in the studio.  One in particular has been giving me pause as to how to improve on its composition.  Playing with a dip pen and ink and some of my own line illustrations I've modified this image in preparation for rendering in paint.  Its chaotic but intriquing at the same time.  Well, at least to me.  There's a white tiger in it and another of the old neighbors chairs and an illustration of an acrobat about to choice one of the swings.  Is she going to swing over the tiger? 

I'd think I'm trying to say something about "courage" in this.  Not being afraid to make a choice of a swing and dangle near the sharp claws and teeth of a tiger.  But this tiger looks so tame, perhaps it won't hurt at all!?  At any rate, it is a bit of fun that makes me happy.

Another of the "wishing chairs" that is complete is one called, "The Hot Seat".  It started out to be a painting of a modest chair with an interesting and colourific background.  But by adding the fire on the seat of the chair it is much more mysterious.  Why is there fire on the chair?

I'm not sure how many "chairs" will come to fruition but the idea of sitting in a chair and daydreaming or thinking about ourselves and the moment or the future is something common to most of us.  Put the kettle on . . .