I want to tell two stories. One is about this collage. The other is about 2 artist talks in Staunton, VA. Maybe I can tie them together in the end.
In Massachusetts I brought out my box of collage stuff and set up on the kids’ table- an old wood picnic table in the back yard. My nieces and nephews came over to ask me what I was doing. They sat with me and gave me ideas as I pinned pieces of painted paper together. The sky was a pearly blue and the air smelled like salt and pine needles roasting in the sun. One nephew informed me that I wasn’t using sewing pins but dissection pins. Very cool. I thought about keeping the value structure in tact and Diebenkorn’s 10 rules especially #8: “keep thinking about Polyanna.” That’s how this picture came about.
A few weeks after coming home from Massachusetts I got to attend an art show in Staunton, VA. Elizabeth Geiger and her son Martin Geiger were showing a collection of works at the Beverly Street Studio School Gallery and each gave an artist talk- lots of artist food for thought here.
Elizabeth Geiger talked about looking at the work of other artists. She said that looking at lots of art helps artists to become authentic— which is distinctly different from original. I figure that authentic work is couched in art history, informed by many other works. Original, on the other hand, may be something closer to reinventing the wheel. I think I would rather be authentic- but do I have to choose? I don’t know.
I’ve always been interested in the the goals of an artist- what are they aiming for? Elizabeth Geiger said that she most admires the works that transport you- take you to a memory or another place. She said that this sort of movement transcends skill sets - she called it a connection trigger.
Martin Geiger spoke about his process. He said that painting is a way of organizing what he sees. (That made a lot of sense to me- sometimes I feel like the visual world is a big pile of laundry and I can only fold it by painting it.) One of my favorite things he said about painting is that being a painter gives one license to pay attention. By painting the world and paying attention to it he said that maybe other people will also pay attention. He said there is a sort of eternity to paying attention- you’re never done.
So how do I tie these two stories together? I don’t think I can. I made a picture on vacation and then went to an art show and got inspired. Thank you Liz and Martin. Ciao!