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Monday, May 18, 2015

Artists' Materials Part 2

Expect The Unexpected

This is the second post about the work that is currently sitting on my easel, a work that is part of 'Hidden Identities', the series.

Truly, if you expect the unexpected, you are more able to embrace, enjoy and make use of that unexpected what ever. For instance, the other day I was walking along a seaside cliff and came upon a free form mosaic someone had taken the time and energy to create.  What a treat, an unexpected visual treasure.  Do you recall last post's reference to Shirley Moore and her book You Are So You? Shirley makes reference to being open to the unexpected, encouraging you to delight in the unexpected.  I was delighted!

Seaside Mosaic by anonymous artist

As I proceed through the process of creating my current art work I have come to expect the unexpected in the form of challenges, changes, inspiration.  Working with the horsehair became a challenge because the hair is wiry, with a mind of its own, and not exactly what I had envisioned. At the end of the last post you saw the under painted canvas, ready to start receiving the bundles of hair. I wasn't exactly sure how to apply the bundles to the canvas, another unexpected situation, so I taped them on and started to slather pigment over the tape and down the length of the bundles.  You recall, the inspiration for this work came from a photo of Himba women applying mud to their bodies and hair.

Himba women.  The inspirational photo.

The hair bundles are attached to the canvas with tape and paint.

As I worked a strange thing happened.  It was almost as if I was sitting along the river bank with these unknown women, collecting and working the mud.  I was transported to another time and place.  This was an unexpected situation, but one I embraced.  

The horse hair bundles applied to the canvas.

Part of an artist's work becomes intuitive and I realized this was not the end of this work.  What started as a simple, minimalistic work began to grow.  I wanted more, more hair, more texture, maybe more of the river bank experience. More unexpected delight.

Addition of another type of hair.

I had sleek, wavy hair in my studio so it was cut and glued to the canvas, then covered with ochre pigment. The photo below depicts the current state of this project.  This is unexpected, not how I originally thought this piece would proceed but it is moving forward.  I am completely embracing the idea that this piece is going to an unexpected place.

Work in progress.

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