In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season furniture was rearranged to make way for our beautiful live and traditionally tall tree. Artworks were also rearranged to make place for the decor (and frankly to make room at the dining room table!). Then things calm down (it was eerily quite and lonely when my loved ones left town!) and the post-holiday cleaning and organizing begin.
Let me state here that there was very little PRE-holiday cleaning but there were valid reasons for that. Then there’s the procrastination factor. And the it-was-just-a-busy-time factor. A poor excuse is better than none, right?
Anyway, I noticed two works of mine that had been absent-mindedly placed together. Oddly enough they share a common theme. One is an oil pastel painting of a friend’s daughter’s hands holding a broken bird egg. The other is an assemblage of my zentangled eggs and other objects.
This got me thinking about themes in an artist’s body of work. I am currently working on a series of portraits of friends and family that show a variety of emotions, so there’s a theme. They are/will be drawn and painted, as per my favorite media. But the egg assemblages are a completely new medium for me, originally the solution to an overabundance of drawn on eggs. Creating them almost made me feel as if I were two different artists because they are so removed from the 2-d work, I even made separate Instagram and Facebook pages for them. But now there is a connection, although I’m not planning on creating more egg paintings just to justify that (come to think of it, I DO have another egg painting, lol!).
It has been an interesting six months as far as my art goes. Works included bottle cap mosaics, painted murals and stage sets, not the usual drawing and painting but art none the less. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a tile mosaic workshop with the world famous Isaiah Zagar. To quote Steve Earle in “Coppperhead Road”: I came home with a brand new plan. There are many ideas for tile mosaic murals in my head but first one must accumulate the necessary media and tools. This takes time but I know it will happen. Friends, family, strangers are contributing tile, pottery and dinner plates to the stockpile for future murals. There is even the gift of warehouse space. Free!
In the meantime, a friend gifted me with two boxes of blown-out chicken eggs. These were to repair a craftsy door wreath I’d made with various colored (naturally by various chicken breeds) eggs but my media was fragile and needed some replacements.
What to do with a multitude of beautiful eggs? Why not draw on them? Why not Zentangles? I used to do Zentangles as an introductory lesson for my beginning art students. One does not need drawing skills because the lesson involves basically repeating patterns and lines so it was a successful exercise. Zentangles are doodles. The amazing thing was watching 30 high school students go silent as they got into their assignment. The “zen” part is for real, y’all. Here’s a great article from Psychology Today about the benefits of Zentangles here.
So, I doodled on the eggs. Watching tv at night, I doodled. Combined with my morning cup of coffee, I doodled (it seems to set my brain into a calm, creative mode). The transformed eggs began to accumulate. Now what to do? They’re too fragile to be held by viewers (or to leave on a table top, they don’t take well to rolling off the edge!). Are they too craftsy? Could I create a work of ART from them?
That takes us to my current status: assembling new artworks that incorporate the eggs. Thinking past my usual drawing/painting. Thinking about paper/denim pulp. The pics shown here are of works in progress, so stay tuned for further developments.