Friday, February 25, 2011

East of Eden

East of Eden Day 3

East of Eden

This was another one of the paintings from the retreat that started out as a giant mess of finger painting. What amazed me about the process was how much symbolism emerged for me without my realizing. I draw a lot of swirly things in my regular work, that are kind of a cross between leaves and eyes, like in this one and this one. And because this was the first day, I went to my comfort zone and started making more of the same on top of the background. But they took on the shape of a giant cactus - all spiky and poky and menacing. And standing in the shadow of this beast of a plant are five tulips. Interesting. A flower that can be uprooted and stored in the off-season and then replanted elsewhere, weather permitting. And a compass pointing east made its appearance on the last day of class. I only put everything together in my head once it was down on the paper.

One other thing to note about the class is that I think I may have figured out what to do with the many blank journals I have purchased and never used over the years. My friend Aimee over at Artsyville and I have often discussed how blank journals terrify us. She's found a cool way to get beyond the fear and expectation of those white pages. For me, I might try using them to wipe my hands when they're too full of paint. Then at least the white will be less intimidating. And I'll have a surface for experimenting with faces and shapes. We did a lot of that in class - wrong-handed, blind, fist-gripped painting and drawing. I found that the less I tried, the freer I got, the more I liked the outcome. Imagine that.


aimee said...

i'm loving your unleashing here -- and now i'm going to try wiping my hands on my pages too!

mary lou and stuart said...

Really Love the painting-definitely the five tulips (in my mind) represent the five of you--and thesharp cactus needles with the eyes represent your upcoming move and your watchfulness of the "hazards and apprehension and excitement" of moving away. Just my interpretation.

AG Ambroult said...

Oh and loose. I love it, as much as i love aimee's idea to rip the pages out.
...and East of Eden happens to be one of my favorite books ever.

ladaisi said...

Fingerpainting is so liberating.

Recently I've considered buying a Computation notebook so I can paste things in it. And write random thoughts. Not necessarily a journal but not intimidating either.

Ladaisi Blog