My guild, the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild has accepted a challenge from our favorite art supply store, Jerry's Artarama, entitled "The World of Art". (which I've dubbed 'JAWoA') The challenge is to create a piece of 2-D art on a 16"x20" canvas, using all of the contents of a bag, some of which is shown here.
We can add two items to the piece, which must somehow convey the theme of the 'world of art', offered to artists by Jerry's Artarama.
I'm about halfway through the process, which went something like this:
1. Receiving the bag at the Guild meeting, going through it and seeing the various items, then doubting my sanity about accepting the challenge. These things don't fit together at all! What on earth was I thinking?
2. Leaving the bag in my studio where I couldn't see it. If I don't see it, I won't have to think about it.
3. Days later, moving the bag to where I couldn't miss it. Okay, I guess I have to see it and actually think about what I'm going to do.
4. Actually removing everything from the bag, and spreading it out. The items haven't magically changed; imagine that! Again, what was I thinking??
5. Thinking about the design I'd do even when I wasn't in the studio. As usual, the moments just before I fall asleep at night, and just as I wake up in the morning are the most fruitful. Using Internet research to assist with the basic idea. Small sketches begin...An idea dawns....
6. Deciding upon the central component of my approach to "The World of Art" theme. I do not want to be literal (no paint brushes, crayons and easels), but I can't be so esoteric no one gets it... More thinking, refining, and then voila, the idea crystalizes!
7. Actual work begins. I start with the main objects which will form the central focus of the piece (note: I'm being purposely obtuse about this since I don't want to reveal my idea just yet). These objects are well within my comfort zone, but how I have to create them isn't--working with a limited palette of colors is somewhat excruciating for me. I guess this is why they call it a challenge.
8. With the main objects done, I now have to decide how to incorporate the rest of the bag's items. Again, I wonder how all of this will actually work together. I do a full-size tissue paper mock up. My old textbook designer training comes in handy!
Now, I'm at the stage where I have to take the tissue mock up and transfer it to the canvas. So far, so good, though I know surprises and further challenges await.
The completed challenge piece is due on October 8th, so I'm in good shape in terms of the deadline. My plan is to finish it then turn to the work I'll need to do to be ready for our last show of the summer season: Festival in the Park, in Charlotte, NC.
I'll post photos of the finished piece just before I turn it in, so stay tuned!