Creation of a Commission: "Three Part Harmony"
Fairly quickly, I settled upon creating three separate columnar forms which would relate to each other. And, because I knew they would be hung in a stairway, I used two sizes: the central column is 48"x 6"x 3" and the two side columns are 36"x 6"x3". Stan built them, I gessoed each, then added two layers of tissue paper to provide a varied, textured surface. So far, so good! Next, I had to decide upon the color palette and what I call THE IDEA (all caps, because it was to be the unifying element of the piece; its raison d'etre). The color palette decision was relatively easy. THE IDEA was not.
My usual practice of envisioning at least the general concept of a piece before beginning it didn't work this time; I was well into its structural realities before the complete visual concept dawned--I was putting the proverbial cart before the horse. I struggled with the (to me) backward nature of this process, and many weeks went by with this facing me on the studio wall:
As I was coming up with ideas and rejecting them in my mind's eye, I explored the work of fiber, ceramic, and mixed media artists for a bit of inspiration (thanks, Pinterest and Sharon DiGiulio!). Slowly, but surely, THE IDEA took shape (after a couple of wrong turns, elements of which could work for other projects, so I've saved them). Once I decided to add separate, flat MDF panels containing their own mixed media compositions to each column: voilà! I was off and running. It's such an invigorating moment when THE IDEA finally dawns, and it's right!
The result is "Three Part Harmony," which combines MDF, paper, wood, acrylic paint and inks, iron oxide, gelatin prints and polymer: mixed media for sure! I am so pleased with the way it turned out. Ian and Sherrie were thrilled, which also makes me happy.
As with each piece, there are lessons learned. This one showed me that "backwards" isn't always wrong (!), and eventually, with enough work, trial and error, and belief, THE IDEA will indeed present itself.
Thanks, Sherrie and Ian; I hope you'll love it as much as I loved creating it for you.
|on studio wall|