Thursday, August 4, 2016

"Night Swimming"

This is a piece I finished last night. I have tentatively entitled it "Night Swimming" (with deliberate allusion to the R.E.M. song). Oftentimes when I am in the throes of creative activity, I am not in the "mode" of documenting the actual process photographically. In the case of this piece, however, I was able to make photos of some of the intermediate steps. I think that I was compelled to do this by virtue of how the piece "emerged". I was working on another, bigger piece and had cut out a portion of that background element (shown below with the dog). I hadn't planned to do anything with that cut-out (i.e., I had presumed it would be a throw away piece). I even ripped off a small portion of the throw-away piece. Then, for some reason, I looked at it as a potential substrate. I was particularly drawn to the color of the ripped portion and the dried-up crackly glue that had been left behind from when I took the old mat off. I started "sketching" with some other elements that were laying around the studio and it started to "speak" to me. I even ended-up using both a new mat and an old mat with its yellowed edge. I'm really enjoying this piece and I think, in a way, it serves as a good example of how the creative process often works and, in fact, how eventual "success" is often not predictable in a linear fashion. I am so happy that I have some photographic record of how this piece came together. I may use it in my teaching.