"Home Before Dark" mixed media on paper, 15" x 22" (unframed dimension). Inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org
Into the woods,
Then out of the woods,
And home before dark!
From "Prologue Into the Woods", Into the Woods
We're in the home stretch of our journey into the woods. The last week. I am feeling a bit wistful, anticipating the end. The second chapter in Art & Fear says "fears arise when you look back, and they arise when you look ahead." Indeed.
This piece, created in last week's workshop with Stan Kurth, is an entirely new direction for me, and I am deeply satisfied in this space of chalky abstraction and symbolism. There is power and protection in this one. It is difficult now to recall just how many layers are here, but to give you a better idea, it began like this:
A big part of the lesson in this workshop was letting go...letting go of attachment to bits and pieces of the painting which did not enhance the overall composition, letting go of controlling the paint, embracing what happens and then letting the painting tell you what needs to happen next. Letting go of control.
It took me a while to get it. One morning in class, I had to shut out all the distractions around me and just think for about 30 minutes to understand what this painting was saying. It clearly was not telling the story I started with. But its story was better. I just had to listen.
The book emphasizes this lesson throughly,. "Control...is not the answer. People who need certainty...are less likely to make art that is risky, subversive, complicated, iffy, suggestive or spontaneous...uncertainty is the essential, inevitable and all-pervasive companion." There is much more, but you get the idea.
So dear reader, we are out here in the woods, letting go of control. It feels risky - daring - brave. And a little bit wonderful.
Jen Walls and her imaJENation