Next month, Ciel Gallery will host “Skew the Masters,” in which gallery partners and members will show their own interpretation of some famous (and infamous) art. This is a fantastic, mind-bending and talent-stretching exercise for the artists, which gets all of us pretty excited and enthusiastic!
I chose Mark Rothko for my skewing adventure, and created a series of three (want to see the other two? Come to the show!) Rothko is perhaps best known for his abstract blocks of color. But I was drawn in by his subway characters (picture left), who felt to me almost a little like something out of an Edward Gorey book…mysterious and perhaps a little bit eerie. This makes sense given Rothko’s interest in mythology (Rothko considered himself a “myth maker”).
For this piece, my inspiration came from Rothko’s “Homage to Matisse” (the basis for the underlying blocks of color) and the person on the far left in his subway painting. From a distance, it appears to be a woman waiting with a large package, properly dressed and demure. But closer inspection revealed an almost haunting specter, woman of mystery, a person whose story I wanted to know.
Using collage and paint to build layers of half-revealed patterns and type, this woman became more and more complex and interesting to me as the process went on. I don’t usually love my own work (who does?) but this particular piece I really, really like. I’ve been reading a book on archetypes, and this woman seems archetypal to me in a big way. Rothko wanted to represent the “archetypes of the collective unconscious” and with his subway characters, I feel completely drawn in to the magic he created. So I ask - are you drawn in?
This piece is available. Framed. Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Deer Me!” - watercolor and ink on aquabord, 6” x 6"
Recently, the second session of my class “Making Your Mark” came to an end. I found myself a bit misty-eyed and emotional over the beautiful pieces of art each student created over the month-long class, and over the journey we had undertaken together to make those pieces.
What is it about journeying with others that creates such emotional bonds? Shared experiences filled with conversation, laughter and sometimes a few tears, the occasional “aha” moment, “oops” moments and triumphs. Somewhere along the way we discover new friendships have formed, connections have been made and life feels more expansive. And often we leave with a new skill to feel proud of and new confidence to wear in our smiles. All made more meaningful because others witnessed our journey and our growth.
Within a week of this class winding down, a reunion of the first group of students took place in my home with a morning full of SoulCollage (if you haven’t tried this, it is wonderful and you should experience it right away!) and of sharing art we’d created since the class ended months ago. It felt like a family reunion! Hugs, happiness, stories and creativity. The connections picked up right where they left off, and life felt rich and bountiful.
This piece, “Deer Me!” was created during the last class, and contains the past, present and future. The past is represented by the stamp carving of a cave marking of a horned animal (likely a deer of sorts) and the present by the doodled deer in watercolor. This deer is looking off into the future, seeing unlimited opportunities for connection, experience and creativity.
Life has come full circle, and we are at the beginning again.
This piece is available, currently unframed. Inquiries: email@example.com
Jen Walls and her imaJENation