When people ask me what my work is about or where I seek inspiration, I can only say that that is a difficult question to answer. How do I explain that hard work has as much to do with making art as anything else? Of course I am inspired by other artist’s work, trips to museums, and studying books. These experiences of course have left a mark on my subconscious.
Once I took my then toddler aged daughter to the Museum of Contemporary Art at Los Angeles to see an exhibition of works by Warhol and Basquiat. Upon entering the first main gallery we were greeted by a giant paint by numbers Warhol piece. My eager child sprinted up to the canvas and laid her little palm right on the surface. And isn’t that exactly what we all would do given the chance? As an angry guard rushed over, I had to promise to keep the kid within arm’s reach for the remainder of the exhibition.
This reminded me of my first trip to Macedonia before I even had children. We took a day trip to a town called Stobi where ancient Roman ruins were on display in their original home and in remarkably good condition in spite of there being no gates, guards, or tours of this amazing place. I was stunned that there was not even a cover to shield the ruins from the extreme heat and cold of the region. As we sat in an ancient amphitheater and walked over the mosaic floors, I couldn’t help but bend down and trace my hand along the inlaid stones.
Nowhere else in the world would tourists (and we were the only ones there) be allowed to walk through these ruins and least of all be able to touch the mosaics. Our hosts, my husband’s cousin and his wife, were so pleased and in fact bewildered by my fascination and joy at this experience.
So is the work I’m making almost 13 years later inspired by that that two hour round trip in a un-air conditioned car with 120 degree heat outside? I guess the answer is yes. But whatever I was able to take away from the experience, it was definitely well worth the journey.
I recently finished four arcylic on linen works called Small Distorion 1-4.
Small Distortion 2, 2012, acrylic on linen, 21 1/2″ x 17 3/4″
I have also gone back to making some works on raw wood panels but this time I have added colored pencil to the mix. These are a continuation of the Mascleta series I began on paper.
Mascleta Purple, 2012, colored pencil & acrylic on panel, 11 3/4″ x 11 3/4″
Click here for a slideshow of all three pieces as well as detail shots.