It's been weeks since I've done any painting - jewelry making and the job have been taking up all my time. A couple of days ago some e-friends were sharing snaps from childhood so I posted a few. Elli said she liked the composition of one of them and it made me look at it in a whole new way. Instead of looking at it through a haze of not very pleasant memories, I looked at it as...a picture. She was right - interesting composition (good job, Mom!) and also a strange kind of oppressive small-town America atmosphere. (At that point I could hear the memories stomping their way back into the room.) Didn't matter - once you figure out how to look at something in a new way you can get it back. So I printed out a few copies of the photo on regular paper and started playing around with it. Here's what I came up with. It's mixed media - a collage of paper and canvas on canvas. I glued one of the prints to a piece of unstretched painted canvas and added layers of texture with a couple of silkscreens I'd made about six months ago using PhotoEZ, which is so much easier to use than regular silkscreen. The painted areas are strips of trial canvases I painted and silkscreened, using the same screens, also about six months ago. They're ripped rather than cut, so the edges are frayed. Around two sides of the photo I've written out as much as I can remember from a poem I wrote in the third grade. I'm not sure what I think of the piece yet, but I am sure that I'm very happy to have paint, ink, and glue all over my hands again.
So, what did I learn today? Don't throw any of your artwork away. You never know, that scribble or scrap could be a crucial part of another piece further down the line. Also, friends can help you see things in new ways, even your own past. Thanks, Elli!