Working on Art

hallway collagesFor a month or two I’ve been inviting friends over for dinner, wining and dining them into the night, and, when they’re relaxed and off-guard, I lure them up to my room, blinking and confused, and force them to sit on the edge of my bed and look at my art.
I’ve been so hungry for feedback, ravenous after many hours and days and weeks over the winter of experimenting with different forms, jamming around with the photos, the painting, the collages – I need need need to see what people respond room collagesI’d invited a bunch of people over for a barbeque last night, a little seasonal fair, and as I was tidying and mopping and vacuuming in anticipation of their arrival, it occurred to me – I’d have them hostage for hours, could put art all over the house and see what people might say.photoIt must be some core piece of the need to make art is an element of communication – it’s like you’re looking for a way to talk about something.
And sometimes it may be a private correspondence with the Universe – like cave artists making shamanic magic on the walls, calling to the spirits of the animals to reveal themselves and where they can be found in abundance.
Or it may be a conversation you are having with a friend in your mind as you do it, a kind of running dialogue that informs what comes out. And then when you talk about this image that has sprung from somewhere, it’s part of how you connect as friends – you see more about who they are by what speaks to them.photoSo when Bea said she really loved the alligator – a drawing I’d hesitated to put up, cause it’s just a loose rough kind of sketch of a piece – it gave me some sense of a place in Bea that resonates with this not-pretty, not-girly kind of image.
But Tom kept remembering something I hadn’t put out, a picture I’d shown them several weeks before when I’d had them on my bed and forced them to look at things, an experiment with drawing and painting on a photo – photoThat one! said Tom. That one was his favourite.
Sometimes taste seems to cut along a shared medium, as in sometimes the painters like the paintings, responding with a visceral part of themselves to texture and colour – Maria, a month ago uttering a low hum when she saw the blues and drips and bumps in this piece – under the seaAnd showing no real interest in the experiments of drawing and painting on photos –
swallow expWhereas Nicky, a non-visual artist, an actor / dancer / director, was very drawn to these experiments, and felt the one of the magnolia was the most realized, the most successful integration of photo and paint – photoAnd while some people have a more textural inclination, others are more figurative, they don’t care for abstraction, they like to always recognize what the image is, to always see a familiar shape.
Sometimes when you’re kind of on that edge, a title can help, can indicate a figure to be found and known – so for example, if I were to say this is a butterfly –
flutterbyWould you believe me?
What’s your favourite, Dear Reader?
(Weekly Photo Challenge – Work of Art)

33 thoughts on “Working on Art”

    1. Oh, thanks for that, Symbol Reader! So interesting! Again, I was unsure of the bull, cause he goes contrary to all the rules of composition – the law of thirds, the golden ratio, all of that – he is a stationary figure smack in the middle of the picture, not the way you’re supposed to do it. So glad you like him 🙂

  1. I really liked the alligator, and the rhinoceros silhouette, as well as several others.
    The man who looks like he’s emerging between two mounds of dirt also caught me.
    The Wild Flyers one was a bit disturbing, but that may be because I don’t have a clear view of the pic.

    1. Hey Guap! Great to see you and thanks for the feedback.
      Another vote for the alligator! Cool. It was fun to do, so I’ll be sure to do more of those.
      The Wild Flyers is a bit disturbing, and sorry that pic is so bad, but I think you’re getting the gist – the skull makes it a bit creepy.

  2. I’ve been eagerly awaiting your post for this week, and you haven’t disappointed. Favorites? In the third photo, the red piece on the desk and the yellow on the table really caught my eye. I’m also on board with both Tom and Maria’s choices.

    1. Aha! The photographer likes the photographs! Well, I’m so pleased…
      Just this week I got some frames on sale and have been printing big and putting the photos in the frames. Very exciting stuff, seeing how they look at 13 x 9, which is as big as my printer will go.

      1. I have to admit that I couldn’t tell they were photos. I liked the color and shapes. I’m guessing your photos of them were cell phone pics. Of course I wouldn’t have liked them any less if they I could tell they were photos 😀

  3. I love that you threw an art gallery party for your work and your friends to meet each other. I also really enjoyed your insights into your friends and why you think the art they liked resonated. I don’t know a lot about paintings and drawings, so that was very interesting to me. Usually for me, it’s about do I like it or feel it or not- but clearly there is often more to the attraction. I am going to think about that next time.

    1. It’s an interesting thing – I think we all respond from a place of sort of unconscious attraction. We like what we like.
      I know for me in doing it, doing a loose scrubby drawing of a nasty beast like an alligator satisfies a different part of me than taking pretty photographs of flowers. I love doing both, but they seem to appeal to different moods or different thoughts.
      Thanks so much for your comment, Diahann 🙂

  4. I really like the lone bird flying free in the clouds, because I am now free from a lot of my childhood baggage. And it feels sooo good. I also like your experimentation and that you’re willing to share it with friends. Keep on keeping on with your work, it’s all great.

    1. Eddie, thank you so much for your thoughts.
      The street scene has something so urgent to it, hey? I’m hoping I find more of those in my old negatives…
      Thanks again for your kind comment,

  5. Lol 🙂 Loved your post. I really like the lion and black panther paintings (which I believe I saw somewhere on your blog before?). You can tell I’m into felines grrrr 🙂 xox

  6. I would hang any one of these in my house, and smile. But, I love the photo of the boy running down the street… I remember I thought this was Cuba, but it isn’t. So much talent, Kat! xo

    1. Thanks so much Dawn, great to hear from you. That running one I just gave away to Tom since he loved it so much and is doing me a favour besides. Now I think I’ve got to make a bunch more of that one…sell em like hot cakes! 🙂

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