Cordelia, watching the skies during the Winter Solstice. (“Sketched” on iPad)
This gallery contains 6 photos.
There! The piece started in December 2012 is done!
It’s hard to say why a piece emerges. It is, perhaps, simply a product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving. There are the colors, of course, always speaking in the background. Often, it’s just a sudden juxtaposition of textures and form that make it happen. And the things, all the little things — the accidental collocations of atoms… the catalyst to finish this piece was the oddly suitable message from the fortune cookie.
There’s something so very compelling about the smug neatness of straight lines and corners. They just beg to be tested. Plus, it is always nice to know what someone else considered limits, like instructions for a software, or a recipe for chili, or a stop sign in the middle of the night at a deserted intersection…The lines in this 3D assemblage provide a nicely structured background, the edges of which the other elements wander over and explore and reinterpret. The gorgeous ginger colors of the fruticose lichen are all but lost against the surprisingly similar background of rust spots on a piece of torn sandpaper that I used for some other project… The chipped square of mirror came from the street outside the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore (no! I did not pick it off their Mirror Tree!)… curling out of the rigid edge of the white mat is a gold-colored wire (delicately hammered to resemble the sensuous flight pattern of a female mayfly through a froth of males during that one, brief day of reproductive opportunity — though this was for yet another project which may or may not be completed)… the dictionary entry for “Un-lim-it-ed” swims in a random rain puddle (ok, it’s not really rainwater)… at the bottom right is a satisfying complement to the colors and shapes above: A chink of rippled glass and a pale celadon-colored tile (objects found in a nearby creek bed, downstream from relentless destruction and reconstruction), and a scrap of brass pressed diagonally with letters from the Kryptos sculpture.
This piece will soon be trapped into a gold/green distressed wood frame (with horrifyingly 90 degree angles!). Maybe tomorrow, even.
An homage… an assemblage… a collage… A clomage, yes! To oranges and blues. To geometry. To the hoo-ah tree. To found things and to things made from found things. To exquisitely tiny patterns.
… and that’s how I’ve arranged the following close-ups (click to view an even closer close-up).
A clear glass bugle bead, a scrap of Bach, the edge of handmade paper (there are at least a couple of dog and cat hairs in there), the end of a dried stem of a senna (with an ouchful break to remind me to be gentle with the round metal bead), and a tiny whelk shell resting, appropriately, on the “Forte!” symbol in the music…
…then a naturally shiny black seed from a Mexican buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa — named after Baron David von Ungnad, a 16th century Austrian ambassador to the Ottoman Empire… what?? I thought the etymology would somehow work out to to mean the eye of a buck! Turns out, the seed of the Mexican buckeye looks enough like the seed of a horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), which had been in cultivation since the mid 1500s, apparently growing in Baron David’s backyard. By the time people got around to naming the Mexican buckeye, they commemorated the Baron, who missed out on having his name attached to the horse chestnut)…then, a lacquered red seed from a mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) with metal adornment, a hammered wire whisper with a piece of gamma threaded through it… then, a piece of dark blue glass with a metal finding in a Celtic knot shape that finally fell off the pull chain of our living room ceiling fan; you can see the stem of the senna curving out of the top edge of this photo … hey, where’d that whelk go?
…then, an impossibly beautiful curl of bark from a Mexican persimmon (perhaps an indirect descendant of the original hoo-ah tree?), then a clutch of “keys” with random symbols — a bee is almost hidden behind the ragged scrap of orange ribbon on the hoo-ah bark (if you look closely, you can see the black-ticked end of a German Shepherd hair arcing above the bee)… then, the edge of a smooth black stone…
…then, you can see that the smooth stone, which was once in a decorative cement garden pond, has scratchy marks on it from its travels… then, a bean from the bagpod senna… then, hello! the baby whelk shell has reappeared!
And that, as they say, is the end of this clomage.