Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Color, Surface, Structure

Digital Photograph from the series
Bookmarks for a Mixed Race Narrative (Who Could and Couldn't Marry Whom)
My Family Constellation (1953/1964)

Scanning the studio in search of an appropriate material, my eyes landed on a package of wood shims, those inexpensive sticks used to stir paint, level, etc. In a moment of serendipity, I realized they were precisely the material - the perfect medium - to translate the paper ‘bookmarks’ (above left) into a three-dimensional structure/surface for oil paint. After putting these two photographs side by side on Instagram, I realized I enjoy seeing the inherent variations in the natural tones of unpainted wood. Still, I'm eager to work with oil pigments on this new series of shim constructions (stay tuned:). The pattern suggests weaving, yet the stacks of shims are actually stepped. It seems I’m perpetually working out the relationship of color and surface to structure.

Self Portrait In the Glass

Just now as I'm posting this self portrait, I realized the reflection on the glass is a metaphor for the 'social mirror' - the ways in which our identities are partially and mutually constructed by the perceptions and projections of those around us. But the looking glass itself is often problematic.

Digital Photograph, June 28, 2016
(Includes image of: Bookmarks for a Mixed Race Narrative (Who Could and Couldn't Marry Whom): Castoffs, 2015
Courtesy of Harry H. Laughlin Collection, Special Collections Department, Pickler Memorial Library, Truman State University