Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Soul of an Artwork


This piece is an outgrowth of what I learned from doing the "Sun Series" in December.  I wanted to make a larger piece that used the same techniques of layering and sanding, using plaster and shellac along with my other mixed media materials.  I quit counting the number  of layers once I realized how often I was adding layers of gesso, shellac, and plaster that I  just ended up sanding away.  Part of what I like about working like this is the unexpected things that happen along the way.  It is what I call the "soul" or the "history" of the work.  There is so much buried in this piece that no one can see but that affects the final outcome.  It resonates with a depth that I can only refer to as an artwork's soul.

"Winterscape":  11 x 14" on a cradled board, ready to hang.  $225 including shipping.

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  1. I really like this piece; the complementary colors with the purple pinks suggesting the winter evening sky and the oranges below suggesting to me the promise of growth. But, I especially like the idea of the soul of an artwork. It implies to me that the artwork would have a story or a history. Which I think is true. We often as artists talk about the work as having its own purpose or speaking its purpose to us in some way. And, I think the idea of a soul fits into this. It also makes me think of the way soul implies a meandering and imperfect path; a path that emphasizes process.

    1. Thanks, Heather.
      I do think the work has a story, but it told itself...I didn't contrive or tell it. I was working on instinct and responding to the process. Many times I have an agenda but I really let the materials have their say. You are right, the process creates the soul.

  2. Alex Kanevsky works in much the same way with paint. I find this a rich and fascinating approach, and the nuances of layers that alternately obscure and reveal is a wonderfully dynamic way of building work of art. This piece of yours is softly powerful, which is a testament to the process you used. Beautiful work!

  3. Thanks, Lynn. I worked this piece in the same way as I work with encaustic by layering and excavating. Just trying to see if I could get similar results without the wax.
    The jury is still out.