Today as I was urging my bike against the wind that hurtled across La Vallée de la Save, my mind was frequently peppered with the words and images I was going to use to describe the incredible transformation of Joan (you haven't forgotten her already have you?).
And as I huffed and puffed pedaled, I realised that the transformation
really isn't Joan's, but my own.
'Huh??' you ask, 'Oh no not another Reality TV, Ange bares all confession!!'
Keep reading - it's not that bad I assure you ;-)
Let me use the words of one of my favourite artists to explain it instead:
The thing has already taken form in my mind before I start it.
(OK - that's not entirely true in Joan's case but she's an exception. I had no idea in the beginning what I wanted her to look like, nor what I wanted her to say. She told me herself.)
The first attempts are absolutely unbearable.
I say this because I want you to know that if you see something worthwhile in what I am doing, it is not by accident but because of real direction and purpose.
Vincent Van Gogh
Am I going to elaborate further?
Just kidding. Actually - in Joan's case, I've purely and simply enjoyed a process of playing around and trying stuff out, which is something I NEVER allow myself to do. I encourage my kids to do it. Encourage other grown up types to do it. And never find the time to do it myself. Funny how we are programmed to think that the 'fun' is only 'allowable' if it's definably productive. Yet it's been sooooo necessary. Why - I may never stop!
My intentions for Joan then?
1) play around and see how many layers of paint and text I could put on one piece of wood.
She now has officially 8 coats of acrylic paint and gesso in varying degrees of disrepair.
2) make her look like someone had randomly scratched a message into the paint.
3) make her look like a sort of guerilla art/improvised object that you might find hanging nonchalantly somewhere beachy, on a beach hut or batch - for you kiwis, a weather worn fence etc ... to give some food for thought to passers by.
What I actually got out of all the playing was much more than a shabby Joan, but rather a knowledge of which instruments work best on the irregularities of wood other than the fine brush I am used to calligraphing with. I got to find out that drawing gum works as well under gesso and thick layers of acrylic paint as under watercolour and ink. I got to enjoy trying lots of different alphabets - none of which were suitable for my purpose but which will look great on other pieces later on. And I got to wallow in indigo, pthalo, ceruleum, turquoise and Hoggar's blue - some of my all time favourite colours. Not to mention allowing myself an hour's hard bike ride because I'd been a good girl and 'discovered' stuff that might just save me time on future pieces! Oops! Have to justify - can't help myself.
I still don't know if calligraphing is a real verb either...
Why am I boring you with all this two posts in a row?
Do you really need to know all the nitty gritty psychological benefits of my playing around with paint and wooden objects?
Do you not have busy lives full of much more important things to read - like fashion magazines, recipe books, Ikea instruction manuals... ?
Of course you do!
But thanks for reading anyway.
I've got a case of ...
Nervous about what I have to reveal to you (my REAL direction and purpose - or one of them at least) on Thursday just before I disappear for two weeks holiday, leaving the messmonsters in the extremely capable hands of the very overworked Beaker!
I think he will be needing some of this:
Watch this space...
Time to pack my bags.
See you Thursday.
PS - for the curious person who asked me what drawing gum was. The English translation on my French bottle says, Liquid Frisket. The mind boggles ;-)