Friday, January 11, 2013

New Year, New Work

As previously stated on this blog - usually around this time of year in fact- I'm not a big fan of resolutions. Not resolutions themselves, my objection is specific to the New Year's variety. I never break 'em, 'cause I never make 'em. Yes, folks, it's really that simple. Can you feel a "nevertheless" coming? I can.

Ahem.

Nevertheless, this year I made a point of reviewing my artwork, just to see what I had accomplished in our Annus Horribilis, 2012. Not as much as I would have hoped; this is normal. Given the circumstances though, the output wasn't too bad. What did concern me a bit is the way the work is tightening up.

By tightening up, I essentially mean that my collages are becoming more realistic and highly detailed in their quest to become like paintings.  Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, it's just that I'm not exactly sure that this is the artistic direction in which I want to be moving.  I have struggled with this in my painting, too. Loose is hard for me.

This art-related tightness is an odd habit because I don't think that I'm an especially uptight person. These days my blood pressure is around 90/60. I suspect that if I were any less uptight I might actually be comatose. If you are reading this blog while you are in a coma and I have offended you with my offhand comment, I apologise.

The other problem with obsessively detailed artwork is that the works take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to finish.

Now, if I were making union scale wages and was paid by the hour, this might actually be an advantage. I once sat in a hospital waiting room and watched a cleaning woman go about her work sooo slooooowly, seemingly counting each step, each movement, always with one eye on the clock, I could only conclude that if she had worked at a normal pace, she probably could have finished her shift in an hour. And then, no doubt, she would have efficiently worked herself  out of a job.

Not for me the life of the wage-slave. No. As it stands though, if I want to maximize my creative output....something's gotta give.


What are my New Year's resolutions you ask? Here, I'll tell you:


Keep it simple, stupid.
I'm not willing to go to no details, so judicious use of detail only.

Have fewer values, but have them really count.
No, I'm not becoming a nihilist; this is an artistic decision. Instead of trying to reproduce the depth and realism of a painting, I'm going back to a value scale of three or four values maximum.

Good design is everything.
Amen to that.

Here is the first completed collage of 2013, and, yes, I am attempting to be true to my resolutions.

"Who, me?" © 2013 Alyson Champ
9x12 painted paper collage on cradled mdf panel.

So. What do you think?

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