The last post got me thinking about how the current series of painted wall sculpture came about. As I looked back on it I was surprised to see a definite evolution that proved there is rarely anything new out there. Everything we do in art is based on something that we or someone else has done before.
I have to admit that I don’t remember what lead to this but over 20 years ago I began to play around with constructing wall sculpture. The first pieces were based on a series of African Masks that I was painting in those days. This is the first to be completed as an experiment and I still have it hanging on the studio wall.
After this first white piece I began staining them to make them look more like wood or bronze. I did several after that and tried a few pieces when I moved over to the Mayan Series. Then, for some reason I stopped making them.
Flash forward to 8 or 9 years ago. At that time a friend of mine was working in one of my studios a few days a week, She was an excellent portrait painter but her style was rather tight (in my opinion). For the fun of it I suggested that we have a competition where she could experiment with a non objective painting just to see what it felt like. We picked out one of my paintings to copy and went into separate rooms. I didn’t want to do the same thing over again so I photographed it, cut the print up, pasted it back together and painted the results. I ended up with this painting which I called “The Challenge.”
I haven’t done anything like it since…..Until 8 months ago.
The first 3D wall painting began with cutting up a photograph of one of my paintings and gluing it back together. Then I made a drawing of the montage. From the drawing I constructed a 3 dimensional maquette to figure out how it might be built in a larger version. When I began constructing the larger piece I was suddenly in familiar territory. I knew how to do this because I had done it before.
It took many years of not thinking about it or planning it but it turns out that the new series has been germinating behind the scenes for years. It just took the right time and place for it to gel. I’ve been working on these pieces for eight months now and see no end it. I wonder where it will lead because I‘m sure that this is a stepping stone to something I haven’t thought of yet.,