Monthly Archives: February 2010

CitraSolv backgrounds

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“Moon”   Mixed media collage on cradled board 6×6 inches

I cleaned up my studio yesterday and found little odds and ends that prompted me to put together this little collage.  I like the tiny buddha resting beneath a vintage glass watch face, and a fish shaped piece of obsidian on top of a sterling silver fish.  I don’t like the hand-lettered brass plate that says “moon,” but looks like “moo”.  That really bothers me and I will probably eventually pry it off and replace it.  I suppose I could just add a plastic cow, and make it “The cow jumped over the moon” then the “moon – moo” plate would work just fine.  Actually in person you can easily read it as “moon,” so it isn’t really that bad!  The fun part was using CitraSolv concentrate on a magazine page to create the background.  That was fun, but smelly.  Not a bad smell, but overpowering after a while.  The background still smells faintly of oranges.  I had been wanting to try thisfor quite a while, but could never find CitraSolv.  My Safeway had it and I immediately bought a bottle and came home and started trying it out on different printed materials.  I guess National Geographic is the best, but I didn’t have any of those so I tried it on some junk mail catalogues and it worked pretty good. I also used a small book with slick colorful pages and I found some images made by the CitraSolv that were fascinating, so I brought them out by painting them in with gouache and acrylic.  Kind of strange-looking, but that was the image created by CitraSolv on the inked page.

 This is about 4×4 inches.  The reddish spots in each corner are just ceramic weights to hold it down for photography.  I don’t have any meaning for the painting, it was completely on the page after the CitraSolv dried, I just painted it in.

 Another CitraSolv with images that appeared after the page was dry.  I painted them in with gouache and acrylic.  Interesting process.

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In the splitting of a second…

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Pencil, Charcoal, brown paper

Sometimes you just look at someone and you know how hateful they feel, how unhappy they are, and how angry they are because they haven’t the tools to find a better place to be inside their life and head.  This girl just looked so fragmented, unhappy, but edgy, I tried to sneakily do a sketch of her.  I make up several stories about her and decide her name is Miriah.   I didn’t speak to her, I knew she wouldn’t want to hear what I had to say, my own daughters certainly never appreciated my opinions when they were that age.  I smiled at her, I encouraged her with my body language.  She sat there a long while and allowed me to quickly sketch her, and I know she knew I was doing it.  I thought she had an interesting face, and a vulnerable face.  She left before I could finish, but its one of those drawings you save because there was a certain connection that transpired.  It’s all we can ask for sometimes – that brief almost non-existent connection between two people who look into each other’s eyes and everything is said in the splitting of a second.

“Persephone’s Plight”

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“Persehpone’s Plight” 10 x10 inches Collage on cradled board.  Oil pastel, acrylic, plaster, found objects.

I used the symbolism of the pomegranate in my collage to tell this story of the Greek goddess Persephone.    The red beads are actually very old African trading beads called “white hearts” because of their white center, but I thought they looked like little red seeds, and the little wooden spoon symbolizes eating.  The three long thin bamboo pieces to the left represent sheaves of wheat which is one of Persephone’s symbols as the goddess of spring, which she later came to be called after her ordeal which I’ve mentioned below.  The turqoise stone at the top is a Native American symbol for the sky which Persephone loved and needed while she was captive.  It photographs as a “heart” shape, but it is really a nugget.  I never noticed it had that shape until I looked at the photograph, but the heart is okay and fits with the story. The branches at the top are for the six months Persephone is in the underworld, and the clock hands represent the passing of time and the seasons of the earth, which is really what this whole story is all about!

Persephone was a Greek goddess, daughter of Zeus and Demeter.  When she grew to be a teenager her loveliness attracted the god of the underworld, Haides, whom being a god decided he could take what he wanted, when he wanted it, and he wanted Persephone for his own, so he snatched her without explanation by renting the earth and yanking her below.  Of course she was very unhappy  and wouldn’t eat anything and generally moped about crying for her mother.  Demeter her mother looked everywhere for her and finally became so frustrated she started killing off the growth of crops since she was goddess of agriculture and growing things, and as powerful as any other god.  Zeus knew he needed to do something, and since he was one of the ‘good ol’ boys,” and the brother of Haides, he already knew exactly where Persephone was.  So he talked to Haides and told him the situation and how the earth was dying because of Demeter’s anger at losing her beautiful daughter.  Haides offered Persephone a pomegranate because the secret about eating in the underworld is if you eat anything while you’re down there you can never return to the top side and of course Haides hoped she would be hungry enough to eat the pomegranate.  She ate only six seeds and ordinarily that would have been enough, but the boys decided to strike a deal with Demeter and offer Persephone for six months on the top side and six months in the underworld.  They thought that seemed fair.  Demeter took it and the earth began to grow again.