Better edgy than safe

Better edgy than safe

Sometimes art just looks too safe, too commercial. I think that's the case with my new piece, "On the Farm," although it does look better in person.

"On the Farm" is partly a result of lack of preparation, and partly my wanting to experiment with different colors (sand/light blue) and textures (garlic bulb ends). It's also another attempt to successfully use a beautiful old photo of my ancestors in front of their sod house in Kansas. This unusual photo was taken in the late 1800s and is very soulful. I've tried using it several times but have been unable to really capture its essence. The second photo (below) shows it close up.

Sometimes finding your voice can be hard. Well, at least it has been for me. So far my art doesn't seem to have a cohesive thread, although a new friend recently told me she thinks a lot of my work is ethereal. That's a good thing, ethereal!

Now I need to swing back over from safe into Edgy Land. Otherwise I'm going to bore myself to tears.

This weekend I also redid my "Maggie" photo encaustic, which features an old photo of my great-grandma when she was 19, taken in 1903. I didn't like the way it came out the first time a few weeks ago, with blotchy red/white/black encaustic (on the far left), so I stripped off the encaustic and redid it in just black and white. However, I was getting tired of fighting with it and finally just gave it up for now. So this is the second iteration, not finished. I'll have to see what I can do with it next. Hopefully the third time will be the charm.

My new mixed-media sculpture is coming along, too, and it will be fairly edgy. I recently finished the ceramic components (two masks) and took them over today to have them bisque fired. The rest of the piece will include encaustic, a burned-out oven heating element, natural stone beads, burlap, and twine, with a gorgeous vertical wedge-shaped chunk of wood for the base.

The wedge is thanks to my friend Mary's boyfriend Jed. I offered Jed a sixpack of the best beer made, Green Flash West Coast IPA (my new favorite!), in exchange for drilling two perfect holes for the base with his drill press. But instead of drilling them into the piece of driftwood I had brought over, Jed offered me an exquisite wedge of solid wood instead. It's perfect! I'll post pics once the entire piece is done (soon).

And while he was drilling the holes, Mary and I were drilling into the Green Flash!