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11/14/2005: "The shadows are as important as the light"
This weekend I started a new painting by covering white panel with burnt umber acrylic paint. Burnt umber is as dark a brown as you can get without becoming black (hey, I've been there!). I haven't done this in a long time, but when you prime your painting surface with a very dark color, and then paint over it with a light opaque color...the effect is very dramatic. I've been wanting to experiment for a long time, with chiaroscuro and extreme perspective.
I was reading the artist statement of a painter I admire, it said (paraphrased) "my compositions and techniques will not shout at you from across the room...but people tend to listen more closely if you whisper than if you holler"...which is probably true, but my work tends to holler...and I want it to shout at you from not only across the room, but across the state, the country, hell...the entire planet!
Oh my god, I just remembered a song my mom used to play when I was little:
I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
God I love music, I spent around 4 hours tonight looking up songs in Napster. I found Glen Miller and Louie Armstrong songs I used to listen to when I was a girl...String of Pearls, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Moonlight Serenade...I hadn't heard them in probably 20 years.
Music has the power to transport you to another time and place...I remembered all these little details I'd forgotten: the doll house I made out of a cardboard box, my flat footed flat chested "Barbie" with the short frizzy brown hair...or the black, pink and white shag carpeting I had on the walls of my basement bedroom where I listened to my red plastic record player that looked like a juke box and spent all my time drawing, painting, and reading.
That's what the past does to you when you start getting older...not that my life is much different now...but I am starting to feel like a Melancholy Baby.