A few days ago, I had a dream where a tornado wiped away my house, albeit a few wall studs. I attributed this to the decluttering that is needed for me to feel like I can create when in actuality it is probably just a signal to clean the house. Despite the middle of the night message, a little decluttering was done, but you wouldn’t know it.
Tornadoes also have made their appearances in previous artworks of mine, including the header image for this blog. The first two that I created (photos above) coincided with tornadoes in the region; one demolished much of the neighboring town, but thankfully without fatalities. I’ve become a little skeptical about using them since those first two storms hit the day following when they were rendered to paper and canvas. I’ve since let go of that idea and gave all credit to the well deserved Mother Nature. I do not have that much power. However, they are excellent metaphors for chaos and destruction which symbolically could define a few people I know or for times in my life where I feel unsettled. Regardless of the intent, the tornadic art form has returned to my hand. This time with by sewing on paper. I’ve sewn some small block prints onto other prints and there something inviting to the process. While relatively strong, the paper becomes fragile with each passing of the needle and mistakes can’t be ripped out with a seam ripper and re-sewn. But the process of making a mark on paper this way is intriguing if nothing else.
But maybe the dream was more of saying, “You have too many unfinished works laying around,” like my self-portrait which started out as a demonstration and then sat and sat and sat for several years until a few weeks ago. But as Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book, Big Magic, works of art are abandoned all the time. I don’t remember what she said about picking them up again, but yesterday and today I worked on that self-portrait. It’s a good project to fill in while I flounder with the Pink Houses. Speaking of…. I decided to apply some cold wax to the sheet of painted houses and cut them out. No revelation or “aha” moment there either. Nope. However, I was intrigued on how they look on a painting I thought I was nearly finished with. I may play with that more this week.