The base of this was a generic painting background I did maybe a year ago. Yesterday, I was working on another piece and had some spare paint. I fished around the not-yet-completed stack of canvases and found this one. I decided to add some pages to it first because I like the look of words showing through paint. It is hard for me to remember what order things should be done, but I’m getting better. Rather than just gluing or painting on the canvas by feel, I’m trying to think about how I want the finished piece to look.
Sometimes making art is about just going with the feeling, and sometimes it is about trying to say something. Sometimes it is a little of both.
I dug around my “to be torn up” pile of books and chose “The Silent World” by Captain J. Y. Cousteau.
(bottom right detail)
Tearing up books to use in art was a hard thing to get over, being a life-long reader and a library worker. I have about five books to do this with, and I got them all for free. I guess ideally I’d use different books for each piece, but I can’t justify trashing a book for just three or four pages.
I pulled out random pages, and here are the chapter titles for the three different pages. I liked them enough to make sure that I don’t totally obscure them.
I don’t remember what the base coat colors are. The paint colors that are over the pages are – titanium white, cadmium yellow deep hue, Payne’s grey. I put blobs of them into a large yogurt lid and put some glazing medium on top. I blended them only as I went, using the brush. I was surprised to discover the mix ended up being a mossy green. It looks worn, like rocks with lichens. But it also looks a bit like bird poop. While trying to remove some of the paint from the pages so I could see the words, the paper tore. I liked the look, so I kept doing it.
I’m meditating while working on this about young people who are lost, who haven’t been raised with any moral foundations. They don’t know right from wrong because they weren’t ever taught. After a certain point, a person is too old to be taught this in any meaningful way. On the surface, they look normal, but deep underneath there is darkness. These people are the scariest of all, because they don’t even know when they have crossed a line.
This is a way to meditate and pray yet make something at the same time.