Layers of My Grief

12cm x 16cm on paper

I found an interesting opportunity to participate in an international charitable event, the Twitter Art Exhibition 2018. Each year, the organizers pick a charitable cause that will benefit from the sale of postcard original works created and donated by artists from all over the world.

Each post card size work is the same size, 12cm x 16cm. Since it’s being mailed to Canberra, Australia it is created on thick paper or cardstock. The deadline for submission is mid-March so I have already sent mine.

Created just after the Christmas season, this piece has elements of my grieving expressed. Having lost my father this past summer, this grief journey is still fresh. Being able to use art to work through my feelings has been helpful. I did not expect this past holiday season to be as difficult as it was. The layer of white gouache that dulls the underlying collaged tissue paper depicts how I experienced the process. Under the dullness there were some very raw edges. The pink represents the hole I still feel in my heart. Then there are the marks made; green watercolour bubbles, scratch like black ink lines, and red marker loops edging one of the tissue paper shapes. These represent other feelings because grief is not linear and not stable. It changes, it bubbles up when you least expect it. It can feel like it’s clawing at you dragging you down. But there are also moments when you are struck with a happy memory. There can be delicate beauty in the process.

I didn’t realize all that was expressed in the small piece until I had to give it a title. Like most of my art, when I was making it I was lost in a meditative right-hemisphere zone. Also, normally I invite the viewer to take away their own impressions. But for this one I feel compelled to explain what I see.

This piece which represents part of my grief journey is on its own journey to Australia. Maybe someone who is going through their own journey will find acknowledgment or solace from my expression.

Max Out on the Media

Layer after layer the paint is laid on. Paper is adhered and pastel sticks are used to make marks. The palette knife can be used to scrape and scratch through to what lies beneath.

Decisions are made over what kind of movement is needed with each layer. Will it be thick or thin or modified by a medium.

When should I stop? At what point is the composition interesting but not overworked?

Never get attached to a particular layer.

As I work on this series I imagine that the layers represent life events. Each canvas is a picture of someone’s experience, a window into their journey.

#process #mixedmedia #canadianartist #emergingartist #composition #creative #artistslife #art