From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

mask painting in progress

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Here is the latest work on the new sculpted/stretched painting. The step you didn’t see here was where I worked on the back (blue/purple) layer and stitched up the middle (redish) layer. While I am dedicated to exposing process a little bit of mystery is in order from time to time.
Here you are seeing the freshly gessoed top layer I just attached with a temporary protective layer hiding the rest of the piece.

The gesso is lightly tinted to be similar to the under-skin color of the skin shade I will use (based on my own this time).  I will be painting the final layer in oil tomorrow, barring catastrophe and then I will go over the whole piece, bringing the layers together as a whole.
I’m really loving this body of work- loving the sculptural and fiber elements.
They have meanings for me as to body and apart from body but I prefer to let the viewer approach them on their own terms rather than explain each one in detail.

Funny, while this one is not about adversity per se, the Emily Dickinson poem that gripped me as a teenager and stayed with me for years came back to the surface and kept quoting itself over the painting and sewing process:

No Rack can torture me —
My Soul — at Liberty —
Behind this mortal Bone
There knits a bolder One —

You cannot prick with saw —
Nor pierce with Scimitar —
Two Bodies — therefore be —
Bind One — The Other fly —

The Eagle of his Nest
No easier divest —
And gain the Sky
Than mayest Thou —

Except Thyself may be
Thine Enemy —
Captivity is Consciousness —
So’s Liberty.

One thing that is true about this body of work though- it is about inner and outer selves and the tension within the body as a vessel of self in all its contradictions.  I love them being both tortured and exposed and beautiful at the same time, prisons of self and platforms for the self…

Written by Mary Corey March

August 22, 2012 at 11:47 am

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