"I hate flowers–I paint them because they are cheaper than models and they don't move."— Georgia O'Keefe.
It seems like we all do things we don't necessarily like to do. Today, I spent my time in the studio working on small cards and collages that I hope to package and have ready for the holidays. This kind of activity drives me bonkers! There is usually paper all over my worktables, paint splattered across my face and gel medium stuck underneath my fingernails. I don't mind the mess as much as I do the feeling of panic as I look at the small pieces and wonder why. Why am I adding to my to do list? Why are they taking so long to finish? Why do I continue to paint the things that I don't necessarily like?
The simple answer is because...Because in order to work on refining my voice I must borrow from the creative language currently at my disposal. That is to say, I use what is around me and gain inspiration from it. This is a tricky thing to do when surrounded by a community of outstanding creative people all reading the same publications, using the same materials, applying and exhibiting at the same galleries and shows. All of us making similar "products" and hoping to provide enough visual interest in our respective work to make the connections we all crave.
At the end of the day I found myself with a handful of new pieces that I was pretty content with. I had found old collages and painted book pages. I cracked open some new tubes of alzarin crimson and light green (colors I have admired in paintings by my studio mate). I cut out words from an old copy of my daughter's favorite book, "Ramona the Pest", and mixed them up like domino tiles. I painted and applied textures using mesh, bubble wrap, plastic bottle caps and the flat end of my pencil. The result well...you decide...maybe it's not quite a Georgia O'Keefe but it is a Millie Donovan and it was a lot cheaper to create with all these found objects then to hire a motionless model.