A Situation, 36"x48"x2", acrylic, Dura-Lar on Cradled Panel, 2012 copyright Mary Zeran, Private Collection, Cedar Rapids, Ia
Time Travel is NOT an Accurate Science
Let's face it, we are never the same person from one minute to the next. Our bodies change, cells replicate, emotions fluctuate, and the database that is our brain stores every little thing as information for the future.
The Questions are
Being and an Artist
Is to understand that you are one part historian, one part mad scientist, one part empath, and one part adventurer.
With this commission I needed to create a companion piece for one I'd done several years ago. For those of you who have been following my work, it shifted from organic to geometric. My colors are a lot bolder, and more saturated.
The first thing I did was look at a photo of the original piece. I wanted to decipher what colors I used. I managed to find some scraps of the orange, red, and yellow, but I couldn't figure out the blue. Visiting the original work gave a closer look. This wasn't straight out of the tube, but a spontaneous mix of two blues, some white, and black. Mixing this blue was going to be tricky.
Recreating the Mood of the Brushstrokes
What was the inspiration? Water, clouds, and the sense of floating are always HUGE. Old journals mentioned driving through the landscape, the sensation of undulation. Several tries later, the brushstrokes began to appear. The key was to not think. Tap into the spontaneous gesture. Become one with the brush. It was that Zen thing of letting go.
It Pays to Keep Notes
I keep journals that include; color recipes, sample brushstrokes, and what I've thinking about. It seems like a waste of time but has becomes an invaluable archive.
I've started looking at time travel as a chance...to have a second chance at composition, an opportunity to challenge my eye for color mixing....but most important, a chance to tap into that Zen thing. Letting go is such a wonderful feeling!
Assemblages of History, 30"x15"x2", acrylic, Dura-Lar on cradled panel, 2016 copyright Mary Zeran, Private Collection, Cedar Rapids, Ia
To see more from the archives, go to this link. Photo credits: Mark A. Tade, and Suzy McGrane-Hop of Gilded Pear Gallery, Ceramic piece on mantle by John Beckleman, Yellow paper piece by Elizabeth Rhodes Read
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