Sunday, November 30, 2008

Autumn #1 and #2

“Autumn #1” and “Autumn #2” are finished! I have been working on them in tandem since the end of September. I only stopped to make a dozen or so sketches and a handful of smaller crayon & acrylic monotypes during the process. These are a larger paintings than I typically make, measuring 24 x 30” each, and are a return to my mixed media/collage method, deeply layered in gold and bronze acrylic with paper and canvas collage- very tactile and colorful. I gravitate to this very process-oriented fashion of painting, slowly building a thick stratum of texture and color- though I have explored a variety of mixed media, I will never be done with the endless possibilities.

While there wasn’t anything particularly allegorical or meaningful intended in their creation, a couple people were intrigued by the fact that the birds were all flying downward, diving. As far as my conscious & present mind can offer/explain, this means nothing. For some reason, and probably the obvious reason, all my body of work is subject to analytical scrutiny- the truth is that I was making a couple paintings based on my love of design, color & materials.
Birds as an emblem or icon go way back in history, denoting a source of food, harbinger of death or sorrow, symbol of freedom, or representation of a god. Winged creatures seem magical to us earthbound terrestrials- it is of little wonder why we tie so much importance to them, such primal amazement to their ability to fly! And getting into Superman, Icarus, Henri Matisse, or the delicious turkey I ate this past Thanksgiving holiday is hardly worth it- you get the idea. I’m likely representing much less real meaning than a Paleolithic cave painter. Uggg!

CM Shaw
Nov. 30th, 2008

“Autumn #1” and “Autumn #2” will be featured at Deck The Walls at West County Center in the month of December!
Deck The Walls
119 West County Center
Des Peres, MO 63131

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Au fond il n’y a que Matisse

My friend showed me a new trick the other day, one she was almost surprised I hadn’t tried- she taught me how to make a simple monotype by drawing in crayon on a piece of sandpaper, covering the drawing with paper and ironing the back of the paper which melts the wax onto the paper, leaving the transferred image. What fun!

I ran home a did six of them, eager to escape the two nearly finished larger works on canvas I’d been toiling away at for over a month. I have the attention span of a flea, and I’ve needed a distraction from my larger projects- something new to play with on a smaller scale, something I could finish in one or two sessions. Of course, I couldn’t resist painting atop the monotype.
The bird theme dominating my larger canvases found it’s way into these small paintings, a symbol or letter in my own language that has been popping up in my work since old school days- as the great master Picasso often said, “Au fond il n’y a que Matisse” (All things considered, there is only Matisse). What better said?