Tina’s ReVision 119 In Progress with Pastels

laura gaffke, Vision 119
laura gaffke, Vision 119

Dear Laura,

I am enjoying your pictures of snow.  I do miss the sculptural quality to how it falls on tree branches, land, and even cars. It is like a layer of material that conceals the details of an object and reveals the larger shapes in their organic forms.  The common smooth edges and rounded shapes suggest the common threads between the things we see every day.  I particularly like the close up- the more abstract photos of the snow blown by the wind in your earlier post.

These patterns are what are driving me forward for this ReVision.  I have been thinking about pattern.  In my work I am often creating with the branching pattern.  I am continually fascinated by it’s persistence in the sand as the tide goes out, clouds in the sky, paths of rivers, lightening, and roots.  I am sure I have talked about this here on the blog before, but it is getting at one of my “essential questions” in my work.  What does that branching pattern mean?  Is it simply that this pattern in nature is playing out the idea that energy takes the path of least resistance? It’s a question I plan to investigate as I move forward with new artwork this year. I am not so much interested in the “why” as a scientist might be, more so in the “how” and if it is tugging at a unifying principle.

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Today in my studio as I was thinking about this, I was practicing work with my Pan Pastels. While these drawings are not the ReVision, it is the work that is leading up to the ReVision that has yet to begin.  Work informs work.  For me, I can’t just show up and think I will have a solution to the questions in my head, which I know you understand Laura.   I wish it worked like that!  I would get a lot more done for sure.

Instead I pulled out this old pencil drawing I started about a year ago and decided to crush it with the pastels.  I don’t feel attached to the drawing so if I make it a mess, it’s no loss.

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I created that bird stencil with transparency paper and use the pasels and kneaded erasers to layer the imagery (subtracting and adding spontaneously).  Originally the drawing was about all the trees being cut down in my neighborhood for new houses and the loss of habitat for all the creatures living there.  That thought is still there but I have moved on to the bigger idea of nature and our place within it.

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While this might seem random to my ReVision response to your image at the top of this post, it really isn’t.  Like I said, work informs work.

All of my work is intending to start a dialogue about the illusion of where nature ends and we begin.  The bench facing the water is an excellent metaphor.  A solitary walker on the path stops to listen and observe nature on that bench. It is a purposeful act to sit.  Why do we sit? What do we see and learn by sitting in nature?

Not sure where this goes from here, but gives you an insight into my thinking so far.

I will post another update soon for this work.  Thanks for reading!

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