What makes a gator a gypsy?

teacher, traveler, photographer, political junky, smash and bash artist, grandmimi, mom, canine companion

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mixed Media Mayhem - Documented Life Project -Undercover - Artist as Prospector

Week of February 14 for Documented Life Project posed the art challenge of covering up the good stuff, and for me, that is a real challenge.  I confess to hoarding art supplies.  This need to preserve especially applies to beautiful papers that I have purchased in my travels.  To bite the bullet, I began this journal entry with a piece of paper from Paper Source that depicts a favorite theme... maps... travel... geography.

Now the challenge was to cover this all up.  I first efforts were half-hearted.  Using Distress Ink to shade areas doesn't really count as covering up.  Sticking to my paper's theme, I applied a stencil of city streets.  

I just needed to let go.  I used the colors as my inspiration while going forward to really cover the page. I dug around in my stash for tissue paper in oranges and turquoise and some Gelli printed deli paper to lay out a general composition.

To cover more I used my beloved Gelatos to smear on color here and there.  The texture of the glued tissue paper picked up the colors to give more pattern.

I had met the art challenge of covering up the good stuff but I had not addressed the theme, "Undercover," except in the most abstruse way.  Considering all kinds of possibilities for the focal element I decided to go again to hoarded treasures and came across my collection of laminated leaves and butterflies that I bought from young girls in the garden at the Summer Palace, Beijing, China. This stash had all kinds of meaning hidden beneath...first this was a perfect December day of clear blue skies enabling us to see all the way to Beijing from the peak of Longevity Hill...and second the young girls passed me counterfeit yuan as change which I later innocently tried to use in my local grocery store in Xian resulting in lots of embarrassing attention.   

I used Goodreads to search for quotations that fit my thinking and found “Art is a kind of mining," he said. "The artist a variety of prospector searching for the sparkling silver of meaning in the earth.” 
Jane Urquhart, The Underpainter.  How perfect...The artist as prospector.  To place the phrase on the page I stamped out the words on tissue pattern paper then glued them on with matte medium.