Thursday, March 27, 2008

Connecting with Physical Locations...

Many of you know things have been wild around here the last week or so. They seem to be settling down a bit, however we all know how that goes. Thank you all for the lovely comments on the conversation I had with Barbara Wilson! The interesting thing about doing these conversations is the artist is often reluctant to do them, but they are also curious about the process. But once the conversation is published they relax a little bit. I was thinking about how, as artists, we are often reluctant to give so much of ourselves and place it in the hands of another...and have to face trusting the other will do the right thing. I am happy to tell you, it seems the three people I have had the conversations with so far have come away from the process very pleased and feel they have also learned a lot...I know I do each and every time. Do you find it is difficult to give up control of your own process and make yourself vulnerable to a process?

But this is not what I wished to talk about today. Something has been pulling at my brain lately. I think the work with Andrea on the interview began the trigger in thinking about how her work reflected so much her life in Paris. I feel so drawn to it, because I love that city. Then there was Julianne who also shows so much of her life in New York City and as a musician. And Babs who lives in Oklahoma City can begin to show a great deal of the colors and culture of that state. I can see this, as well, because I also lived in Oklahoma for two years. So okay, what is messing with my head, you ask? How location and experience seems to be one of those important features to draw us to the art we like/love.

I did not reach this on my own, though. So many little things have had an impact on that lately. I will explain, but first let me begin by showing you a painting (which you have probably seen before) I did while I lived in England.
Horizon 3 30 x 40 Mixed Media Deep, Gallery Wrapped Canvas

Many of the paintings I did when we lived in England were very different from the ones I do now. Many of the people who have been watching my art have commented on this. And I am not sure I could come up with some of these...even close...again. But Fiona said to me a day or two ago how she felt particularly drawn to these works I did in England. That in itself is not shocking as Fiona is English and lives in London, right? What you do not know is Fiona also grew up a matter of miles from where I lived in England. A very beautiful part of the country known as The New Forest. Yes, I lived and Fiona grew up in the middle of a National Forest. But don't you think it is interesting that although these are clearly expressionistic abstracts, she felt a stronger draw to them?

But this isn't the end of the story. Do you remember I was quite excited about the texture San was creating and showing at the same time Fiona was showing similar texture? I began to realize San's work is also very much a part of her physical location of Santa Fe. Consider that heavy adobe appearance of her work with the subtle flower of the desert. I love that part of the United States and am particularly pulled to it. Read her current post, too...see the home of her next painting. I think you will also find that interesting. And Fiona's work as it related to her urban life in London.

Horizon 9 24 x 36 Mixed Media Gallery Wrapped Canvas

This is a painting I did just after we returned from England last year. I was missing that island nation a great deal. Someone said the little patch on this one was a suitcase (I hadn't said I was missing England, though). I found it interesting. It is the last of the Horizon paintings I did. I wonder if I will ever do more?

At this point, you know the kind of work I have been doing here. I love this work and am settling into my life here [for however long it lasts :)], but now I am finding it interesting to see what is happening with my painting due to location. And I am looking for links in the works of others, too.

Do you see these links? Do you see the changes in my paintings? What draws you to the paintings of other people? Clearly, for me, it is more than location, but I have found it interesting to make the connections. I suppose this is why we like to paint in different locations, too. Should I break out of my little bedroom studio? Mmm, what do you think?


fiona long said...

This is such an interesting topic Kim and yes, I am particularly drawn to the work you did whilst living in the beautiful New Forest. The interesting thing is that it's not even like the paintings are of the New Forest. They are pretty much abstract and don't even resemble it so maybe it's just a head space thing. I believe it's more than a coincidence though. Having said all that, your horizon series does remind me of the Solent so perhaps that was part of your inspiration? I used to love sailing in The Solent!

Thank you so much for mentioning me and my work again! Yes, I was very much influenced by my surroundings when I did my Urban Flux series. I was sad about leaving the beauty of the New Forest behind to live in London but realised that there is an aesthetic quality to even the most surprisingly dishevelled urban environment. I wanted to highlight these aspects of beauty that surround us wherever we live. If we can recognise them as such then we can see them and then surely this will brighten our day?

Andrea and Kim said...

Fiona, thank you so much for another insightful comment. This is such an interesting topic for me, and I think it is probably because we have moved around so much and had the blessing of being able to travel.

The are right! As you know we were just miles from the Solent and could even see the Isle of Wight from our back garden. I think you are right, there was tremendous inspiration there.

I agree with you there is so much beauty around us in so many environments. I find it fascinating to look at people's art and make a decision about physical location (among other things). And this type of art does so much to make a difference in people's days...viewers and artists.

Thanks Again Fiona!

Anonymous said...

That is so interesting - the comment someone made about the suitcase in Horizon is very revealing huh? Makes me want to look afresh at some of my works and see what is *really* there...

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Cath,

Thank you for your comment is very interesting when you reflect on what is said about some of your work. I am clearly looking at my paintings with new eyes!

Thanks again, Cath...

Unknown said...

Kim, very very interesting post. I will have to ponder this, and will come back tomorrow after reflection. Great post,

Andrea and Kim said...

Good Andrea! These posts are meant for pondering and reflection! I look forward to your lovely comments, always!


~Babs said...

Interesting thoughts here from everyone.
I'm thinking,,,,
I'm not at all aware of location being a factor in my work,,,but I'm sure it's possible. If by chance my MOOD is affected by location,,,,then my choice of colors used would be different.
So yes, I suppose it is!

San said...

I've no doubt, Kim, that place enters our art, even if it's just the place where our mind currently is. Your Horizon 3 feels so serene, what with that big expanse of blue, interrupted ever-so-gently by those drowsy pinks and purples. It does look as though it was painted by someone who feels quite comfortable where she is. And the equally wonderful Horizon 9 is tumultuous, rocked by longing.

How nice of you to link to my post about place! We're having fun, aren't we?

Andrea and Kim said...

Babs! I can see the location in some of your work. I think of the colors mostly in your work! You have some great hues out your way to work with...think of the lake painting...and all that depth!

Great Stuff!

Thanks Babs!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi San! You always give me new ways of seeing my own art! I had such a grand time on that island to be sure...and the colors there seemed to pure to me! I think Fiona is was the Solent (I didn't know what that meant when we moved is the water between two islands. In my case it was England and the Isle of Wight).

We are having the best time here, you are right! I talked about your Blossom painting earlier in the week...

Thanks San!

Unknown said...

Came back to think some more about this. Kim, I have always painted big, I love big canvases and in Germany, long time ago before I came to France, I had so much space I didn't know what to do with it and painted big. That was fun and liberating. Then when moving to France, I still painted rather big canvases, but once I moved to Paris, I had to squeeze in tiny space. When I was in artschool, we had space there, so that was good. We did big textiles and paintings, and lifesize nude studies. I loved it. Now I have a tiny bedroom studio, a very big beautiful table in it. And I rediscover watercolour in relatively little size, and appreciate very much. I can show my whole Parisian World in little watercolours, that is what this situation teached me:)
Thanks so much, Kim, for making us ponder about our work,

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Andrea for returning to share here. That is very thoughtful, indeed!

So your physical location dictates your art quite a bit! I need to learn that lesson better. Of course I can see so much of your small space reflected in your current also (to me) expresses Paris so well. I think of the colors, the clarity (thinking glass, water, etc.) and the whimsy!

This is an interesting subject for me.

As always, Andrea, your comments are so thoughtful!

Thank You!