Friday, May 7, 2010

Embracing Passionate Color

Painting reveals my inner state better than any analyst could. Think how much I have saved on therapy over the years by allowing color to signal my interior emotional state and alert me to what is happening in my life.

This is not something that I really notice right away unless I just drown myself in it, but this past year or so it's really been apparent to me. I've been through a black and brown phase when I was so depressed about my mother's condition, I emerged into a blue and green period when the stress and anxiety were lifting and then I found myself in a dark red and orange state when I began to feel much better about life in general. Apparently I'm back to being even lighter and brighter than I thought I was because I can't get enough of pink and red. Wow! The Little Woman and I have been together nearly 25 years so it's not a new love affair, but to judge by my palette, it's spring and I am passionately embracing the whole wide world.

Actually I'm embracing a new method of working in the studio. I have slowly begun using the old books and papers I've been collecting and begun collaging them in various ways with encaustic and other materials. This process began with the rubber and copper I started using a year ago and now it's morphed into books. I've previously shown in this blog the book pieces that will be included in Wax Libris II, the library show that Joanne Mattera has curated for this year's encaustic conference in June. (Note that those pieces were pink and red!) Now here are a few more recent pieces.

Still untitled, 12" x 12", encaustic over paper collage

Bumpy Red Ride, 12" x 12", encaustic and mixed media

The second piece does not include books but has my standard things embedded plus some larger, cruder hunks of wax and a lot of red/pink colors. The pink blur in the center is a color called Opal Rose that is transparent and iridescent - very pretty. The reason that I include this piece in this post is that I thought I might make a diptych from these two.

Here's the diptych. I think the dots bring it together, but we'll see.

And here are the first pieces with book collage I made:

Library I, encaustic over collaged parts of books. I think it's about 32"H x 18"W or something like that. This is still pretty dark.

Library II, encaustic over collage parts of books, same size. You can see the red and pink creeping in there even though there's a lot of blue.

I am getting a kick out of working with these materials because they're so rich all on their own. I've been struggling to discover how I can make them my own, and now I think I'm working my way into it.

This week I also made a few collages on cut off book covers, thinking about the small works show later this month in Fairfield, CT. They were fun to do. Here's one of them.

Untitled in red, pink and black, about 9" x 6" or something like that, encaustic over collage.

It always surprises me how much my emotional state is affected by what happens in the studio. When I have a good day, I'm just exhilarated and when it goes badly or doesn't go at all, I am in despair. It's the life of an artist.


ArtPropelled said...

I relate so well to that last paragraph. A common temperament in artists. And yes I agree, art is the best therapy.
I love your new work!

Kim Hambric said...

I've never thought of color as a barometer of my mental condition. But now that you mention it, I do see a correlation in my artwork.

I'm fascinated with all of your new pieces. Looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Pamela Farrell said...

Hey NN...I really like the new collage work. My fav (so far) is the Untitled in Red Pink Black.

Nice post!

Unknown said...

Beautiful set of shots. I like all of them, but I'm enjoying the pieces that mix text and colour.

Nancy Natale said...

Thank you for your comments, Robyn, Kim, Pam and Annie. How could I go wrong with color and emotion combined? Our own brand of therapy. Thanks for reading!

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

Exciting seeing some of your new work and while I feel strongly about your black/tan work, I love the new color! I completely understand the need for color and how it might relate to how we feel. I have had experiences while dying fabric that the color literally took my breath away. I also strongly relate to your last statement relating to how things go in the studio. It is an interesting phenomena that we think we have last our 'touch' when we have a dip in our creativity...I hate it. Thank you for sharing your personal insights.

Nancy Natale said...

Thanks for your comment, Terry. Color can be very affecting and so can creating itself. Our studio life is a world of its own.

Georgia Gray said...

Such compelling work. I love your colour depth. Have a look at my colours.

Thank you