Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Finding beauty in Barbed Wire and Sunshine...

The Mississippi Delta monsoons have stopped for a bit lately, but I keep an eye to the sky in fear of rain clouds. Everyone is in clean up mode trying to gather what remains of the crops out in the fields. The mood is pensive for sure and will remain so until the crops are in and the losses are assessed.
In the studio life goes on rain or shine, being a studio painter has its advantages. I want to get back to my watercolors but for some reason I am still working in oils, acrylics and encaustics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encaustic_painting). I will eventually get back to the watercolors as I have two drawings ready to expand upon in watercolor. I even have planned the palette I will use, just cannot leave the work I am on right now. I often feel there are not enough hours or days in my life.

My muse has been the idea of boundaries and fences, in particular barbed wire fences. Why do we create boundaries with fences? I believe it is our human attempt to control our world. I think that in the process we forget that by fencing some out we fence ourselves in, it is a conundrum for sure. I also began to toy with the idea of mental barbed wire, the kind we create in our minds when we are so wrapped up on what we think is right that we alienate and hurt others, with barbs of words or actions. I find it interesting to look at the old rusted barbed wire that is around the pastures in the country. It is time worn and loaded with pieces of
animal,human, and inhuman remains that were somehow trapped and snared by it's barbs. It leaves me to wonder were they trying to get in or get out? I have found my use of barbed wire in my paintings lately has given them an edge and mystique that is quite intriguing.

Peace Talks
acrylic on canvas
36 x36
Cathy Hegman

The barbed wire themed piece that I will post is one that I painted with acrylic on canvas. My thought was of the world today and the barriers we all face. I would like to interject my thoughts at this point but I do not mean to say this is the only way to think about this piece of art. I used barbed wire to connect the symbol of peace, the white dove, with the three lips, the symbols of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The connecting wire is a metaphor of life. I feel this is how life is for me and might possibly seem to everyone. We cannot get peace without the guidance from above and we leave bits of ourselves on the barbs of life along the way, but in the end we are connected and at peace. It is an abstracted way of looking at life but I feel the older I get the more abstract and less predictable life seems for me.
You will notice that from the design and art standpoint in my painting, that I am using a non objective abstract background but integrating somewhat representational and symbolic elements.I often feel it gets a bit literal, but I still like the way it works on multiple levels, instead of leaving everything to the imagination, I am giving a bit more to the viewer.
Some of my art friends and I meet on the first Wednesday of every month to drink coffee and discuss what we are painting or working on, during our meeting last month Denise Dengler commented that she was once taught that you do not mix abstraction with realism. I think this may be what spurned this painting on for me, as I think that may be a valid point for some artists but I prefer to mix abstract with representational or symbolic and make them work as one.

I have always thought of the art of painting as a wild animal that is never tamed, but one that simply and elusively convinces the artist that they have control when a painting works by giving them the euphoria of completion of a painting and then the next time the brush is picked up, it is out of the cage again and the chase is on. This is why we just cannot stop painting!
I would like to reiterate that on this blog, I am giving my personal point of view and not that of anyone else, nor do I want to push my view on anyone. I would also like to say that the reason I am writing this blog is because every time a see a piece of art that I love, my first thought is not how did they paint it, but rather what were they thinking when they conceived and painted it. The thought process and the road to the finished piece to me is the heart of each painting.

I hope everyone has a great November and enjoys family and friends and remembers to be thankful for all that they enjoy! Thank you again for taking the time to read my blog!

Take care and have a great month!

Cathy Hegman
email: hegmanart@aol.com

All artwork and text included in this blog is copyright protected by Cathy Hegman and should not be reproduced in any form or fashion or used without the written permission of Cathy Hegman. All text and artwork included in this blog are solely the thoughts and original art of the artist, Cathy Hegman, unless otherwise noted, and are meant only to be guidelines and thoughts for others to read.


remistuff.blogspot.com said...

I gotta tell ya, you are brilliant with words and with a brush. Who makes rules about abstract and realism? I have heard that rule before, and wondered.

Cathy Hegman said...

Thanks a bunch Susan! I will ask Denise when I see her again...she mentioned someone she had a workshop from though! Figures! I am not sure Denise believed it either! LOL

CMC said...

A long time ago I heard that mentioned as well. But, I didn't really pay any attention to it since I had been doing it anyway. I think it's great..as it lures in people who think they only like realism since they can find something to identify with immediately...and then later on appreciate that it's not a 'picture' of something but a comment on what the artist felt and did that day or days when it was painted. Somehow I think that is more "real' than pure realism.
Love this painting...and your words about what you were thinking.