Friday, April 2, 2010

Emergence: Silencing the Stigmas

The Big Sunflower River running by my house.

The river rises and falls in twists and turns. The river decided to take three of my large trees and huge chunks of my bank when it fell this time. I now have a much more open vista but a mournful feeling for my trees which are languishing and bobbing in the murky deep water off the bank, now a new home to the water dwellers. It is the unknown power of the water and the unpredictable way it marks its course over the earth that makes me fearful. I can only watch and wonder and hope it is abated for now.

In the studio,the paint flows. I decided long ago, much like the river, to never be stagnant in my art. I like to work in watercolor and goauche for awhile and then move to oil and acrylic, I have now added to the mix; working in encasutics (beeswax, damar resin and oil). I believe this keeps me current and on my toes, honing my abilities to work in many mediums. The use of different mediums and surfaces feeds the need I have for finding myriads of ways of creating texture in my work. I can remember years ago at one of the first workshops I ever attended, Alex Powers, it was then he told me that I should find what intrigues me in my art and follow that muse. I did not have to think long about it at all, as it has and always will be texture. In watercolor I use a visual texture made by manipulating the paint to give the appearance of texture, while in oil, acrylic and encaustic it is a physical surface texture achieved with each of these mediums. I have found that I have no preference as long as it reads as texture and it is interesting. My love of textures has always been there as I have always loved antiques and the patinas that have given them their beauty from age and I find a comfort in these things. Perhaps the comfort is from the knowledge of time and history or maybe just the mystery of texture, the what caused it the how was it made, the how did it survive this long, it is limitless if you think about it. My painting in this blog uses visual texture.

Emergence: Silencing the Stigma by
watercolor on paper

Step one
Thought process:
In my latest painting titled Emergence: Silencing the Stigma, I am working through the coming of age and the living through and with the whole little fruit incidence in the Bible and the underlying feeling that women are still stigmatized in the world, and perhaps the reason is deeply rooted in our history. Why do women earn less than men? Why is gender given so much importance? Simply put, I believe deeply that gender should have no bearing on a person's worth. It is the soul of a human that transcends and gives meaning to every human and we are all created equally and here for a purpose.

Step Two
How do I put this into a painting?
I break it down into the feelings I have about this issue, simply put I feel like society has placed boundaries in the form of barriers that we must push against until we break them down. So I began this piece with my figure struggling and pushing the walls or boundaries. I painted the stigmas of the serpent and the female forms with apples on their heads as targets under the water , to give the thought that perhaps we are emerging from this pattern one day. I purposefully made one boundary line as barbed wire loosely referencing Christ's crown of thorns,and on the other side are the pearls of wisdom from God,the hope that I believe we all strive for in life.

Step Three
Choosing the color palette and shape of the paper.

I chose square as the shape of my paper as it has a calming feel to it, this struggle is not fast and furious it is slow and steady sure. In this case I chose a cool palette with soft hues. The only warmth in the piece is in the main figure, to give a greater presence to the figure and to secure it as a focal point. I also placed the lightest light around my figure shape to bring attention to it. The dark bottom of the painting is to signify deep water and deep thoughts and emotions. This dark shape grounds the lighter softer tones in the painting. The bars that the snake is wrapped around serve to tie the light with the darker hues of the painting. I made the waterline as two different levels on the figure to keep some interest in shapes and their sizes.

Step Four
Am I finished?...
I think I will move on from this painting but this subject will be revisited again, perhaps in a different medium. Until then I hope everyone has a great month and enjoys the wonders of Spring! Have a blessed Easter!

Cathy Hegman


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 f 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.


CMC said...

Brava...wonderful post. My thoughts entirely about being blind to gender, color etc.

And wonderful work again as I always know it will be when I see your work.

Cathy Hegman said...

Thank you Cheryl!

Gene said...

Loved it baby!!! See you Sunday!!!

Cathy Hegman said...

Thank you Momma! I will be there with bells on!