I’ve always been in love with smooth curving lines. I have a definite preference for lines that appear to bend and flow naturally or organically. This theme has been showing up in my work for ages. Even when I was young I used to draw undulating vines along the edges of the letters I wrote. My copy of The Lord of the Rings was illustrated with a line drawing of the trees carved in an elven-made door. Being smitten with all things Elvish, my highest goal was to imitate the grace and elegance of those curves in my borders.
One of my earliest collages was all about curves and swirls and color. I still have an image of that collage although the original no longer exists. When I became more serious about creating art, I took all my earlier pieces that were created with acid-laden materials and cut them up for use in the classroom. Some of them I didn’t even keep photos of, but this one survives today as a fabric design on Spoonflower (and also a lovely scarf in my wardrobe that I made from that design printed on silk).
A few years later, I again used the idea of spirals in a collage that I created for a local show in Middletown Township that was dedicated to Art of the Human Spirit. Here, in addition to the theme of curves and spirals, I played with ways of achieving translucence or transparency transparency using opaque papers in addition to using flowing and swirling curves.
The title of this collage when it was first exhibited was “The Joy of Discovery” which became shortened to just “Discovery.” Privately, however, I’d begun to think of it as “Ode to Joy.” Many of my works — collage and painting alike — start out without any title in mind. A sort of working title often develops, but only if I have occasion to talk about the piece before it’s finished. Usually I have to scrabble for a title when it’s time to enter a show, and often end up with a completely different one as my own response to the work changes over time. “Discovery” was a favorite among the volunteers at the Centre for the Arts (CFA) until it was sold this fall to Tom Black of Pittsburgh.
Most recently, all three of my three entries that were donated to the 4″ x 6″ CFA fundraiser exhibit also took up the theme of curves, each in a different way. With only 24 square inches to work in, obviously I wasn’t able to develop the theme very far in any of them. The project I’m working on now, which is the next thing I’ll write about, will show where I’m taking this next. Plus, I have an idea for a piece that I’ve been working up to for a long time — “Discovery” was actually a study for it — that will be all curves.