Seems that in my current financial situation, I have sadly fallen into the tragic stereo type of the artist…straight-up broke, eatin dry bread sandwiches and one cent short of a penny but oh so prolific in my studio work and fully invested in the business of my art, luckily for me inspiration is always free!
The other day as I was “cleaning up” my studio that tragically is beginning to look like a cross between Francis Bacon’s studio and an episode of Hoarders. In this clean-up I found a file of old essays that I wrote back in 2007 while I was stuck in my 4th floor walk-up with a broken foot, broken by the way, 5 hours before my flight from India back to Brooklyn. Anywhoo, I found these two paragraphs from my 2007 essay entitled The Journey that made me laugh and I though it an interesting window into the loopy mind of the artist, well into the loopy mind of me, and it went like this.
“ The older I get, the more crazy, twisted, self loathing, and angry I become.
What a freakin head case! I always said that I would never have a painter as a boyfriend because male painters unlike we female painters are completely unhinged. Umhmm.
Truth is, the boys ain’t no different from the girls. We are all crazy-assed,
motha-@!cking pigment pushers with more emotion than sense. We live wide open, feeling every dang thing from the sound of a dew drop or a gun shot to the tsunami happening 10 years from now on the other side of the earth.
At different moments we think that we are both Christ and anti-Christ,
that we are beyond redemption and think that nothing can save us but the process. Trifling! As my friend R always says "u a pain in yo own ass". True...so true. We are all Unhinged! Both atheist and devout believer we are always looking for some form of catharsis, an epiphany or some form of redemption. Really, who can keep up with all that? No one wants to ride on this long assed crazy-train. Well some do, you masochists know who you are, bless your sweet hearts. So for all of you art-lovers out there, I’ve been thinking of starting a dating web site for artists, I’de call it Creative People Meet and my profile page would read something like this: Extremely talented, self employed slightly unhinged 40 something Jamaican artist with a broke foot, and broke with one cent short of a penny, prone to bouts of uncontrolled laughter and sarcasm, battling nicotine addiction, and who hasn’t had a good lay in over a decade, looking for
the perfect man ~ painters need not apply.”
I am interested to know how your profile page would read on my new (make-believe) artist dating web site tentatively called
Creative People Meet, feel free to post them in the comments section.
Remember folks, laughter is the answer, and laughter is sweet!!
Peace ya’ll! P
Making paper from recycled materials, then making sculptures that serve as molds to (relief) sculpt the paper that I just made from recycled material. Yet another cycle found in the creative process that brings me Rare Joy! The images from my studio that you see below illustrate some of this process and It is... all about the process which in and of itself creates imagery that inspires and pushes me further. A box of natural elements, shells, stones, cinnamon sticks, Buddha heads.
The paper making screens that I made from recycled items in my studio, made em cause I couldn't afford to buy them and
they are working well...Just poured the pulp into the screen and need the Buddha heads to float them in the water vat....perfect boiancy, everything comes together. After using my printing plates to "relief" the paper for a while I decided that it was time to sculpt some images to use as relief molds for the paper moving forward. Images to sculpt have been floating around in my head for a while so the first one to come out is entitled "A Face" the features are strong, lips full, high cheekbones, thick/wooley hair ...funny it looks just like a beautiful Jamaican. To create a face from memory seems somehow easier when working with clay from the river bed, always a discovery to see what face is shining out at you when it is complete, the clay is dry and the rest of the world comes back into focus...Whats next to sculpt? Perhaps a figure, man ,woman, a plant, a self portrait? Possibilities endless.
Now that you have seen some of the tools that I am using in studio, onward to share with you some new works that I created with em' ~ Hand made hand molded paper with acrylic, wood, sand and mixed media. The working title is PaperWorks By Hand, this series has many incarnations, some are illustrated in the selection of photos below, 2D relief, mixed media works, 3d mixed media, suspended sculptural works and relief stationary. Really still workin it all out and allowing myself pure moments of exploration..on a complete discovery here and wanting to make even bigger paper for even bigger sculptural installations...I just caint stop. I encourage you to allow yourself Rare Joy by indulging in as many pure moments of exploration as possible.
And now, time to share the paintings in progress, these larger works are a continuation of the Constructed~Deconstructed series that can be viewed on the Works 2012 page on my wedsite .These paintings are years in the making and are created with acrylic and mixed media on canvas, collaged with paintings, drawings, text ,fabric etc.. all re-appropriated from segments of my older paintings, drawings, prints, text; artifacts from my creative life which is my whole life I guess.. incorporating the new hand made paper and the new mono and intaglio prints into these paintings is the next layer to be added.. one or more smaller installations have to be incorporated somewhere in here as well, taking my time. Making these works is sorta like growing plants, they need the correct balance of light, dark, air, time and sustenance to grow, perhaps I can complete one of these in the next decade or so...sigh. Because my art speaks in pictures, and the process holds such relevance, metaphors are inevitable so here's one...The act of constructing new images by deconstructing old images seems a sage act somehow, like documenting a catharsis.
Doctor Bird and the Hibiscus Mixed media mono prints series ©Pamella Allen 2012
Looks like its time to edit some prints, these mixed media mono prints on rice paper all derive from a lino-cut that I recently adjusted.
The original lino-cut was a Hibiscus plant, the national flower of my homeland Jamaica. The 50th year of independence just passed, and it made me think (as I often do) of my parents who grew up in an Jamaican colony controlled by the British Monarchy, what that must have been like, and how brave they were to come here to the US over 40 years ago to begin a new life for us. With thoughts of the strength and beauty of my people and our striving to survive in freedom, I felt compelled to create an image of the Doctor Bird, a beautiful hummingbird and Jamaica's national bird. I added to the Hibiscus a sketch of the Doctor Bird in flight as it was just about to go into the heart of the flower to drink its precious nectar, carved it into the lino and got to printing, needless to say I went a bit overboard with the printing and now have quite a bit of editing and framing to do but hey....that's showbiz...
For me, the image of the Doctor Bird and the Hibiscus represent Beauty, Strength, Balance, Fragility, Flight and Freedom.
Freedom & Flight...Yea...On that lovely note, I bid you farewell for now. Thanks for hangin here for a bit and checking out whats happening in my studio. Enjoy the Big Beautiful Blue Moon...Namaste P