First up is an old piece that has been hanging in my studio ever since i moved to the new apartment, so some of you will recognize it (even with the terrible yellowish lighting in this pic):
|entropy, mixed media|
A little larger than 9X11, this was originally started as a birthday card for fTM Rob. I wanted to do something metallic and monochromatic that relied completely on texture for visual interest. A lot of times when i am working on a project i will make a masterboard (larger collage or assemblage that is then cut down and used in pieces) so i started the paper layering much larger than the finished card.
I cut and punched and layered more and more pieces of cardstock to build up the background; everything was different colors and looked a fright, but it didn't matter because then i covered the whole thing with silver acrylic paint.
After the paint dried i was kind of in love with the way the layers took the paint differently and i realized that i couldn't cut it apart.
Rob ended up getting something else on his birthday card.
Little by little i would add more texture, more variations of silver using found objects in my old studio (raise your hand if you remember the blue room? anybody miss it as much as me?):
washers, punchees, gears, embossed paper, a watchband connector and some diamond glaze squiggles;
mirrors, the wrong sides of gems, the letter Q cause no one ever uses poor little Q (plus i like that it is a letter with a tail like a puppy), various sizes of holes, more textural squiggles and a painted imagine, that i'm not sure why i picked, it just felt right.
Like most of my projects, it got done in fits and starts. I'd add things and remove things until the balance felt right, until it felt done. Even when i was sure that nothing needed to be done to the assemblage i set it aside for a few months while i contemplated how to frame it. For me, how a piece is displayed and hung is the final step, the completion. In my head i knew what i wanted, but i wasn't sure that it existed (as most things in my head don't).
Finally i decided to find or build a naked wood frame so that i could make it be exactly what i envisioned.
btw, that thin strip of metal at the top used to be one of those wedding ring favors]
Finally, it was done.
Well, almost done.
It needed to be signed and named.
Sometimes i have a name in mind when i am working, but more often than not i can't name something until i see it completed in reality instead of in my head.
I looked and looked and looked at it and the sections of chaos surrounded by sections of order with sections of virtual blankness made me think of the word "entropy". The Second Law of Thermodynamics basically has to do with usable energy being converted into unusable energy over time, but it is often described in popular terms as an increase in randomness or that it takes more energy to create order than disorder. My genetics professor described it as meaning the universe is going to hell in a hand basket, which is oversimplified almost to the point of inaccuracy, but it has always stuck with me.
It is a piece that i'm not sure i could ever sell (though if you wanted to buy it, i'd entertain offers - obscenely high offers, that it) because i really do like having it hang over my paper racks; a constant reminder of how much energy one must invest to make sense from chaos.
Probably my favorite thing about entropy, now that it is over 5 years old and i have taken it down, cleaned it and hung it in a show is that you can just barely start to see some of the edges of the layers curling a wee bit, exposing the true color of the paper underneath:
|entropy at work within its namesake|