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Uncharted territory

I am starting to work in a way that I never have before and the development is a bit scary. In some cases, I am not even sure if the message will be clear. I am also having to dust off old skills to make the  photographs work, or at least convey something other than “the artist hasn’t got a clue.”

The DAPL crisis is one that I am exploring. The fact that water is less important than fracked oil is a point that our country should seriously consider, since without water, we don’t live. And, then, the point of oil would be what? So, I am referring to DAPL and pipelines in general, as a crisis.

The evacuation of the largest camp of protesters was sad. After several months of standing their ground at Standing Rock, they were forced to leave. They burnt down what was left of  the camp as a symbol of protest.

Working with Barbies and other 11″ dolls leads to imagery issues. The dolls have makeup on, for example. But, as I develop this final image and others, I hope that the message will be strong enough to supersede that.

Here’s the stage of development that I am at. The teepee needs to be stiffened. And, the story will be developed from here, as well.

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“Transparent Passage”

“The Shadows of the Everyday” has a sister piece which was started a few days earlier. “Transparent Passage” utilizes a similar list of materials but is less regimented and .linear in composition.

homage-to-the-surrealists

“The Shadows of the Everyday”

For those who follow my blog: I mentioned a strong desire to get a DSLR but also said that I should allow my work with the smaller point-and-shoots that I own to pay for that purchase. I bought a new Nikon yesterday without a single sale to go toward it. I think that the purchase will pay for itself.

In the meantime, I have been working on a few other shows. An annual non-juried show that I consistently do is called Art PM, and the only requirement is that the work presented must be done in its entirety in the month of February prior to the show.

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“The Shadows of the Everyday”, completed start to finish today, MM including handmade paper, wire screen, nylon fabric, foam sheeting, leather and graphite on canvas, 22″ x 28″.

I am forcing simplicity again, like I did with the “Mesh” photographs. The textures are very dominant in this piece because of the lack of color. The graphite on the canvas demands the attention it gets not because it’s hand-applied but it accentuates the texture of the canvas.

This piece is another of the “Real” series as it deals very much with my health. There will be reminders in the everyday as I pick up my life after chemo. invisible-storm

“Invisible Storm” is one of the earlier pieces with the almost non-chromatic color palette which relies heavily also on texture. As a much smaller piece, it is more intimate. Since it describes the beginning of my cancer, it is also rougher, grittier in the textures.

The original piece planned for Art PM isn’t finished, and will require some reworking. It did present some fun surfaces to experiment with, with the new camera.

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This detail has been digitally enhanced beyond recognition, but this shot is of another MM piece that utilizes many of the same materials as “The Shadows of the Everyday.”

 

 

 

Back to the working grind

What a year so far! The point now is to get my “program” back to normal. There are really only a few days out of the chemo cycle that are difficult and those are the days that the steroids have interrupted my sleep rhythm. I had one of those today, and called out “sick.” I slept until around 11 AM to normalize.

So, I am trying to balance the art/work life and in that, trying to develop a signature work. I allowed myself lots of experimentation over the last four months, including MM, watercolor portraiture and surreal photography.

The photography almost brought me to the point of purchasing a new camera today. Rather than buying an expensive new unit with income tax return money, I want to make the little cameras pay for the new big sister. I purchased a little devise to help transfer my slides onto disc, however, which will help integrate the film work that I did 20+ years ago with what I do now. Oh my, that will be a fun snowy Sunday project!!

The “Mesh” series wasn’t accepted to the show they were intended for but I am framing several of them for upcoming solos. Here are a few examples:

I considered stopping at the Goodwill also today to start shopping for random dolls to include in this series. I might also start to build “rooms” like miniature set-ups (though surreal), for those dolls. But, as I am stretching my creative outlets, I am also trying to get back into a “groove” where everything starts working together again.

 

“Insurance”

So little of being sick has to do with the body. The mind can take the healthy and make a real mess. Or, more commonly, it can take weak and make it weaker-and that’s what I am fighting.

I was seemingly getting along with my new chemo until last Friday. The HR department of the company I work for called to tell me that my short-term disability would be ending today. I thought I had until February 5. Then, the spiral started. By Friday night, I was having serious gastro-intestinal issues which I am still having, though not to the degree that I did on Friday night or Sunday morning.

I called my doctor today. I will be getting mid-treatment blood work and hydration tomorrow. The insurance has also been straightened out.

insurance

“Insurance”, 2017. Mixed media on canvas. 10″ x 10″ (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst

Liberation

I never thought I would ever say that not knowing exactly where I want my art to go would be liberating. And, it isn’t really. But, this process of finding it is. I have work ready for the next shows, so I am covered until May. And, my one-person in May is one that I could probably do a retro. Cross my fingers on that.

So, the exercises and questions continue. What’s fun about these periods is I visit mediums I don’t usually. Today was all about markers and pencil.

"Jade in marker", 2013-another exercise. Marker on paper.

“Jade in marker”, 2013-another exercise. Marker on paper.

"Scissors in marker" 2013

“Scissors in marker” 2013

"Sexy Kleenex" pencil, 2013.

“Sexy Kleenex” pencil, 2013.