This August 3rd morning I was scheduled to work solo at the Village Gallery from 10 to 2, which really means 9:45 to 2:05, since the cash register must be counted before opening the doors, and the baton must be passed to the relief before leaving. But it was a quietish day and I had plenty of time to sketch–and we artists are encouraged to practice our art during our shifts, busy-ness permitting. Consequently, by the time I left the gallery, I had the above image, which hadn’t even been a twinkle in my eye when I’d arrived.
First there was doodling, keeping the “Op Art” movement of about half a century ago in the back of my mind, but also bacterial or fungal growth. I used loopy/circular shapes and outlined the bejabers out of them, inside and out. By 11 AM the graphite “fungus” had spread throughout the scratch paper I was putting it on.
I then employed the shop copier to make a copy, leaving room to put the original in the blank extra space to make a copy of the copy and the original, upside down relative to the copy. This is a bit of a nod to Andy Warhol and his instant-motif image multiplicities.
The image needed a lot of embellishment to make it interesting. It also lacked soul; it had no more soul than wallpaper. So I hearkened back to my coloring-book days and filed in some of the whorls, first with highlighter (which smudged a little, and all to the good: I wanted to avoid the sterility of perfect fill-in) and then with mechanical pencil.
I still had “Op Art” in the back of my head, and, being stuck in the 60′s, it also occurred to me that with a snazzy bit of lettering, the image had poster possibilities. What to call it? Well, when I was doing the fill-in I imagined elements in the two panels being compelled toward each other–and the color choice and selectivity of the fill-in thus reflects a sort of yearning that almost everything that lives has in it. So “Yearning” would be a good title, and–bonus–by following the same drawing rules I’d (rather arbitrarily) decided on when I started, I could pull out “ye” (you) and “i” for a bit of found-art spice. I did the same thing with signature and date, yellowing “W ow” (Wow) and “Au” (chemical symbol for Gold).
Is it Art? Does it Work?