Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kandinsky ATC #1

Kandinsky ATC 1/4 by Sandra Martin, Creative Currents

“Jazz is the music of the body. The breath comes through brass. It is the body’s breath, and the strings’ wails and moans are echoes of the body’s music. It is the body’s vibrations which ripple from the fingers. And the mystery of the withheld theme, known to jazz musicians alone, is like the mystery of our secret life. We give to others only peripheral improvisations.” 
― Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5: 1947-1955

This is the first of a series I created for an ATC swap last month, which you can see here. One requirement was to use a resist technique. The bottom layer was created with rubber cement, a spiral dot stencil, and acrylic paints thinned to a watercolor wash.

I turned on the jazz on Pandora and began playing with shapes, color, and recording my emotions. I remember towards the end of the creation of this piece, I saw how much the abstract shapes reminded me of a city, particularly New York City. There seems to be a great deal of traffic, blinking lights, and buildings compressed in this busy abstract landscape. I even see a river and lines which remind me of bridges.

Looking at it with fresh eyes today, I also see anatomy as well. This often happens in my abstract work. It's as if the inner workings of the body are put on display. I see a windpipe here, which also resembles a city street. It runs at a diagonal. There is a funny purple and red shape near the top right which looks like puckered lips. The lips are releasing little red shapes which I see now as music notes! This sound is going forth over the city skyline below.

It sometimes feels odd explaining my abstract pieces. But this is truly how I see my work. I don't always have to be conscious of what I am painting or drawing. But these forms always carry meaning and there's usually a story.

What do you see happening in this piece? Feel free to share you thoughts below.

Sandra Lee