Sunday, September 12, 2010

Northern Lights - Mixed Media Collage - 8 x 10

I think half the fun of creating a new piece of artwork is coming up with the title. I love naming my artwork and there is not one piece that I've ever created entitled "Untitled." It's against my religion.

Coming up with a name for this collage was an interesting process. At first I was focused on the music. The music is from Bach's Two-Part Inventions which I played as a young girl. You can even see my piano teacher's handwriting in the lower left corner of the piece. She had listed four scales that she wanted me to practice in conjunction with the Invention. My piano teacher's handwriting was very distinct and old fashioned. She always wrote in pencil and I don't think she ever threw a pencil away. She had a whole collection of stubby but sharply pointed pencils with dime store erasers on the ends of them.  And it was she who first piqued my interest in art; she was particularly fond of the Impressionists and she related their paintings to the music of their time and vice versa. Before she passed away, she had taught four generations of my family how to play the piano.

But moving on... I obviously discarded the idea of using the music theme as the inspiration for the name of the piece. I was drawn to the colors in the French curve pieces and realized they reminded me of another painting that I had seen. The colors of my piece are a higher chroma version of the colors in a painting that was created by my husband's grandmother of the Aurora Borealis.  I never met Bob's grandmother (Grandma Essie) but it was obvious to me that she was beloved by all her offspring. And everyone owned at least one painting of hers to remember her by and it makes me wonder about my own immortality through my paintings. Anyway, Essie Shaw Cavanagh lived all her life in Canada and was quite familiar with the Aurora Borealis and I like the way the colors in my piece echo that of hers. Then I realized something else, another of the papers used in this piece is part of a map of Canada! What could be more fitting? So, that's how this piece got its name.

I must wistfully admit that I have never seen the Northern Lights in person, but they are on my bucket list! :D


Anonymous said...

While the piece, as usual is stunning, I especially enjoyed hearing the thought process that went into it. Played Bach Two Part Inventions myself, so its even more meaningful in this way. The "fabric) in the background is a great contrast between the music and the colorful fabric on top An elegant work. This works VERY well together.

Kristeena Crabb said...

Why, thank you, Anonymous!

Glad to know someone else who made it through the Inventions! :D

Anonymous said...

Fascinating and insiring backstory about the title for this stunning piece. I must admit, mine are a tad more mundane. I will have to work on that!