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Also Find Me Here
Perceptions

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cousins

The Blizzard Warning gave us about 5 inches of snow night before last. Today the roads are pretty much clear so all can be out and about--for a bit anyway, as we are again under a Winter Storm Warning for the next 24 hours or so with an expectation of another 3-5 inches on the average with higher amounts at higher elevations and near the Tennessee border (I suppose that means me!).

But on the more encouraging things...After taking what seemed like forever to become comfortable with a background fabric and arrangement of the component images, I think I have finally brought the Cousins piece to a conclusion, other than mounting it on some sort of substrate for display. Here is what it looks like now:

I did some color washes with dilute acrylics to tone down the white areas and reduce the contrast along the edges of the smaller images. More gold paint was added around the main figure and additional green color was washed into his shirt to add emphasis to him. The pine needles and cone on the left side were further developed using a Pitt Pen, which was also employed to push the values on the small pine cones as well. I think the images is much more unified as a result of the added color washes and the banjo picker is now more clearly the center of interest in the piece.


The addition of music and lyrics from the traditional folk ballad In the Pines provided a unifying element for the composition and set the "mood" for the piece. This is a lonesome mournful song that wails and moans like the wind through the tall hemlock trees that stood head and shoulders above all the other trees in our forests until they were destroyed by a tiny little foreign invader, the wooly adelgid;now they are simply silver ghosts of their former regal presence, waiting for the winds to strike the final blow that will bring them to the ground. Like the hemlocks I have loved for so long, the singer's love has gone and he is left to "shiver when the cold winds blow" without a true love to protect his heart from the darkness of loneliness "in the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines".


I am currently mulling over how to display this piece. Current thoughts are to display it: between layers of glass with minimal framing; mounted onto a stretched linen canvas, or a regular stretched canvas with some sort of color/texture painted onto it; or it might work well mounted above a piece of wood so that the fabric image was raised from the surface (this would not provide any protection for the piece, so it seems less desirable).

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