Studio Time



I was home sick yesterday. Nothing serious: a bit of an upset stomach, chills, and a headache that would not ease up. Though I wondered if it was a lead-in to the flu, I am just fine today. Yesterday, mostly, was spent doing nothing. I felt too lousy to start a project; the headache made reading or working on the computer impossible. I draped myself in robes and blankets, moved from bed to chair and back again, and every now and then roused myself for another round of ibuprofen and a cup of tea.

By evening, feeling somewhat like myself again, I wandered in to the studio. I had a small painting on a panel (24″ x 24″) that had been through several incarnations and was still a displeasing mess. There was nothing to lose; I started laying collage elements on the surface. I moved them around until they seemed right. I dug through my stores of scraps for the right additional touches. Finally, I used heavy gel medium to fasten everything in place, and set it aside to dry. The medium is opaque white when wet (but dries clear), so the “reveal” has to wait.

This morning, I ventured upstairs to see the results. Of course, I always hope for glory, where everything works together beyond my wildest expectations and I wonder how I managed to pull off something so remarkable. That rarely happens, and it didn’t happen today. There is work yet to be done. The underlying image is still visible in spots, and a distraction. Washes and stains of color are needed to take the starkness out of areas of white. Additional, selective collage elements will help to balance composition and color.

Still, I like what’s going on. This is a tough surface that shows wear, and reflects its history. There are some areas that are so precious they make me sigh. Colors cause the eye to move from one area to another. There is hope here. Time in the studio is never wasted, but when it leads to something good – or something with promise – it feels especially worthwhile.

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

5 responses »

  1. “There are some areas so precious that make me sigh.” I sighed when reading that line. Like your art, there are colors of preciousness everywhere, even amidst the challenges. Happy New Year!

  2. I like your collages, but often wonder if they are indicative of images (physical or imagined) perceived by the artist. I’m definitely not a connoisseur of art, so please forgive my archaic interpretations.

    I must say I like the green tones in this piece. Green is becoming one of my more favored colors these days, which surprises me. I usually lean toward the reds and oranges.

    I’m glad you could find some time to express yourself through art, and I hope you’re feeling better (physically) by now. Keep up the good work!

    • Oh, Sara, I always appreciate your feedback and impressions. What I love, when making art, are the materials, first of all. Whether it’s paint, pencil or clay, I like them to “have their own way.” I don’t try to hide their true character. Secondly, I am in love with old surfaces that show the patina and wear resulting from years of surface. Examples are the walls of old buildings that show layers of graffiti and old advertisements along with the softened brick or other materials, and an ancient willow tree in a park in my home town, that had a horizontal branch that was smooth and shiny from so many kids sliding over it on their bottoms. Those are aspects I aim to duplicate in my work. Finally, especially in my collages, I like the juxtaposition of shapes: corners that barely touch each other; strips that act like stitches linking two separate shapes; tension between the edges of the surface and the objects within it. I’m not trying to capture a particular image, but rather a feeling. I hope that doesn’t sound like nonsense….Thank you for your comments, and Happy New Year!

      • Oh, that doesn’t sound like nonsense at all! I love to hear explanations of their work by artists. How the artist sees and experiences things is so different from non-artists; however I suppose one could argue that everyone has an artist inside, expressed or not.

        Thanks for taking the time to put into words your inspirations and executions. And please, keep creating!

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