Before really deciding the career I was going to go into, I was a Youth Specialist caring for the needs or redirecting the behavior of at risk teenage girls (what some circles call, throw away kids). I watched these girls try to cope with learning things we have all taken for granted. They were more concerned with matters that only adults should be thinking about and their development in the matters of a child were arrested. What went tilt after these children were born?
While thinking this, I was in my studio about to embark on another series. I looked at what I had done and wondered if I was really pleased with my work. I know when I initially started back with art about 5 years ago, I was so in love with the style of art nouveau. In studying those artists, I saw they neglected using women of color. It was upsetting. So I began drawing those women in that particular genre. What happened was I started thinking like a business woman and saw what was getting more responses then other pieces. I began concentrating on generating more income and looking at those artists that were more successful then myself. From what I gathered, it was illustrators and caricaturists that were getting the interest that I desired as well. Slowly my work began border lining on illustration. There wasn't anything the matter with illustration art, I liked it...but it wasn't what I know.
Isn't that what is taught with writers? Aren't writers suppose to write what they know. The subject matter is more rich and interesting to the reader. How much different is that lesson from what an artist should do? Isn't that how an artist really finds his/her niche? I then researched how to find the niche of an artist, as you have read in my other entries on this blog. I noticed that other artists did have a particular style they never deviated from. My work has a style but there was something missing....something I forgot about....its the thing I know that I know. I didn't incorporate what I chose as I career.
I have watched people for years. I have studied behavior and have wondered why an adult would do this or that. In so doing, I discovered another aspect of my style of art work.
In this series, called Drop Cloth, I thought about the artists from the 60's and early 70's. I never understood the splashing of paint from one side of the canvas to the other and then for the viewer to understand the artist's message in the work. It looked like a drop cloth a painter used when protecting the furniture or the floor. Enter a child excited about something that happened in school or seeing a caterpillar for the first time. Will the painter, artist, or busy parent for that matter, stop what he/she is doing to listen to the child go on and on about something as mundane as a caterpillar? Who is more important? What about the estranged parent on the phone to a child saying derogatory things about the other parent and using the child as a pawn? What about the parents arguing in front of the children not caring what damage words have on delicate ears? Its like slinging paint and not caring where it lands.
In the series, the children's faces are drawn in my favorite medium, black ink. The canvas is white Bristol. Each piece is cut 6 x 4 1/4 inches. I used only 2 different colors in the water color wash. The two colors represent having two people that created a child and needing two people to raise a child. Whether the parent is estranged or not, he/she has something to do with the development of that child. The parent may never be mentioned, it doesn't mean the child doesn't think about him/her. The eyes of each drawing never see the color wash. The reason for that is the same as the faces looking at the viewer. The innocence children lose is not always from outside sources. Children are like sponges. They absorb what is in front of them. If they are not protected, they will repeat the behavior. There use to be a time when a child's ears were covered from the use of profanity...now children repeat those words. Where did they learn such behavior?
The rest of the series can be viewed on my facebook page, Lenora's Ink.