I’ve spent this COVID winter going around the neighbourhood taking macros of tree bark and urban debris. In March I started combining them into diptychs, trying to find a commonality between the details of the two very different items.
Abstract diptych that combines white-striped trees with a white pipe dripping with black paint up against a telephone pole. A dialogue between the dotted shadow of a perforated steel stairway and trees whose bark is splotched with white lichen and green algae. Abstract diptych combining a macro of cracked palm bark (Costa Rica, not Vancouver) with the cracked weathered tape on a black lamppost (Vancouver). Graffiti on a wall combined with the exposed branches of an over-pruned cedar hedge with its underlying limbs exposed.I haven’t spent much time painting during the last year but these images are sparking a few thoughts about what the complimentary paintings might look like. This is the cedar hedge done in wax crayon (Crayola), pencil and watercolour.
Here my thinking was that, somehow, the bark would somehow ‘explode’ into graffiti. Perhaps some more thinking is needed before I go larger because that didn’t happen, but this did. The problems in combining the two images in my head had me rethinking the graffiti half of that diptych. This one is less complex, and mimics the branches better – the orange brick wall in the background has better possibilities for a painting too! I showed a friend and she likes this version better telling me there was too much stuff going on in my first one. Here I’ve started with the accidental art on concrete forms at a local building site. But with spring on the arrival I’ve moved from focussing exclusively on bark and included these Pussy Willow catkins by the local duck pond as a compliment to the concrete ‘art’.And here is the sketch, crayons and watercolour. Again I have a vague idea of where I want to go which is along the lines of balancing a conversation between positive and negative, but I have a ways to go before I commit to a large painting. More on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Focussing on Details.