Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tenacious - an art gallery in the works.

Over the last two years I've had much experience; both good and bad. Some things have been extremely uplifting while others have been heartbreaking. I guess this can extend to back in 2008 when my Grandmother died, but this last two years have just been especially important.

At the end of 2012 I had become deeply inspired to do some art. There were tons of ideas around in my head and heart, but for a particular piece. Well, not particular, but I knew that I had to take the ideas and turn them into something magnificent. Everything fell through until the start of 2013. I had this image in my mind, from where I'm not quite sure, of a heart - and inside of that heart the words: you are here. So I tried to think of how to paint what I was thinking and ended up with a sloppy red heart on a square white canvas for months. Months! Eventually I'd thought of doing silhouette work. But of what? There weren't a lot of options when it came to putting my thoughts to art in a non-obvious way. So I decided on a soldier. The silhouette of a man or a woman or an alien. Just of a hero, of a fighter.

But what else? There were so many other things I wanted to add or ways I could improve it. I had the heart, I had the soldier, I had the barbed wire fence, and rifle. There was too much white, too much space, too much emptiness. So again it sat, until one day I looked at it and realised that it was everything I'd wanted it to be. But with thinking that came the sadness over the thoughts and emotion I had put into it. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't hang up this canvas like the rest in my room; it made me too sad. After much thought I decided to sell it, to find a loving home for it where it could mean something to someone. The lack of online presence made it harder for me to get the painting around to serious buyers, so it had to sit some more. 

Amidst planning the 50th anniversary for Carson High School, I had decided to sell and raffle off some of my artwork to raise money for one of their extremely underfunded academies - though needless to say no one really had an interest in the art and preferred to make purchases from the surrounding sports booths. The lovely ladies from the health centre were very enthusiastic about my pieces; each made comments about nearly every work. Ms. Garrison was especially drawn to "Tenacious", saying she'd buy it if no one else did.

Deciding to give away the painting free of charge was especially easy for me, but when I had to gather the papers to hand the work over it suddenly became hard. Not making money from it wasn't the important thing, the growing attachment was. Day after day I grew busier with classes and acting and so pushed off creating the papers. Tenacious hung as a reminder that I had to get it done, and just before winter holiday I did - or maybe it was Thanksgiving, but I can't quite remember. The day I took the painting in, she was really happy and expressed her appreciation for it along with the others in the office and that made me really happy. It would be hanging up in the office, she told me.

Now that it's been a month or so later, Ms. Garrison has told me that everyone who sees it really likes it too. The thing that really warmed my heart was to hear about how each person says it means something different to them - student, parent, faculty. Something so simple can mean so many things. Underneath all the things it meant to me, somewhere deep down I had wanted it to - I think that was my point with the silhouette style and simplicity.

So now, after having such an experience with the art process itself and getting to hear something like that about my own work, I've decided to further it. Many times I've thought about working on a potential gallery, only to fall short at "well what theme/style/pallette/etc. do I go for?" But now the answer has come to me in this simplicity. 

The next moment of free time I have is going to be dedicated to making a decorated box with a hole only big enough to drop slips of paper. The box and the paper will be decorated with block printing, very formal like, but to match the original work. Anyone who feels like it can write down what Tenacious means to them anonymously - or not, if they feel. Knowing what people think when they see it would mean the world to me, and with that I can expand and create more.

Bridgette Jameson

Or at least I believe that's what it was given under, though it seems all the original documents have been wiped from my hard drive. It's been in my mind all day to perhaps start selling prints of this piece, though that I'll have to wait a bit for. Any questions, comments, concerns, etc. are welcome!

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