I went to the Art College today to deliver the photo-collage I am going to use as the beginning point for my next series of paintings. An instructor there is going to silk-screen the image onto primed canvas. I’ll cut this into smaller pieces and glue them onto my larger canvases. This is a process I’ve been using for quite a few years: beginning with photo-images of personal importance and expanding from that with words and color. From all this comes the painting.
These particular images are of my ex-husband, my father and me, in various ages and stages of our lives together and apart. I began this photo-collage with a picture from my wedding day; I put this in the middle. Each time I put a photograph down, I would have to leave it for a day. It was very hard, took me a couple of weeks to finish. I decided to use these images now because my ex is quite ill and, as my friend Sean says, I can use the energy generated as reparation.
Today was of particular interest in that regard because, when entering the familiar halls of NSCAD University, I had a very strange (or should I say estranged) experience. I taught there for twenty years, every semester, year round, fall, winter, summer, and although I haven’t taught in this institution for over a year, no one knew me. Strange. Things change so fast. And the past is gone. Granted, today I was in the textile and print section of the school and I taught mostly drawing in the fine art division. But still. Even the custodial staff had been friendly in the past. I usually came to school early and chatted with them. But even they were unfamiliar to me as was I to them. Strange. The message was clear. It’s time to move on.