It hardly needs to be said that 2020 has been a challenging year. I, for one, will not be sorry to see it end this week. There were many disappointments for me - including two canceled trips to Europe. I had hoped to visit Amsterdam in March to see the great Dutch master paintings in the Rijksmuseum with my daughter. March? Not so much. Then in September, I was supposed to have gone with MaryBeth Shaw on a stencil-icious art retreat in the Italian lake district. Obviously, that didn't happen either. (Next year, right, MaryBeth?) Of course those disappointments are nothing compared with the terrible losses so many others suffered - in their health and their financial stability, and the loss of loved ones.
And of course, in my state (New York) we have been required to wear masks everywhere in public since spring to control the spread of infection. My daughter complained her mask was causing breakouts. For the first couple of months I had to turn around countless times and go home while setting out on errands because I had forgotten to take a mask with me. I had to order contact lenses so I can take walks in cold weather without the mask fogging up my glasses. Masks. Ugh.
But in the art studio, a mask can be a fascinating tool to experiment with. With a mask/stencil set, you can play with the positive/negative versions of the same image. With my daily walks in the state park and state tree nursery as my inspiration, I decided to have some fun with masks for a change. Like many people, I have found great solace in nature this year. So with a sobering and contemplative mix of grief and hope in my heart I began working with some images in my head, starting with some photos I took on my favorite walk in the tree nursery.
|adding botanical texture |
|collaging the images |
|collaged images blended together|
To make it extra moody, I also ran it through an editing app on my Ipad - Distressed FX - to give it a little more atmosphere. Of course the final painting doesn't look like this in person, but if I want to print this digital edit I certainly can.
Stencils and masks used in this project:
|Small Deer Antlers Stencils and Mask S513 designed by June Pfaff Daley|
|Figures: Couples Stencil and Masks L730 designed by Valerie Sjodin|
|Botanical Wildflowers Stencils and Masks L774 designed by Rae Missigman|