Saturday, May 6, 2017

Latest work: "Red Seven and Stripes"

A few weeks ago I made this photomontage called “Red Seven and Stripes.” Today I noticed how much it resembles a piece I made three years ago called “Five for the Books.” I like to think that I’ve been evolving in my artwork, but obviously I’m fooling myself!

Here’s how I described “Red Seven” when I uploaded it to Fine Art America:

I make a lot of hand-painted papers for collage work and love putting them together just to see what happens. In this case, I used a paper full of stripes, a paper with solid colors, another with textures, and topped it off with a big red 7. Throughout my photographic career I’ve always been drawn to letters and numbers, so this one was fun to make and to add to my “Numbers” gallery.

And here’s how I described “Five for the Books” when I uploaded it three years ago:

Lots of texture and a big red 5 show up here in this photomontage. I combined photos of my hand-painted papers, added some paint splotches, some stained papers, and much more. I like the warm red and blue color combination and how the elements on the left, if you don't look too closely, appear to be books. 

It's a certain kind of person who enjoy images involving numbers and letters. Alas, that group is relatively small! So I'm always surprised when one of mine sells. Surprised and grateful that there are others out there of like mind!

A very long time ago, when I was just beginning in photography, I was showing some photos I'd taken to a photographer friend I respected. One of them was of some old wooden steps leading up to an old wooden doorway. To the right of the doorway was what remained of the address, a single "0" still clinging to the dark grey weathered wood. He paused. "What?" I said. "I'm just wondering why you took this." He obviously didn't like it, didn't understand it.

Luckily, I didn't take it to heart. (Except, obviously, I did, because notice how I've remembered the incident so clearly?) Numbers and letters have been a photographic passion for me lo these many years.

What's my point? Don't let someone throw shade on your artistic predilections. I hang around boat yards, dumps, back alleys, side streets, old fishing boats, fishnet storage facilities, bunker sites, etc. because those places feed my artistic soul. Others go to Yosemite, to wildflower-covered hills, to the coast at sunset for very good reasons -- sheer beauty. I prefer finding the beauty in decay, age, rust, peeling paint, weathered papers, and simple line and design.

Hey, it's a tough job. But somebody has to do it!

©Carol Leigh
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