I am a Field of All Possibilities, 24" x 24", 2020, by Jeanne Beck
I have a lifelong love of setting out on a new path. There's a rush of anticipation for what I'll discover, a sense of adventure and mystery for what unanticipated surprises may present themselves; and truly, whatever the outcome may be, I've never been disappointed in the experience.
I took a workshop last spring in Santa Fe with Lauren Mantecon; it was a tough few days where I struggled with my inner critic. Following that session, she invited me to join her for a 13-month intensive class with seven other women, combining on-line meetings, personal critiques and in-studio workshops at her studio in Santa Fe. We were scheduled to start this past April, but in light of the COVID-19, we postponed our first workshop until October. That may end up being postponed as well.
Meanwhile I feel like I am in a major transition in my work and it seems to be starting even if the group intensive is delayed. Sheltering-in during this pandemic is actually making room for the explorations I've been craving, as well as bringing a slower pace to my life and my work.
My gallery is only open by appointment. My workshops and classes have been cancelled until.. Hardly the ideal time to return to blogging. Yet this new phase feels so important I've decided to share the thoughts, writings and work I do over the next 13 months.
A month or two ago, I took out my sander and sanded the heck out of two paintings I've reinvented three or four times. I liked the distressed look and how some of the paint layers beneath began to show. How did I forget how much I love sanding surfaces?!?
I let one painting rest and started adding paint to the other one. But then I didn't like the paint, so I sprayed water on it and started rubbing it to get it off. Then I added more water and kept rubbing - then oh no, some of the paper started lifting up. But wait, I loved the worn look of those ripped away areas and kept going.
When I stopped for a bit and looked at it, I realized how much I liked the peeled away paper. Truly I was doing an archeological reveal of the layers beneath, so I spritzed, rubbed and pulled back until much of the painting and collage on the adhered paper was gone and some white paper and layers peeking through of the previous painting underneath were all that were left.
The two samples above on the left show details of the sanded acrylics as the layers got removed. The image on the right shows the end of the session - most of the surface wet and scraped away with some washes of diluted acrylic over the still soggy paper.
At the top of this page is the completed piece, now titled. "I Am a Field of All Possibilities."