Finished and Framed and Forwarded On

At last the commission is finished and I am happy to be able to post some pictures. The piece is made up of four 18"x24" drawing/collages on a soft blue gray paper. All of the drawing is done with either prismacolor or my favorite drawing utensil: gold paint pen! I actually used up an entire green pencil coloring all the leaves. Now that is a lot of green.

The collage paper came from some abstract monoprints I made and some purchased hand made papers that I could not resist buying-- with metallic copper and silver patterns who could.

Pencil Stub of Green

This has been by far the most difficult commissioned piece I have worked on; for some reason it took far longer that I had planned to complete (perhaps this is due to the fact that its about 4 times the size I thought it would be). I spent lots of hours standing in front of it with furrowed brow "thinking."

It just seemed to come together so slowly. Good thing I had lots of scarves to knit for Christmas so that my brain could wander and figure out what it wanted to do.

In the end I am thrilled with the results and I learned a tremendous amount in the process. But most importantly it got me into a nice tidy schedule of working which I hope to continue.

The piece has no title but a few main themes:

*A Boat carrying seeds with a mast that is an alive and growing tree reflects ideas on resting and provision in the journey despite storms or calm waters.

*An anchor that is a seed symbolizing the promise of life from death holding us firm with hope to keep going. Nets for catching and holding promises, dreams and gifts.

*Large plants growing from the bottom of the seabed illustrating ideas of faith, and a kingdom which is like a seed that is planted and grows into a tree so large that all the birds of heaven can come and nest in it. Faith that can cause a tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea.

*A nest and eggs of a bird of the air found surviving in a foreign place, life happening in a place that is not home.

The text woven through all 4 pieces is taken from a poem by Luci Shaw. Her poetry always seems to fit perfectly with ideas I am working on. I hope she does not mind if I glean.

(click the image to read)

"Without Words" from her book What the Light was Like

Now that the commission is happily framed and hanging in its new home I can move on to the next project which is printing a linocut for my friend Carol who lives in North Carolina and is a pretty spiffy artist herself. She just finished a huge project where she made life size (or really larger than life size) Mary paper dolls. The ones I saw in person were just beautiful; anything which has that much gold leaf on it always attracts the magpie in me.

Carol likes the following two prints and has asked me to choose between the two and surprise her. But I can't decide! So take a look, leave a comment, and help me pick.

Ambrose, Thornburn and Addie Share Secrets

Gabby, Magnus and Farley Played With The Stranger From Sunday Until Almost Tuesday


livingpalm said...

oh, lovely, lovely Phaedra! love especially the little branch boat. lovely.
you asked for votes for your friend and that's a hard request, but if I had to pick it would be "Gabby, Magnus and Farley..." if for no other reason than the delightful title of the piece.
Congrats on completing your commission. (and, p.s., love the red ruffle shoes, too)

maventheavenger aka jamie said...

Hi Phaedra! I am so excited that you have a blog. I love your work.

J. Ackman said...

I made it here by way of your husbands blog which I have been reading it for quite some time on a regular basis. I am very excited to see what you are creating. I am a visual artist as well. Just so you know I will probably end up stealing your idea of the tree and boat. Love it! Looking forward to seeing what is on the horizon.
Onward and Upward,
Jason Ackman
Rushville, IL

PhaedraJean ArtMachine said...

Tamara, Thanks for voting and enjoying:)I think "Gabby..." is the winner. Now on to printing.

A big Hello to you new visitors, thanks for coming and looking.

J- I took a look at your work and I LOVE it! All that texture and layering... lovely. Feel free to play with the boat image as you wish, I am thinking of doing some more of those myself. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

Ben Langford said...

ok, here's a wrench in the whole thing- my vote's for thornburn... i absolutely love that piece. the deer and the ears and all- it's magic. but then again, they are all so lovely and difficult to choose from.

you are awesome, phaedra. i'm a huge huge fan.