Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Colores del Monasterio de Montserrat

Dry Pigments
Before I came to Can Serrat, I had hoped to use local materials in my work.  In the first few days here, I found all of these small containers of dry pigments in the upstairs studio. I learned from Marcel that these pigments were used to paint the Monastery of Montserrat when it was restored about five years ago. 

Over the weeks I have been here, I have been using these dry pigments mixed with acrylic matte medium on paper.  I tore the paper into sheets that are approximately 9x12¨...some are smaller because I used various sizes of watercolour paper.  I tore each sheet of paper into eight sections.  I´ve consistently worked on this small size, playing with these various pigments, pouring and experimenting with them.  I´ve been interested in the colours of Spain...reds, oranges, golds, the colours and shapes of the mountains behind the residency... blue greys, warm greys, oranges, browns and blacks, depending on the time of day.  I´ve also been interested in using the circle...the globe representing the universe, that the Black Madonna holds in her hand in the Monastery at Montserrat, and the idea of mosaic tiles that one sees all over Barcelona.  In a very casual way, I´m attempting to integrate all of these shapes and colours.

As I sorted through the work the other day, I realized that there were many of the small paintings that didn´t work and I debated about whether I wanted to carry them home.  Before they went into the garbage, I tried tossing them onto a white paper on a table and photographing that random assortment.  The photos have suggested their own work.  The photos of the paintings become the work, or at least they become one of the ways to see these small paintings. I will have some of these photos printed on the same watercolour paper when I go home.  Each painting adds to the whole, whether it works individually or not. The white paper becomes part of the work, as do the shadows of the edges.

A new way of seeing.

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