Updated: Jan 18
I planned to start 2021 with a Happy New Year blog, but January 6th got in the way. With my stress level at an all-time high, I gifted myself some extra studio time. I hoped that keeping my hands busy would soothe my troubled spirits. I sketched. I painted. I edited photos. I still felt the anxiety of living in a broken world, though, so I turned to experimentation.
A few months ago I took an online photo transfer class at the San Francisco Art Institute. My best takeaway from that class, led by a fellow artist and Wellesley alum, was the realization that in art, experimentation matters. In truth, I struggled with the homework in that class; I messed up something in the medium when I mixed it and it made my apartment smell like a meth lab. But I found out I loved incorporating photos into my work and I really liked working on metal. The process, which was a series of new steps using otherwise familiar media, ended up being far better for me than the result I produced in that class.
I remembered that process as I sorted through what my hands were trying to tell me last week. I took a deep breath, opened my MacBook and BAM! A photo of windows. If you follow me on Instagram (@Truglue) or Facebook (@Truglue Artist) you may recall how I spent my summer. My work SALVAGED was built from rescued windows and community interviews about race, social issues and police reform. In that work, I used the windows to represent the need for transparency, and a meeting place between opposing perspectives.The distressed frames represented the state of our communities and neighborhoods, the panes, the internal divisions. All those photos of windows on my home screen felt like a challenge, as if they were asking me, "So what's next?"
I spent my studio time making up new process last week, only this time it was chemical-free. I mixed my abstract paintings with the nature photos I'd been editing, then added the final touch: windows. I added them to a new collection I'd been working on, entitled "Green Is The New Multi," with these pieces representing hope for change in 2021. They offer sunrise on the horizon and a path forward from the horrors of 2020, visible through the windows of our souls. Thanks to my Mac and those windows, I found the message in my work last week: peace and healing is my fervent wish for the remainder of this year.