Friday, December 22, 2017

Spirit Doll Collages...

Spirit Doll collages by Andrew Thornton.
Here is a series of affordable small-scale pieces that I created called, "Spirit Dolls".  They're colorful and (hopefully) endearing with their little round faces and dreamy eyes.  This collection was inspired by Russian nesting dolls, Prims (primitive Americana folk dolls/toys), Japanese kokeshi dolls, textiles, and previous bodies of work. Each mixed media piece is composed of watercolors, acrylics, colored pencils, pen, ink, metallic pigment, salt, and collage on thick watercolor paper. The pieces measure 3" X 5" and are all priced $25 each.  CLICK HERE to see them in the online store.
Detail of Spirit Doll 10 collage by Andrew Thornton.

One of the things that I've noticed in working with paintings and collages again and immersing in this process is that I've undergone a "great forgetting".  I had to forget, in order to remember.  Before I went to art school, I made things because I felt compelled to create them.  There was something deeper there – a connection to half-remembered dreams and swirling faces in the dark.  And when I went to college, I learned a lot of new techniques, but I also learned a lot about art history and context and theory.  While it was empowering in some regards, it also stifled me in others.  I felt obligated to understand the artwork and be able to "Art Speak" about it.  I worried not only if it was "good" or "bad", but I also wanted to make something that fit into this great big picture of thousands of years worth of human expression and idea.  So, understandably (at least to me), I felt bogged down and burnt out.  How can you fly when you're carrying so much weight around?  Over the past decade, I've been consciously unlearning and untraining myself.  Instead of seeing something and cross-referencing it with manifestos and movements, I've tried to see the "beauty" in it first and be guided by my dreaming self, more intuitive and subconscious and less critical.  The things I've learned are still there, but I want them to take a backseat to the things I've felt instead.

I'm still working on it.

But it's liberating to finally sort of feel like my old self again.  Hello, stranger!  It's been awhile.

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