I was recently asked to create a piece of art for a young lady who is physically disabled. As of yet I haven't met her--that needs to change--but from what I've been told she loves art and, most importantly, has a never-quit attitude that's second to none.
The only parameter for this project was that it had to be small and portable because she doesn't really have much, if any, personal space in her current living situation. Typically, my work isn't huge, but I tend to work in 11" x 14" or larger for my 2-D work, which is created to hang on a wall. My 3-D work, because it's usually housed in a wooden box of some sort, can be rather bulky--the opposite of portable. That said, I must confess that I met several roadblocks in the brainstorming stage.
Then I remembered a series I'd made several years ago. I'd used Altoids tins as little niches to highlight the focal point of each art work. (Go to my blog archive and search "Nichos" if you care to see how those turned out.) For the Nichos series, the tins served as small sections of larger pieces--so I still needed to scale it down significantly for this project. Duh--I'd create the whole work of art within the confines of one tin. So I had the small-and-portable thing nailed down--but what about the contents?
After cutting the opening in the lid, I set the whole tin aside in the Art Lair. My muse for this piece was, it seemed, on hiatus. Then a few days later, Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" came across my Pandora feed, and that sparked everything. A boat in the night, fighting the wind and waves--but always sailing on, pushing through. To me, it felt like the perfect theme for this piece that would eventually end up in the hands of this young lady, who her whole life has had to grit her teeth, turn her bow into the waves, and simply SAIL ON.
Thanks to Kenzie Hosch--the oldest of my two, uber-talented daughters--for the beautiful hand-lettering shown in the above picture.
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.