15, February 2010 § Leave a comment
This coming March the Somerville Manning Gallery in Wilmington, Delaware will be hosting a exhibition of three women. I will be showing paintings on paper and monoprints , another artist uses encaustic to create her work and the third a bronze sculptor. We don’t know each other but the galley is presenting our work under the title, Mystical Shores, as we all live on islands. I will attend the opening and hope to see some familiar faces of Aegean students.
The paintings on paper are part of a series I did investigating and rendering three dimensional space using landscape as a vehicle to explore intimate and long distances (which are more common to traditional landscape ideas). I drew out of doors on large sheets of paper held on my lap and then worked up the images in the studio using both tempera paint made from egg and oils. The images reflect my immediate surroundings in the olive trees, terraces and sycamores which flourish near by. I wanted to combine the activity of line with the color and spatial qualities of the vegetation.
My newest works are illustrations of Greek myth. I am using a monoprint process which is best described as painting ink on a zinc plate and then transferring the image to paper by running it through the press. This means that you only get one image, hence the “mono” in monoprint. I then use egg tempera to add color and dimension and some traces of shell gold, ground gold in a gum base which paints out like watercolor. You can see more of this ongoing work at my web site: www.janemorrispack.com
Myth used to be an important element in every western education and people were familiar with the stories and characters of Greek mythology. Now however they are largely forgotten or mostly referenced in a cursory and unstudied manner. These stories offer a very real and important vision of what it means to be human, how our life paths may differ and cross and how to deal with eventualities we all must face as living beings. I find that my students are the most obvious embodiment of the myths and play out many of the stories on their journeys to discover who they are. If familiar with a myth which characterizes a moment of growth and decision, the story can help you to see potentials, dangers and solutions in our real lives. The stories offer rich messages and images of possibilities. Perhaps living on a Greek island for so many years enables me to connect more forcefully with the nymphs and gods of old but I see the power of this mythology helping to tap creativity and expression in young artists as well as finding it to be a constant source of imagery for my own work and devlopment.