A couple of years ago, I started a project titled, "I Just Don't Read Like I Used To," in which I cut up books to create works of art, primarily portraits. Until recently I was not totally committed to the project, but just sort of used it as a fallback plan. After all, that is why I tend to work in a series, so I always have a place from which to springboard to the next idea... Lately, however, I have been tapping into this vein pretty consistently. (Note: I am surprised to discover that when I go back and count them all, I have completed 17 paintings in this series!)
And since I seem to be spending the majority of my time on the text paintings, I have decided to document the project more diligently. Therefore, I am reviving my blog. I like the accountability that it forces upon me. It gives me a place to stash my ideas, embellish on impulses, and receive input from interested parties.
My current projects include: finishing a text painting of Thich Nhat Hahn (only a few hours remaining, so it is easy to procrastinate...), beginning a painting of Marilyn Monroe cut from James Joyce's Ulysses (particularly gratifying to cut up since it is so difficult to read...), working on a portrait of Audrey Hepburn cut from Breakfast at Tiffany's, painting a large acrylic painting for Gallery 211's upcoming show titled "Reflections," and cutting up a beautiful coffee table book (given to me by June Wood) containing floral paintings by Georgia O'Keefe, which I plan to use to create a portrait of the artist (a slight deviation from the text process).
Other books I am dismantling: The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone, Dear Theo by Irving Stone, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell ( a hard to find paperback given to me by Virginia Reeder), The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, and Possession by A. S. Byatt. I am always open to suggestions for this project, and of course, I don't mind if suggestions are accompanied by well-loved books that are ready to move on to an artistic afterlife!