Friday, November 19, 2010

Still Point Gallery: Selections from 2010 Exhibitions

100 Buttons
With 100 Buttons published in the Still Point Gallery: Selections from 2010 Exhibitions, I am now "pictured" in the dictionary under "grinning from ear to ear." I am eternally grateful to Christine Cote, director, curator and creative genius behind Still Point Gallery.

Unlike many nanoscapes which are part of nano families, 100 Buttons is an orphan.  Its inspiration was a black and white line drawing in an ad for a Manolo Blahnik shoe that was loaded with thread-covered buttons.  My Manolo knowledge was limited to having seen the full run of Sex and the City. I've not worn heels since 1982, when I had a slipped disc.

The ad sat on my work table for a while until I said "I can do that." Using my collection of French and American coins, I traced lots of shapes -- more than 100, as I learned later. Working with nanoscapes' Painstaking Exuberance, I painted over the pencil with Winsor Newton Davy's Gray, painted each shape multiple times until I achieved the right color, painted line-by-line the "threads" that covered each of the buttons, painted around each shape, and finally painted around the whole piece.

Somewhere in the middle of this engrossing activity, I counted the remaining buttons, and learned to my surprise that having finished with 45, that there were a lot more to go. This painting is the purest expression of Painstaking Exuberance: line-by-line, shape-by-shape with lots of pigment and not a lot of water.

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