Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Aboriginal Influence

Twenty years ago last May, I graduated from Mississippi State with a BFA in Graphic Design and other emphases in Photography and Painting – meaning I had twelve plus hours in both areas. The jobs I had after graduating were in pre-press. As for my fine art, I did a lot of experimenting with the techniques I had learned in school. Many of them were rooted in “happy accidents.” Generating unexpected imagery was more exciting to me than planning one out and then simply executing it. My blogs mind places and slingin paint cover the majority of the artwork I created between 1984 and 2000. The dot art was not a high priority. It has something that I’ve come back to at different times.

By 1993 I did some substitute teaching at my old school. My former high school art teacher had me substitute for him. Another art teacher had swapped with him in order to teach high school. She had become interested in the art created by Aboriginals and she had her students painting with enamel paint pens on canvas. Also, she was working on her own painting using the same method. It was at this point I had a chance to view a book of Aboriginal Art.

Suddenly I was excited about trying the method myself. Around this time I became interested in art that had a primitive expressive edge. In attempting dot painting I was determined to do something that was more connected to New Orleans, since it is where was born and have lived all my life – except when I was in Starkville, MS for collge. It happened that an art association was having a Mardi-Gras-themed art show, so that became my opportunity to try out the dots. My dots became sequins. Below I have posted one of three I painted. The title is "Five Masks in Blue."

acrylic on canvas, 16" x 20"