You might well ask how anyone could possibly feel at home with broken eggshells. How can anyone be passionate about that? I'll divert a little from Roberts' book to explain: When I first formulated the idea of using eggshells as a basis for my work, I was looking for a bridge between objective and non-objective art. That is, the eggs are recognizable as eggs, but they also allow me to impose on them abstract color and value designs. There was rational thought behind this. However, I also needed an emotional connection, and it took only seconds to find one. Without going into any detail, I saw my "self" in the assemblages of these cracked eggs. These paintings are psychological portraits of the remade Kathy: the resulting assemblage of cracks and fragments of a fractured psyche that has endured difficult and sometimes traumatic events. Once the psyche, like an eggshell, is altered by external or internal forces, it cannot be restored to its former pristine shape. But, the resulting fragments, the new self, is an entire entity that I feel at home in. It is complete and the luminosity that I impart to the assemblage in these paintings is the spark that gives it life.
Back to Roberts' book: He states, your home turf is your state of mind. It may not be a place. I totally agree, and think of many failed attempts at paintings that just didn't work - mostly because I wasn't feeling the connection. We've all "been there." One of my biggest criticisms of some of my peers who are painting workshop instructors is that they teach through imitation. That is, they ask the students to paint like them, and often the same subjects. Of course, the students struggle to obey but the work fails! The students have no personal connection to whatever inspired the instructor, so how could imitation help them to produce inspired work? I cannot teach that way and never will.
Roberts ends this chapter with comments about making your studio your home turf as well. Again, I totally agree. When I walk into my messy, chaotic studio I feel immense satisfaction and l-o-v-e! Considering that I'm a total "neatnik" this may seem strange. But, the connection I feel to the place where I create art goes straight to my core. It's where I belong. I was worried about this connection when I constructed another studio this year at my home in Maine. Would I feel the same connection? Would my work suffer? I'm certain you're way ahead of me on this one ... I felt the same connection and my work became stronger because, as Roberts points out, your home turf is your state of mind. I carry it with me.
I really liked this chapter :-) Your thoughts??