After yesterday’s failure, I decided to return to the mini painting series I started awhile ago (for the older ones, see MarianneBland.com, paintings, mini paintings gallery). Working on more than one piece at a time is natural for me. There’s less pressure. When I’m stuck with one piece I start to feel trapped, and I think that the effects of that are visible in yesterday’s painting.
While living in an electrical closet with cold showers during my semester in France, another transfer student, a printmaker named Victoria Browne from Bristol, England gave me a copy of a Truman Capote anthology to cheer me up.
While exhilirating, my time in France was a little scary. My accent was odd to the people of Marseille, I was scared to be living alone in a big city, I had ended a long relationship not too long prior and was a little shaken up. Victoria was funny, friendly and extremely helpful. I sensed that she felt sorry for me in a way, but she never made it evident. We spent a lot of time together during those few months and I haven’t been able to get in touch with her since. I miss her.
The book was falling apart then, 6 years ago, and she let me keep it knowing it was on its last legs. One day, thinking of how kind Victoria had been to me, I dug out the gifted book and decided to flip through Breakfast at Tiffany’s for inspiration.
I sat on the floor of my studio and thumbed through the pages. Snippets of literary brilliance started to pop off of the page- two and three words together here and there that had beauty all their own- and I circled them in charcoal. I then removed the pages and affixed them to 5×7″ canvases with acrylic medium. Not wanting the pages to stand out like a piece of a book slapped onto a canvas, I did mini color-field style paintings on top of them, careful to let the little blurb remain legible.
This series reminds me of these great found object paintings a fellow student at CCAC named Kate used to do. In class critique one day, I said they were just so lovely and inviting- they were like “little hugs”. I remember how delighted she had been at that description. I think of the Breakfast at Tiffany’s series as my “little hugs”; partially because of the memory of my friend, but also because the color and words are so happy for me. I am constantly inspired by language, and a few words are frequently the starting point for an idea for a painting, or a literal tidbit inserted into the piece itself.
Here’s a closer look at the 3 works I completed today: