Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Small Town Oregon... mapping

by Jo Reimer

Small Town Oregon
Collage Painting
14" x 18"
Like many of you I often being my day with quiet meditation and writing in my journal, morphing from what has been into plans for the coming day in the studio. I explore ideas about current work during this time and jot down sketchy ideas about what I'll do with my studio time. 

I'm continuing to explore ways to use my connection with maps in my artwork and am finding even more excitement in working through this series.  This journey via my old maps just gets more interesting.

I've shredded maps; I've cut maps with scissors; I've torn maps; I've drawn the lines of highways, roads, and streets on paper and canvas; I've used maps as the substrate upon which I paint; I've glued maps onto just about anything that will hold still...  

....and the ideas keep coming.

Small Town Oregon began as an atmospheric landscape painting in acrylic.  It needed something more interesting than soft color so I asked the What If questions and decided to lift the maps of small towns upright as though the maps were being projected onto the sky.

Before I go much further I'll write a statement about the series so that it become clearer in my mind, not that this will be the final statement. It'll be refined as I work, but simply stating some of my intentions should help me leap ahead. It's one of the things I remember from Journalism 101... answer the questions: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How... and and my own mantra, What If...  what could I do next because of what's been done.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mapping New Work

by Jo Reimer

I've collected road maps since our initial trip west, many of them free from gas stations along the way. Some are tourist maps of cities, some AAA maps, some hand drawn. Maps have been a large part of my life, and maybe yours, too, though we now rely on Google Maps and the maps in our smartphones and our GPS. I still print out maps because I'm so used to the paper map.

So... one day I decided to shred an old map see how I could use the strips creatively. To me the strips of map are the roadway, the directions for how to get somewhere, the path I traveled, and because I make an effort to make art that reflects my own life history and emotions it seemed appropriate to investigate where my map collection would take me on canvas and paper.

22" x 17"
acrylic and collage on paper

Crossroads was the first in the series. Here I laid down strips of map to indicate a matrix of roads leading away from a city somewhere west, near the water.

From Franklin to Oneida
22" x 17"
acrylic and collage on paper
From Franklin to Oneida, 22 x 17, grew out of imagining the chaos of traveling through unfamiliar landscape, following a straight highway and suddenly coming upon a small town out in the middle of nowhere and wondering why people settled there in the first place.

Sea City
10" x 10"
acrylic and collage on paper

The design for Sea City came about from looking at an actual map of a coastal city and adding the main streets to the painting as strips of maps, though not cut from a map of this actual city.

Toward Mill City
5" x 20"
collage on board
Toward Mill City veers away from strips of map to using larger torn scraps of map to indicate the city and the straight shot of freeway driving between one town and another.

20" x 20"
acrylic and collage on board
As I was painting Wetlands I imagined looking down on the landscape from above, seeing a small town nestled between the rivers and creeks that flow through a rather wet landscape. Homes and businesses were built above the flood plain but were controlled by the flow of the water, while nearby the freeway soared above the landscape, bypassing the town altogether.

From San Antonio to OKC
6" x 24"
acrylic and collage on board
From San Antonio to OKC uses larger portions of the maps of two large cities as well as painted papers and slices of maps. 

As you can see, I continue to experiment with ways to use my maps. I've only scratched the surface as I search for more ways to use the idea of maps, travel, journey, and exploration.  I have lots more ideas and since this work is moving along so fast I'm confident that I'll have many more pieces to show you in the future.

Friday, January 04, 2013

The Day's Ending

by Jo Reimer
The Day's Ending
16 x 20"
mixed fibers, fabric collage, stitching
by Jo Reimer
At the beginning of each year I spend a bit of time like many of you, reminding myself that indeed I accomplished a lot last year, and I think about what I hope to do with the time I'm given in this new year. I set loose goals but I don't obsess about it now that my intention isn't about racing with myself to see how much more and better I can work.  

This year I'm determined to clear out more of the nooks and crannies of my home and pass the things I won't be using to others who might. I started with the shelves of fabric stored in my studio closet, and lo and behold I found two mostly half-done fiber pieces. I was inspired to see what I could do with them. I've always loved sunsets (and sunrises) and these held promise. So I finished them both and they're now ready to sell.

Working on these two pieces for a good part of the last two days reminded me once again why I've fallen in love with the immediacy of painting and collage.  I could have done each of these works tons faster with a brush or glue pot.  And my back wouldn't hurt as it does after hours at the sewing machine.

The Day's Ending 2
14 x 18"
mixed fibers, fabric collage, stitching
by Jo Reimer

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