today, inspiration, and a work in progress

Here is what today looks like, in my studio.

today, in the studio

On Sunday, Mike and I went to the SoWa Open Market in Boston's South End (only 10 minutes from where we live in South Boston) and ended up strolling through a couple art galleries near the market. Bromfield Gallery was showing Kathleen Volp's "Meridians and Parallels" collection, which explores the geometry of ordinary objects and simple lines, and I was in complete awe of the crazy amount of different textures and materials in every piece. I especially loved "the Veronica" and "Meridians and Parallels"... the second canvas of Meridians and Parallels was so intricate, with so many layers of graphite, collage, pvc, gel and (I think) image transfer that I got so caught up in the details I barely noticed that the canvas was representative of a white men's button-down shirt. In the Veronica, a rough stick and layers of crusty graphite and gesso sat upon a delicate canvas of lace, while in "I Still Miss You", only a sliver of corrugated cardboard or or some kind of wood was peeking out from the seam in what might have once been an embroidered tablecloth. More than one of her paintings had "rust" written in the materials description... how cool is that?

I think the universally present theme in Volp's work that I appreciated, and in all artwork I'm drawn to, is that it initially appears as a whole cohesive work. But, upon closer inspection, there are lots of individual works within it that play off one another, usually where contrasting techniques collide or different subjects contrast... Mixed media is such a great medium to both work in and admire because it allows for a lot of varied textures (and thus, stories and expressions) upon a single canvas or board (or in many of Volp's pieces, vellum and pvc or a shirt.) 

Seeing her work, and enjoying the surprising inclusion of such a vast amount of materials, inspired me to go home and pull out a few bits and pieces of wood, fabric, metal and hardware I've been saving to use in just the right piece-- which I have decided is this one.

today, on my desk
today, on my desk
today, on my desk
today, on my desk

I'd love to get a little more inspiration for this project... have you ever used a particularly unusual material or medium in your art or craft?