|Artist: Donna Hamil Talman|
Artist residencies allow opportunities for experimentation; those abroad usually encourage limitation of materials; mine in rural Italy also meant limited access to new supplies.
This Primal series came about because I either used up or wasn’t pleased with my adventures in other media I had brought with me. Though I had never used ink, I discovered I loved its richness, its potential for variation, the way it moved on the paper, the ways this paper absorbed it.
The forms in Primal emerged when I liked what I saw as I poured the ink and moved the paper, and I took on those limitations as a challenge. I discovered I liked living on the boundary between control and losing it.
The forms that emerged seemed primitive and elemental, like the ancient dolmens I encountered in fields there, and the pre-historic shapes found in the tiny local natural history museum. The three artist residents from Taiwan talked about China’s long history of poured or ink wash painting. I discovered I had inadvertently achieved one of my goals for the residency: to loosen up, to allow more spontaneity in my art, to allow more of the process to be visible.
In the end I additionally contemporized the forms with my own more determined marks and added texture and color with the other media I had brought to explore: cold wax and water-based encaustic.
Of Things Unseen
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