Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Take A Walk Along the Coast by Ardith Goodwin

Paper and I have this thing. There is something visceral and palliative that I feel in my bones when I manipulate and work with paper, especially when the marks flow and dance across it. Over the past 11 years I have come to adore, love, hold sacred the use of paper in the art process. It is my one substrate that I would choose above all else. 

Because of this, I have wanted to take my process and embrace that love on a much larger scale. When using watercolors or fluid acrylics, this is a challenge because the idea of...how will I display it stays in the head. Regardless of that, my heart longed to create a body of work on paper with a few pieces up to 4 feet by 4 feet...so I did. 

Here is one of them: 

TAKE A WALK ALONG THE COAST 

I began by working with marks and then flooding in colors I loved, that reminded me of living along the coast. I let the paint flow like the salt and fresh water flows through our veins here...with reckless abandon. 


I kept adding to that, thinking about our beautiful waters, the plant life we adore, the endless summers. 


I sat back and took in all in, giving it time to percolate. 


I enjoyed my favorite soda...and its packaging.



I quickly realized I wear this palette all the time which is why I feel so connected to it. 

Working this large was a challenge. I stood up, I sat, I laid it flat and sideways and upside down. 

I listened to my love of the place I call home, found its spirit within my marks...


and saw my love come to fruition. There is no other place like the coast, especially the southern Gulf Coast. 


"Take A Walk Along the Coast" 4 feet by 4 feet water media on paper



Detail Image: Can you relate to these colors and marks? 

Detail Image: the flowers...the foliage...the love of color

This painting turned out to be one of those pieces that came straight from the heart and gave me buckets of joy. The larger scale offered me the freedom to let my marks flow in a much more loose, fluid way and I realized that was reflective of how the coast makes me feel as well...calm, relaxed, joyful, full of life. I still have yet to figure out how these works will be displayed, but that issue doesn't cause me stress, it will come. I stayed true to my calling, painted what I love on what I love, and am quite in love with the outcome. An artist can hope for no more than that. 


After I posted this painting on Google+ a super awesome gentleman had a few questions for me about this piece. The one that I have never been asked before:   WHAT DOES IT FEEL TO PAINT LIKE THIS? Here is what I said to him after thanking him for the nudge: 

"Well, I immediately plug into a great deal freedom. There are marks on the paper that I begin with...Asemic marks which are a type of language without semantic meaning. I am basically having a conversation with the paper and my creative spirit..and that is portrayed by lines, dashes, swirls...etc. From there I get a sense of play, almost childlike, as I dance across the page with a bit of balance and a little of intent. With every layer, with every mark I paint with joy. I connect with the nature around me, I listen, I slow down, totally at peace. I also paint realism, you might have seen that on my website, but these, they grab my heart strings and say "Let's Play and Let's Express What Matters."   You are the first person to ask me how it feels, it was nice to be able to share that." 
AHHHHHH...love it when I get to engage with art lovers in the world.  



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