Sunday, August 28, 2011

Medley of Music and Art

16x20 inches, acrylic with elements of collage

The Janesville Art League is very lucky to have gallery space available at the Janesville Performing Art Center. Members hang their work there for several weeks, and it can be seen by audiences of a number of performing groups who use the facility.  The Art League recently decided to make each exhibit have a theme, and the first one, which will be hung on Monday, is Medley of Music and Art.  

That's pretty broad, but I realized that I had nothing new to put in the show that fit into the theme's requirement.  I did a watercolor of a fiddler for a Joe Fettingis workshop three years ago, but that painting has been shown several times, and I donated it to a silent auction fundraiser last week.  So, I decided to work on a version of a photo I took at the Madison Farmers Market last fall.  I always carry my camera, and there was a group of ladies all decked out in dresses, fancy flowered hats, and anti-war buttons.  One of the rather large group held a picket sign that read "War is a Racket," and they were singing their hearts out.

I decided to give this subject, singing war protesters, a go.  This is pretty large for me, a 16x20 inch canvas.  I started by ripping up some pages of an old paperback of front pages of New York Times with coverage of several wars.  Then I layered over bright colors that I imagined would be the complements of the main colors I intended to use.  Then came a sketch with charcoal pencil, more acrylic, more layering of prepared collage papers - this time sheet music as well as news coverage.  Then I decided to add some flowers from a calendar for the ladies' hats.  I didn't add their picket sign, but I did include the peace sign necklace that one singer sported that day to suggest the nature of their songs.

The results are bright and decorative.  Not all the figures turned out as well as I hoped, but a couple of the women had the feel I was trying for.  I am rather fond of the two figures in red hats because I enjoy their expressions.  The poor dear on the far left caused me no end of grief, so I minimized her as best I could.  

I'm looking forward to seeing what other people came up with for this show.

Post Script

On Monday I delivered and hung the painting with the others at JPAC.  Another artist looked at the image, and said, "Oh, those are the Raging Grannies." She had also seen them at the Madison farmers market, but told me that the group is international, that there are chapters all over the US and Canada.  They dress up in stereotypical "granny" hats and dresses, then sing about a variety of social justice issues.  I did a Google search and enjoyed reading about their activities highlighting peace and environmental issues around the country.


JoAnn said...

Sherry, this is fantastic. Very clever.

And I love reading the backstory to your creations!


Lynn said...

Love how you did this with the background papers and painting over them. well done.
And I enjoyed learning about this international organization of singers.

Found you on TMC.