October 15, 2015 by smithartonline
After completing the smaller work Captured I moved on and created this piece, which is larger and is slated for an exhibition in November. Soul Catcher is 16 X 20 X 1.5 inches putting it towards the larger size for me. In my secret fantasy parallel universe I would be working on a much more epic scale, like wall size. However, as is true of most artists I know, once a piece is completed it becomes a giant animal needing to be stored and cared for…small works on paper take up significantly less room than giant panels measuring 8 X 10 feet or more.
I am employing the whale and tethered theme with the addition of some astronomical references…a throwback to my days providing illustrations to various space oriented agencies (Pasadena is full of them). Some astronomical symbols are associated with hermetic symbols but here they are simply meant to be what they appear: nice design devices I enjoy using…well, there are references to seafaring I have to fess up to.
There is a ritual process whenever an artist prepares the work surface: the cutting and forming, the covering of the surface with fabric, the moving around of design elements: it all becomes a personal journey unique to each artist. In my case it also becomes a ritual of remembrance. When I form elements and, especially when I commit them to the surface, I often am reminded of my teacher from ancient times, Jim Larkin, whom I will always consider the best friend and mentor one could have. Over the years I have lost touch with him and I suspect that, by now, he has transitioned…I hope it was easily done and he was allowed to embrace it with joy and eager anticipation. I always celebrate my three mentors, Jim Larkin, Bob Hansen and Don Petersen with the work I undertake.