Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mapping a Traveler's Mind

Next month I'll be participating in a show at North Bank Gallery dealing with Map and Bridge images.  I've always been fascinated with the idea of mapping the brain - especially as it would lend itself to being able to change that part of the brain that allows people to disagree with me. (Especially when that person might happen to inhabit the same residence).  My interest was first spiked (no pun intended) by the story of Phineas Gage, a railway worker who suffered an accident where a long pointed spike pierced his skull and brain in an accident related to an explosion.  His subsequent behavioral changes led to much of today's research and knowledge of which parts of the brain control what actions or processes.  
Well, the first attempt was a dismal failure.  Not only did my model have a really goofy and demented expression, but she looked as if she had been decapitated, and she also had a serious skin condition.  The latter the result of an attempt to use an old canvas which has held many paintings and been gessoed many times and the sanding between layers apparently left a bit to be desired.
After fighting for days I finally gave up and decided she should be a plaster cast, rather than being a no-body.  This way, I reasoned, if a blemish occurred it would be in the plaster and no fault of the painter.  (I like to give myself a way out of these messes ahead of time, if possible.)   Also, I could capitalize on the surface texture instead of fighting it to a stand off. So, with a few modifications, and a little more pigment she became plastered.  In her condition I figured a compass might come in handy.  I think she is finished, unless one of you can give suggestions to improve her.  
By the way, I am really excited about showing Annie Bissett's Three Prophets in this exhibition.  I hope any of you in the Portland/Vancouver area will come by in April and see what all the excitement is about! First Friday artwalks are from 5 - 8pm, but you can come any time during the month.

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