Posts Tagged ‘words’

Not knowing when…

Posted on: August 31st, 2010 by jmbroekman 2 Comments

the dawn will come

It all started with a few lines from an Emily Dickinson poem:

NOT knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door;
Or has it feathers like a bird,
Or billows like a shore?

Well, actually, it all started with an invitation to participate in an upcoming show at the George Marshall Store Gallery, in York Maine. A number of artists were asked to respond to the Bulman Bedhangings, one of the most important objects in the Museums of Old York’s collection. I didn’t even know what a Bedhanging was before the invitation. But these are evidently the only complete set of American crewelwork to have survived from the 18th century, and quite an amazing set to see. By clicking the link above (on the Bulman Bedhangings text) you can see a small photo of them and read more about them.

I had long considered adding stitches to some of my collages, and this proved the perfect opportunity to start experimenting with yet another way to add color: embroidery thread. At left is a detail of the first piece I worked on. It evolved, as most of my work does, over a span of time. In the beginning there were just the words; then I printed a monotype on top of the words; next were some collage elements – the lace on top and bottom were stitched on; and finally stitches, and after hanging on the wall for a few weeks, more stitches (to try and tone down the heavy handedness of Emily’s quiet words).

Stay tuned for more details about the show itself – which happens in October! If you’d like to get a sneak preview of more of this new work, click here.

One Hundred

Posted on: June 10th, 2010 by jmbroekman

Meditations on 9 collages …

It may have taken close to four years, but I finally reached the one-hundred-mark. I started the Meditations on 9 series after coming across a reference to a nine-patch Amish quilt in a book I was reading. I’d often worked with a grid, and wondered what would happen if I made one hundred collages based on that simple nine-patch pattern? Could I even sustain that idea?

I started with a bang the first summer – initially finding something soothing about the challenge. All I had to do was go in my studio and move pieces of paper around. There was a structure within which to work. A task. I could settle into it. And even though I veered off in several other directions as time went on, I did keep coming back to it, and 100 collages later, I am still compelled by them.

Salvaging un disastro

Posted on: March 17th, 2010 by jmbroekman

my new title: salvage queen

Last week I went into the print studio with a plan. I had a grid marked out for the press bed, and was going to print a set of small plates multiple times on a large piece of paper. Nothing too seemingly complicated about that. I put my grid on the press bed, and proceeded to spend the next hour inking up the plates. Turns out, it was the wrong set of plates. UGH.

Well, what could I do? I printed them anyway – randomly on the big piece of paper. Made myself a huge mess – the paper was too wet, and in certain areas it pulled up onto the plate. I had written on the page with all kinds of materials – including watercolor crayons which ran all over the place. Oh well.

There’s always the possibility of ripping and reconfiguring the thing. So that’s what I did. It continues to amaze me – the power of a bunch of marks on a page.

Enough is Enough

Posted on: March 9th, 2010 by jmbroekman

or, “that’s enough” as my mother often said

I’ve been working on re-designing my website and incorporating a news page into it for several months. At the beginning of each of the last four weeks (at least) I’ve told myself: this week I’m going to finish this thing and get it out there. Today, I finally decided enough is enough; so here it is.

I’m not sure how often I’ll write new posts, but I’m hoping it will be often enough to keep it interesting. The image to the left is a detail of a painting that’s on the wall right now. As with more and more of my work, it started with a bunch of words on a page. It now has a few layers of wax on top of the words, but many of the word marks are still quite visible, and even somewhat legible. The writing was all about “enough”, so it seemed fitting for this post.