I have to say that working on this piece has been a surprise from start to finish. I really had no idea what I was going for when I started- I had a few sheets of rice paper with random cursive writing on it, and I wanted to use it. I didn't have enough to cover as much as I wanted, so I ripped it into pieces and adhered them to the top half of my canvas in a random pattern. I knew I wanted to work with drips, so leaving the bottom half of the canvas blank seemed like the thing to do.
This piece also took a lot of patience. As I added the colors, I had to let each layer dry before adding the next, so that the lines and drips would show through rather than blending in with another layer. If there's one thing that drives me nuts when my creative juices are flowing, it's waiting for paint to dry. Ugh.
I added the purple and then the red blocks of color, and once they were dry, I used modeling paste mixed with a little red acrylic to be the base for my quilled pieces. I was thinking of rivers of color as I worked on this part, flowing currents running perpendicular to the downward drips. At this point, I still didn't really know what I was doing, though something seemed to be forming.
It was once I started adding my dirty cityscape that I realized what my subconscious had apparently known all along- that I was painting a story I know about a massive building, filled with people who are convinced of their own superiority, who mock sacred things, prize that which has no value, and hold cheap those things that are most precious. Essentially, the building is a metaphor for the pride of the world. It has no foundation, and is held up by... well, nothing really.
I'm not sure why this idea seemed to be working itself out of my head and into my art. Perhaps I needed to remind myself of my own foundation, to remember the things that I hold sacred. Without something secure to hold onto, I could easily end up as a resident here. After all, there's plenty of space for everyone and the only requirement is making fun of the things and people around you.
As I was thinking about this while I was finishing up last night, I started looking at other aspects to see what other symbols I could find. The text in the background? The transparency of the paint? The brown stains throughout my quilled "river"? I have some ideas on how these could fit into my metaphor, but I'd love to hear your thoughts and interpretations as well.