Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Child's play

Blue Jello ©2012 Morgan Johnson Norwood
Blue Jello
oil and charcoal on canvas, 24 x 24 inches
©2012 Morgan Johnson Norwood

Cookie Monster ©2012 Morgan Johnson Norwood
Cookie Monster
oil and charcoal on canvas, 24 x 24 inches
©2012 Morgan Johnson Norwood

Having a preschooler in the house definitely changes one's mindset.  I used to be somewhat sophisticated, if you can believe it, rubbing elbows with famous artists at gallery openings, enjoying fancy dinners and expensive bottles of Vodka.  I would actually wear heels most days, and if necessary, was unafraid to throw out a few colorful curse words to emphasize a point.  But now my uniform is a t-shirt and jeans and a ponytail, and don't be surprised if you hear me uttering such phrases as, "your eyeball is on the floor," or "put on your fairy wings and wiggle!" because I'm a mom and that's the kind of life I have now: drably attired, perhaps, but exceptionally challenged and exponentially rewarded.

And thank goodness for naptime.  (Did you hear that?  That was the sound of thousands of mommies clinking their wine glasses in agreement.)  Naptime is the precious 90-120 minute block when I remember who I actually am under all the yogurt stains: an artist.

In creating these two recent paintings, which, like most of my work, are very much inspired from patches of dappled light and shadows on the trail, I began to employ a playful attitude.  I'm tickled with how these paintings came out, and to me they just scream childhood.  Scrawled marks from charcoal outline the borders between the bright colors, and in the case of Cookie Monster, a playful stitching harkens to one of my favorite Henson puppets.  Wouldn't they be fun hanging in a playroom?

Blue Jello and Cookie Monster are both currently on view at North Gate Vineyard as part of my solo show, Shadow | Light.

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