We are surrounded by pieces of things that tell stories. It’s why I’m drawn to those odds and ends that have a sense of history, such as bits of nature collected on a walk, old letters, fragments of textiles—all saved for possible projects. I keep sketchbooks filled with words and articles that interest me and use them to go shopping for ideas for new beginnings. Quick and simple thumbnail drawings help with figuring out how to get started.
The fun comes when layers are built up on canvas, board or paper, using combinations of paint, paper, found objects, words, marks and shapes— whatever is at hand, echoing something from the past. It’s kind of like being an archeologist, constructing and then removing parts of the piece to reveal what was hiding there in plain sight. The unexpected is always welcome, and to quote Andy Warhol, “My paintings never turn out the way I expect…”
Drawing upon a wide and eclectic range of sources, (including the work of other artists such as David Hockney, Anselm Keifer, Louise Bourgeois, Betty Goodwin and Jenny Saville), I search for different ways to tell my story. The dictionary, the internet and many books provide additional research. Almost anything can be an influence—it’s important to remain curious and not be afraid to take chances. After all, it’s only a piece of paper, a chunk of wood or a scrap of canvas.
I am telling a story visually, reminiscent of time past. By using bits and pieces that might have been discarded and forgotten, I repurpose them to tell a new story that speaks to something deeper while informing and delighting the viewer.
Linda Finn 2021