Friday, September 26, 2014

The Fruited Plain

The Fruited Plain

This is an assemblage that I put together today from wood scraps. I made and painted the shadow box yesterday, so today it was a matter of selecting the pieces to be included and figuring out how they would go together. The starting point was the brownish square piece at the top right. I knew I wanted to use that, and I knew I wanted some strong colors, so I cut the yellow piece to match the width of the brown piece and then trimmed the long piece with the cracking paint on it to a size that would make the whole thing a square.  There had originally been raised strip of wood in the center of the brown square, and I tried gluing that in, but I didn't like the effect and decided to inlay the blue-grey strip into the groove that was already there. The last addition to the surface was the horizontal white bar, which was actually a leftover piece from a cut I had done earlier, so I glued and clamped it on and it fit right in.

When the central square was done, it occurred to me that I could frame that square with some strips I had of 1/4" plywood that had already been painted a golden yellow color that went well with the other tones in the piece, so I cut the strips to fit, glued them, and clamped the whole thing up to dry. A couple of hours later I went back, took the clamps off, and then glued the whole thing into the shadow box and clamped that up.

While it was drying, I was thinking about a title. The overall amber tone got me thinking about amber waves of grain, but that felt a little too literal and potentially misleading, and so I took one and a half steps sideways and wound up with The Fruited Plain, an oblique tribute to American abundance, the harvest season, and the gesture of making something attractive out of what other people have thrown away.

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