It seems to me that Merle Rosen is doing exactly what she wants to do.
For one thing, there is a wide variety in her work. She is breaking that rule about getting really good at one thing. Her acrylic work, alone, is applied to plywood, paper, yupo, multimedia board, Lanaquarelle, clayboard, and who knows what else.
But what really caught me was this video on YouTube about her collage and painting process.
She begins by quipping: “If you were in here you’d probably be asking me questions about what I’m thinking about, and I’d say I’m not. You’d also want to know what I’m looking at, and I’d say Everything.”
She thinks it’s important to be present with a piece of art, with what is unfolding, whether you like it or not, and trying to go with it as it unfolds.
In this case, the belly button is what she determines to be missing. Oh, and a hat. Her collage material is also her own work, which is part of my method as well. So we’ll have to back up and watch her create the collage material:
She likes to make surfaces her own. She demonstrates working on Yupo with her first love, pencil. I am delighted to know that Yupo holds graphite well, and will definitely be trying it myself. She draws such expressive lines, completely intuitively. If she likes the entire surface, she works at it as a piece of art. If not, she takes the scissors to it and uses it as source material for other images.
Merle likes to take chances, to attempt things where she doesn’t have any idea what the outcome will be.
Did you catch a glimpse of that huge cache of Golden products on her shelves? That’s a perk which Golden Working Artists enjoy.
In an article by CityBeat‘s Katie Moser, Rosen reveals that “her artwork and her teaching are a spiritual practice. Through various artistic media, she hopes to connect with her internal dialogue. Rosen teaches to help others do the same.”
Step-By-Step Guide To Acrylic Collage With Merle Rosen is available on DVD if you desire a longer session with Rosen. I am considering it, because her free-wheeling approach is so catchy. I’m also looking at another Golden Working Artist‘s DVD: Nancy Reyner’s Acrylic Revolution: Watercolor & Oil Effects with Acrylic Paint. Her book, Acrylic Revolution, is a must have for anyone wants to explore the many options of acrylics.
Listening to an interview with Nancy will let you know that she also works intuitively and spontaneously, like Rosen, but with such contrasting results. And Reyner desires to create powerful, transformative work that will move viewers emotionally, revealing something of her to others.
I can’t say with complete assurance that I am noticing everything around me while I paint, but I am definitely watching how the techniques these women use flow from the inner dialogue they are always listening to.
Are you listening to yours?