Mixed Media Photography
19'' x 25" Framed
Yesterday's news becomes today's history… over and over and over again. So what happens to our past when so much "new" history is added? Do we suffer from a form of contextual dementia where pieces of our collected wisdom actually start to crumble away – one by one – like the neglected icons that dot our countryside? The past doesn't change; the way we remember it does.
Mixed Media Photography
20" x 27" Framed
I didn't set out to parody American Gothic by Grant Wood on purpose. But the more time I spent working with the cattle images, the more I saw the depression-era farmer and daughter (or wife) in my own piece. I inserted the windmill rather than a barn to replace the iconic house; I think it's more a barbed substitute for that three-pronged pitchfork than anything else. Woods' image is usually seen as a satire of rural life and it's been parodied in everything from magazines and photographs to comic books and animated cartoons. So can you imagine my surprise when I discovered that Wood actually said, "All the good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow…"
I had to laugh out loud at the irony of Bovine Gothic.
Rosemary has won numerous awards for her sometimes nostalgic, often humorous and always surreal depictions of the rural world. She left Toronto and moved to the country in 1999 where she started Black Dog Creative Arts. She was immediately smitten by her new surroundings, using its landmarks as her inspiration and her subject.
Her artwork starts with photography but most people just don't believe it – they think she's a painter. She isn't but she does borrow on the techniques of painters and collage artists to create her digital mixed-media artwork.
Rosemary combines a number of different mediums in her art; the integration of these methods comes in a digital environment where mixing and manipulating the styles is far less restrictive than in more conventional mediums. The unique outcomes you see combine digital photography, digital collage and painting techniques.
Digital art is just like any other art form – it allows her to express her own vision of form, colour and composition. It just uses different tools and is much more than simply "applying a technique" in the computer. She uses image-editing software to mimic the darkroom environment and layer photos into a digital collage. She paints using computer software, a palette and a digital stylus. And she uses pixels as her paints. The finished product is archival-quality, printed on fine-art, cotton-rag watercolour paper using inks that, like paints, can last well over 100 years (or more).
This "integrated digital art" – the mixed media of the digital art world – was first defined by the Digital Fine Arts Society of New Mexico in 2002.
Icons, landmarks, symbols and metaphors – the rural environment provides both the inspiration and the fire behind my work. All is not well "in the country"; the history and the legends of both rural life and the natural environment are being sacrificed in the name of progress. My work is not a eulogy on these things. Instead, it is designed to trigger long-buried emotions that might create change.
To take a fresh look… and to rekindle hope.