Pan's Eye: Times as These

izzybeth

Maryville, United States

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Artist's Description

Altered Art
Collage
Mixed Media
Acrylic Paint

Created using different techniques, this mixed media project is an exercise in achieving texture, such as peeling paper, contact paper transfer, and caulking transfer method.
Dried flowers.

If you look close you will see a compass. Within the compass is Robert Frost’s poem, “Pan With US.”

Robert Frost – Pan with Us

Pan came out of the woods one day,—
His skin and his hair and his eyes were gray,
The gray of the moss of walls were they,—
And stood in the sun and looked his fill
At wooded valley and wooded hill.

He stood in the zephyr, pipes in hand,
On a height of naked pasture land;
In all the country he did command
He saw no smoke and he saw no roof.
That was well! and he stamped a hoof.

His heart knew peace, for none came here
To this lean feeding save once a year
Someone to salt the half-wild steer,
Or homespun children with clicking pails
Who see so little they tell no tales.

He tossed his pipes, too hard to teach
A new-world song, far out of reach,
For sylvan sign that the blue jay’s screech
And the whimper of hawks beside the sun
Were music enough for him, for one.

Times were changed from what they were:
Such pipes kept less of power to stir
The fruited bough of the juniper
And the fragile bluets clustered there
Than the merest aimless breath of air.

They were pipes of pagan mirth,
And the world had found new terms of worth.
He laid him down on the sun-burned earth
And raveled a flower and looked away—
Play? Play?—What should he play?

Created by using basic techniques, this mixed media project is an exercise in applying texture, such as peeling paper, contact paper transfer, and caulking transfer method.
First, I coated the canvas with acrylic gel medium, and then several sheets of telephone book paper positioned on the wet canvas. Quickly, while the paper was still wet, manila masking tape burnished and then pulled up and off the surface. By tugging the tape in different directions, the texture became more interesting. I continued to scratch and peel away additional areas. Next, a color wash of acrylic paint brought out color and depth in exposed sections of the paper. The blotting of paint and lifting color created a fascinating background. Then I applied paint with my fingers in various areas.
Next, a contact paper transfer of an AutoCAD project created an impression of a sun or eye in the upper left corner of the work.
Several years ago, my affinity for the Greek culture and poetry manifested itself while I was learning how to make a compass in AutoCAD. “Pan With Us” has 36 lines including stanzas breaks in Robert Frost’s poem. Thirty-six degrees… Full circle… The poem describes Pan scanning the fields, with his pipe in hand… marveling that the woods had changed and contemplating the old way and seeing no children to romp about and harass, he tosses his pipe and wonders just what to play. The poem is about the loss of the old way and entering into a new. It was perfect for the compass project I called “Pan’s Eye:” the assignment was to make and embellish a compass. This compass looks like an eye, with Frost’s poem as focus. One of the big questions in my life is… Which way’s North? Gotta have that compass… You know, finding one’s bearing and all…
Last, I used a caulking transfer method (only, I used clear acrylic paint) to reverse transfer another project I did as an Interior Design student. Vellum placed over a photograph of Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini’s marble sculpture and a series of dots were “traced” over his masterpiece titled Apollo and Daphne. A lesson in Pointillism.
The myth of Apollo, the sun god, and Daphne the water nymph, is a story of unrequited love. Apollo wants to possess Daphne, and she wants nothing to do with him. Enthralled by the water nymph, Apollo cannot understand her lack of interest, so he chases her as she runs and cries out for her father’s protection. Bernini’s statue identifies the moment of her transformation and Apollo’s horror: Daphne’s father has answered her prayer by transforming her into a laurel tree. Apollo has just reached her, in fact, he is touching her just as the lower half of her body is changing into a trunk of a laurel tree, and her fingertips are morphing into leaves.
How sad for Apollo who made himself a headdress out of a laurel branch so he would always have his heart’s desire. I think it is interesting that he made a head dress instead of a wrist bracelet or even a belt, because now the viewer knows that he is always thinking about his unrequited love, Daphne.

Artwork Comments

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