December 18, 2013

Messages in Bottles

For the past week, I’ve been finishing my acrylic paintings on paper for my small works exhibition. I had started out with repainted folk art designs but then a new theme developed - vessels and bottles. The square paintings of teapots completed, I turned to the very tiny pieces of sized paper and determined that a life sized snuff bottle could fit just right on to this format. Before painting my imaginary snuff bottles I carved a series of linoleum blocks with ancient Chinese Zhuan script on them. A few I carved with just pictographic designs. These I filled with acrylic paint in modulated colors. I then stamped these into the wet but not oozing paintings of the wet bottles. The ridges of paint that formed around the words gave an embossed effect which gave the effect of designs in low relief. I painted about twelve of these in various shapes and colors. My thoughts for display are to have them hung in three separate rows on top of one another to give the impression of a snuff bottle collection.

There is a current exhibition of snuff bottles at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which, health permitting, I just might be able to see on my next medical trip. The message in the lid and on the body of the blue bottle at right say “Remarkable World.” Perhaps I should have printed a sign for good health on one of the bottles.

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