Monday, February 1, 2010

"La Puerta" by Jan Girod -Sanctuary

Sanctuary, this word brought many images to mind. The immediate images were of my personal places of refuge; such as the forests of northern Minnesota where I grew up or the warm beaches found along the Gulf Coast. They are also where I typically turn for inspiration and I wanted to use these challenges to stretch myself. So I went back to contemplating the word, its definitions and synonyms; hoping for a lightbulb moment. One definition kept creeping back into my thoughts; "any gateway marking an entrance or exit from one place or state to another; at heavens door". For years I have taken photographs of doors, for me doors are the passage way by which we take refuge. Immediately a wonderful photo of a cathedral door in the El Socolo in Mexico City came to mind and the phrase from the definition "at heavens door" popped into my head. How could I create this piece and stretch myself? That nagging question played over and over in my mind, during daytime hours and even while I slept.

Finally I pulled an ugly fabric from my stash, using 1/4" tape I laid out a grid for the building wall on the wrong side of the fabric. Then I used watercolor pencils and textile medium to shade my blocks, after drying they looked like a wall. The door needed to look rugged, hand hewn, so I used brown packing paper, crumpled and flattened numerous times to break down the fibers, coloring it with shoe polish gave it a worn leather look.

Embroidery and embellishments were used to give the piece dimension and the look of age. I love it when someone looks at a piece of my work, see's the overall composition, moves in to take a closer look, discovers small details and becomes excited by them.




5 comments:

  1. This is so well done.. loved to see.. after reading about.. your various techniques.

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  2. Beautiful use of hand embroidery to detail in the bricks in the wall. I also like the small embellishments around the door.

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  3. Jan, my favorite part is the telling of how you came to this piece. What a great job. It looks both old and royal. I would love to feel it. I'll bet the paper is great. Good job. Helen Moreda

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  4. I really enjoyed your definitions of the techniques you used. I'm hoping to see this in person some day.

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