Players of the Stage is fifteen years old. It’s hard to believe that much time has past. In anticipation of our celebration and reunion this week I wanted to share two pieces of recent work that are POTS related. I have a goal of creating a piece of art inspired by every POTS production I direct. I’ve got two done. Yes, I am rather behind. Here is the first:
This is from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, performed in 2009. It was the first show I directed. A crowd favorite, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (or BCPE as we liked to call it) was the perfect show to introduce me to task of directing. Memorializing the experience in a collage was a great way to get me back into pursuing visual art.
In 2008 I decided to switch my degree from Fine Arts to Technical Theatre. I dabbled with a few art projects, but I didn’t invest the time in it that I should have. In 2012 I sat down to begin my project of making a piece of art for each of the plays I’ve directed. It was one of the most brutal projects I’ve ever done. I love collage. I started this project thinking it would be a quick and simple piece, but I was rusty. I had forgotten how to follow lines, shapes, space relationships, shadows, perspective, everything! I had forgotten about the rule of working backwards to forwards. Most horrifically, I had forgotten how to lose myself in my work and find joy in creating.
It was good that I was figuring everything out again through a collage. Collages are very forgiving. Mess up? Cut away or paste over. A good two years later I finished, triumphant and thankful to have pushed through. I still had lessons to re-learn (the next piece has a good example of one), but I had rediscovered my love for art and my need to pursue it.
As soon as I had finished the piece from BCPE I started on The Importance of Being Earnest project. This is a portrait of me performing as Lady Bracknell in our 2010 spring production. This is another work of triumph. One reason is I re-learned the importance of correct math when it comes to grids and aspect ratio for keeping the correct proportions in drawing. (The lack of correct math is why I am a bit squat in this portrait.) The other reason is that I did around eighty percent of the drawing after I seriously injured my hand last fall.
I was determined to finish this portrait. Almost cutting off my dominant hand was not going to stop me. I did some of it with my left hand, painstakingly practicing figure eights, straight lines, and dots, before pressing the point of the marker to the page. Once I had recovered enough to hold a pen, I switched back to drawing with my right. Again I had to practice. It was not easy to draw, but I was drawing. It was good therapy, physically and emotionally, to be able to draw. On February 14th, three months minus one day from my accident, I finished the Importance of Being Earnest project.
Since then I haven’t worked on any POTS drawings. The 2010 Christmas Carol is next, and I would really like to get it done before our 2015 production of Christmas Carol opens…but, we’ll see….