Happy Fifteen!

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:

"Imogene and Baby Jesus." Collage. Started 2012. Finished 2014.
“Imogene and Baby Jesus.” Collage. Started 2012. Finished 2014.

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.

“Handbag?!” India Ink Marker. 2015

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….


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