i return to the river where once…
— 24 x 24 inches — mixed media on panel

— copyright Dawn Chandler 2011

Yesterday I applied the last couple coats of varnish to this, my most recent mixed media painting: I Return to the RIver Where Once…. I’ve created this piece for Mining the Unconscious: An Exhibit of Art Inspired by Carl Jung’s Red Book — a summer exhibition hosted by the Santa Fe Community Gallery. I’m thrilled to have been invited to participate. I’ll deliver the painting today; the exhibit will be installed late next week.

This exhibit has provided me the perfect excuse to pull out my collage materials and acrylic paints this spring and get busy with mixed media. To create my painting I started with a previously abandoned painting on panel, one of an abstracted landscape with a river cutting through it. That former painting was never satisfying to me, so a few years ago I started reworking it, taking it through any number of metamorphoses. I’d leave it alone for awhile, and then a few months later pick it up again. When I was invited to participate in this special exhibition, I knew immediately that I would use this recycled panel as the base for my new painting. A stretch of the river from the original painting is still visible in the bottom right quadrant of this newly finished piece. That river kept disappearing and reemerging as I reworked the old painting.

Recycled collages — pieces that were complete works in their own right, but which I decided would be put to better use as part of a larger story — make up the left-hand side of this piece. Composed of old wine bottle labels, dried and emptied tea bag papers, stamped images, fragments of cloth and paint rags, they provide visual texture and ‘detail’ to the larger composition. Fragments of photographs of statuary tease, suggesting — begging — a narrative that remains ultimately enigmatic.
Mining the Unconscious: An Exhibit of Art Inspired by Carl Jung’s Red Book will open on Friday evening, June 17th at the Santa Fe Community Gallery at 201 West Marcy Street (at the intersection of Marcy and Sheridan), Santa Fe. The show will be on display through the summer.

Below, details of my painting: