blackboard

art brown collage cream moss painting pattern

I am old enough to remember blackboards. I am even old enough to remember the blackboards that were old enough that even when using water and a rag to clean them they were not erasable. The ghost images were annoying and also an unavoidable reminder of the long term use of an excellent teaching tool.

I feel as though certain systems that we rely on in our daily lives are like the blackboards of the past. They had their use and were useful when they were first invented and used as social systems, but it's too bad that we cannot erase them. Examples of what seem un-erasable: the patriarchal and capitalist systems.

Dots 36, Moss + Brown Pattern & Cream, ©2021, mixed media, 4 x 4 inches.

When I was in the process of making this painting I never intended for the white circles on the dark color to smear and nearly erase themselves. But this did happen when I applied a top coat of acrylic media that I use to seal the entire work. Typically, my white drawing pen is permanent and I can paint the acrylic coat without this result. Not this time!

I work intuitively and with a belief that my work has something to say, even when small "mistakes" such as this sort of blackboard erasure issue happened. I like to let my work live AS IS until I can "read" the message I made.

Today, when I decided to write about my work and contemplate the meaning that I can derive from my images, I knew I had to deeply look at Dots 36, Moss + Brown Pattern & Cream. Incidentally, my entire series of dot paintings is titled with the number in which they were painted and the colors in the paintings. This is a simple straight forward system that has allowed me to concentrate on making the work rather than using creative energy on how to name each piece.

In looking at this now, I see that "the blackboard club" is it's own dot. The other dots are part of the image (the system) but they are not allowed in to play the game as the current rules are written.

I feel as though we are living in a time where the blackboard clubs will eventually be a relic of the past, just as schoolhouse blackboards have become obsolete. Change will happen, we will eventually be able to fully erase unsupported systems. But like the old blackboards at schools I have taught at, to become extinct might take longer than we wish. First, we must endure the ghost image of the past teachings. Then, in time, the relic will be relegated to trash.

And so that we are clear, when new systems of social structure become adopted, they too will not be forever systems. As in nature, change is inevitable. How we respond to it is up to us.


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