After I posted the pictures last night, I got busy doing something else, and then was too tired to write anything about them. It was kind of fun to let them stand for themselves, though, maybe. My camera isn't the greatest for taking close-up shots, but at least it gives an idea.
The outside (top and sides) is covered with wide printed ribbon, then lightly varnished. The hearts on the doors are glued-on wooden pieces, and there are various pieces of paper collage both inside and out. There's a little mirror on the top shelf, and silver metal beads spelling out "WISHES." On the inside of one door is a tiny spring clothespin holding a miniature tarot card of The Sun (the card isn't glued in, so the clothespin could hold anything--a fortune cookie fortune, maybe?); the word inside the other door is "BOUNTEOUS," which dictionary.com says means "Generously and copiously given."
There's an image of an old key glued to the floor symbolizing hidden secrets. The key and the mirror are both important, I think--the mirror, in addition to being a reflective surface to bring light in, also reminds anyone looking in that ultimately, we are responsible for fulfilling our own wishes and dreams, and that we have the ability to do that inside ourselves.
I worked on a second one tonight. This one is painted green, lightly distressed and antiqued, with sort of a "garden" theme--it has a tiny pile of terra cotta pots, and a birdhouse, and a little chair . . . I varnished it tonight, and can put in the ornaments tomorrow. I'm trying not to overdo it, to leave plenty of room for personal treasures. They're sort of like "interactive" art, maybe. Sort of whimsical, yet it has a use, it's not just decorative.
I haven't decided what's going to happen with them yet. It's a really interesting process to me. It's very difficult for me to allow myself to make art that isn't structured, to allow myself to just do something, anything, without being attached to the outcome. To allow myself to make mistakes. Although, in general, that's where the exciting stuff happens. You have to get to the point where you're not afraid that you're going to ruin it, and that's very hard. But if you only color inside the lines, you never figure out what else you might be able to do.
So anyway, I'm finding it very liberating and exciting. Photos of the new one tomorrow, hopefully.
Someone wrote tonight and asked me if I had been inspired by Joseph Cornell. I had never heard of him, but oh! What wonderful stuff! I Googled his name and found the WebMuseum link above. Really amazing stuff. Kind of like Nick Bantock's work, but three dimensional.