Here we are in the last week of August 2018. That means Wells Wednesday is coming to a close. In case you missed any of the posts in the Wells of Renewal and Decay series, all of the previous posts are linked at the bottom of this page.
This image is the first one I printed early in the process of creating the Wells of Renewal and Decay. I think this was the first time I recognized these images were, and are, full compositions on their own. This particular composition reminded me of an Abstract Expressionist painting with splashes of color and movement. If you look closer, you will find numbers scattered throughout. I love trying to decipher the meaning of the still legible numbers in the sea of color.
The inscribed numbers, which are visible in varying degrees of legibility, are being washed away by the vibrant, wet color. But, in some ways, the numbers are the obscure key to this image.
I am sure the numbers held some significance to the one who etched them, but what information do they hold now? Are they informational notations, instructions, locations, or is this a reincarnation of the metal where the numbers are simply the history, the detritus left behind from some other previous purpose?
These wells (stock tanks) contain water for livestock on farms and ranches. The life sustaining content of the wells is also associated with the symbolism of purification or cleansing, as well as for hydration. Do the numbers which appear on the surface then become transgressions that are brought to the well to be cleansed or washed away?
Then, there is the color itself. What is the possible symbolism associated with the color yellow? Yellow is often associated with happiness (think of the ubiquitous smile faces), optimism, enlightenment, and creativity.
On the flip side, yellow can also be a signal of caution (think Yield signs), betrayal, and physical illness. Also, it is worth noting that many yellow pigments, like cadmium, are considered toxic metals.
ONE MORE THING…
Before we end this series of blog posts, I just want to share how much I love creating this ongoing series. The seclusion of visiting farms and ranches fills my introvert cup to the brim, and being outdoors speaks to my appreciation of nature which has developed over a lifetime. As a result, the areas I was fortunate to visit in creating this work has become my “studio”, and I never have to ask for subjects. Seeing the compositions on the surfaces of the stock tanks has challenged me in new ways of seeing, as well as thinking. I hope I have done my job well and you are rewarded in kind.
I also hope you enjoyed this “behind the photo” series about the Wells of Renewal and Decay. Throughout these posts, I have included the “sketch” images to help you gain a sense of place. Now, I encourage you to view the selected images in the Projects tab at the top of the page, or by clicking HERE.
And, one last time, remember, the words and thoughts I have shared with you in these blog posts are intended to help you find YOUR story rather than lead you to ONE story. My goal was to encourage you to find that story and allow those stories to inspire you as much as they inspire me.