crayons, cats, dolls and monsters
melted crayon on panel
series of 200
4" x 6" in. each
This series is about making art that reflects my childhood, my history, and creating art for the sheer pleasure of making it.
The paintings were created by melting crayons in a technique similar to encaustic painting on small wooden panels. They are portraits of the dolls and toys that I collected from my parent’s attic, basement and my childhood bedroom. I photographed the Barbie dolls, stuffed cats, plastic raccoons, rubber triceratops, Happy Meal Garfields and the countless other creatures. Using a glue gun, I melted crayons onto the wooden panels to paint a portrait of each. Even the crayons were from a 25 year old shoebox from my childhood closet.
The process was about the sheer pleasure of playing. There was something delicious and decadent about holding the bright wax stick to the hot tip of the glue gun, the few seconds it took to warm, and then the gush of melted, molten color that cascaded onto the wooden surface. This was a guilty pleasure.
The original installation was accompanied by a sculptural component of original stuffed animals and dolls stacked between the head and footboard of an antique bed. These creatures were my talismen (only much less portable than those that would fit into a shaman’s pocket). When I stacked them high upon one another, the pile had a presence of its own, as all the little eyes squinted and stared at me from the corner. They knew me from way back. They remembered the time when I didn’t know how to paint in oils, but played with Crayons, Cats, Dolls and Monsters.