Monday, November 07, 2011

After Earthquakes

We've had a series of moderate earthquakes here in the Bay Area lately. Nothing big, really, especially for people who are from quake territory, but big enough to frighten me for sure. Part of the issue is that most of the recent earthquakes have been centered just a mile or two from school, so the shaking feels especially strong.

It's terrifying during the shaking, but the disorientation and feeling of "seasickness" that I get afterwards is nearly as bad. It's similar to the feeling you get after a day spent boating, when you step back on dry land but still feel as if you're on the waves. I can feel false quakes for days after the real thing, and the fact that there really *are* aftershocks makes it even worse. I often don't know whether my mind and body are playing tricks on me, or if its honest-to-god shaking. Sometimes I have to look around the room at other people's faces to determine if something is happening or not.

This quake-sick feeling is so bizarre, by far the closest I've ever come to wondering if I'm going a little crazy. I decided to try and capture it in a panting for my Chromophobia class, as we're putting on an exposition this week about phobias. The title of the show is "Horror vacui", which means fear of empty space (and is just a very cool-sounding phrase). I wanted the painting to be really busy and visually disorienting to look at.

The end look is definitely different from what I'd originally envisioned, but I am okay with letting the process dictate the result. Here's a bit of the evolution. I think I'm one layer away from being finished, maybe two.

("Seismic", acrylic on canvas, 36x36")

(sorry for the poor image quality. I'm content remembering to take *any* process photos of my art these days.)

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