Sunday, December 26, 2010

Collage 274

With this piece, I felt inspired to use the likeness of a portly man to represent Pierre. One of the wonderful things about reading is that so much goes on in your imagination; how Pierre looks is based on the descriptions in the text but also a lot is imagined by the reader. So here is my Pierre.

"In the eyes of the world, Pierre was a great lord, the somewhat blind and ridiculous husband of a famous wife, an intelligent eccentric, a do-nothing, but one who harmed nobody, a nice and kind fellow. Yet in Pierre's soul all that time a complex and difficult work of inner development was taking place, which revealed much to him and led him to many spiritual doubts and joys."

I have often wondered how much Pierre reflects Tolstoy's inner world. Is this character based on him? Pierre seems to be the most fully-developed character in the book. What kinds of dark nights of the soul did Tolstoy experience? -- Lola

Lola Baltzell
from page 555-556 of original text
Collage, acrylic paint
made 11/11/10
page 440-442 of Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Collage 273

It's hard to say, but this may be my favorite (of mine) that I have done so far. Originally it was very busy. There was a lot going on until I added the element of black, creating an entirely different space. One of the most exciting things about collage is all of the layers that make up a single piece. One decision can change the entire composition drastically. While this piece may look like something that I had planned from the start, it is on the contrary one of the most spontaneous collages that I have done for this project. "I will tell you more about it in another . . . place."

Emma Rhodes
from page 553-554 of original text
collage, acrylic paint
made 10/15/10
page 439-440 of Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Collage 272

Then my benefactor fully explained to me the meaning of the great square of creation, and pointed out that the numbers three and seven are the foundation of everything. - p. 438 in P/V

Lynn Waskelis
from page 549-550 of original text
made 10/15/10
collage, oil crayon, India ink
page 437-438 Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Collage 271

Emma Rhodes
from page 549-550 of original text
made 10/15/10
collage, oil crayon, ink, tea-stained paper
page 436-437 of Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Collage 270

Adrienne Wetmore
from page 547-548 of original text
collage, India ink, acrylic paint
made 10/15/10
page 434-436 of Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Monday, December 20, 2010

Collage 269

Team Tolstoy is on break! We had a fantastic show which had a brief but intense 3-week run at the Atlantic Work Gallery in East Boston. We took it down Saturday evening. We may get together to have a studio day on Friday December 31, depending on who's in town, but most likely we will start afresh the first Friday in January.

I had been reading the book, but put it down again recently after Natasha almost eloped with bad-boy Anatole, Helene's brother. Anatole was assisted in his plot by the other true bad-boy, Dolokhov. It is unclear whether Prince Andrei forgave her. The one who is really in love with her is Pierre. Anyway, that's skipping ahead.

On this page (Volume II, Part Three, Chapter VI and VII),. Pierre has become the head of the Peterburg Masons.

"In the daze of his activities and diversions, however, Pierre began to feel after a year that the ground of Masonry, on which he stood, was giving way all the more under his feet the more firmly he tried to stand on it. Along with that, he felt that the further the ground he stood on gave way under his feet, the more involuntarily he was bound to it. When he was starting out in Masonry, he experienced the feeling of a man who trustingly sets foot on the smooth surface of a swamp. Placing one foot on it, he sank. To verify fully the firmness of the ground on which he stood, he placed the other foot on it and sank still more, became stuck, and now involuntarily walked knee-deep through the swamp."

Isn't that the way it is, sometimes? You know that something is not right, that you should get out, get away, yet you stay and become more embroiled in a bad situation. Why do people do that? --Lola

Lola Baltzell
from page 545-546 of original text
collage, wax, acrylic paint
made 10/15/10
page 433-434 of Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Collage 268

In the course of their long conversation... Speransky said more than once: "Among us everything that lies outside the general level of inveterate habit is considered..." or, with a smile: "But we want the wolves well-fed and the sheep safe..." or: "They cannot understand it..." And all that with an expression which said: "We, you and I, understand what they are and who we are."
p. 431 in P/V

Lynn Waskelis
from page 543-544 of original text
collage, acrylic paint
made 10/15/10
page 431-432 of Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Collage 267

I am writing this post on November 9, 2011- over a year from when I made it and nearly a year from when it was posted. Tardy! Looking at it now, I see that it was probably the first and last time I allowed the white of the page to remain until very recently. In the interim Emma has been working in this way, and I've been challenged to try the same. It's hard! I admire Emma's boldness.

Lynn Waskelis
from page 541-542 of original text
made 10/15/10
collage, acrylic paint, ink
page 429-431 Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Friday, December 17, 2010

Collage 266

I like to say that I was "channeling" Adrienne on this day. Black, a color that I had always shied away from in my work, suddenly became such an inspiration to me. Now it is appearing in almost every one of my pieces. I can't exactly say what triggered this change, but I am really enjoying it. To me, it is not a symbol of darkness, but of positive change and growth.

Emma Rhodes
from page 539-540 of original text
collage, acrylic paint, ink
made 10/19/10
page 428-429 of Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Collage 265

Old letters have a wonderful aura, whether they are revealing the relationship of the writer to the recipient, or communicating official business. I love the way this particular hand writing, fluid and easy, plays against the red and the fierce background of black.

Adrienne Wetmore
page 537-538 of original text
collage, ink
made 1015/10
page 426-427 Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Collage 264

Our second reception will be tomorrow night from 6-9pm. It will be a little more low-key (no Russian musicians, no vodka shots) but we anticipate another huge crowd as we've gotten even more press since the first opening on December 3. Speaking of vodka shots, I don't think we'll offer those again. At the last reception a homeless man wandered in, got very drunk and passed out in the bathroom. We had to call the police as he was out cold and didn't open the door when we knocked. We worried that he wasn't safe and wanted to make sure that nothing happened to him. We don't want THAT kind of press!

Here we are in Volume II, Part Three, Chapter IV. Prince Andrei has asked for an audience with the minister of war, Count Arakcheev. I have picked up on the helicopters that Charlene Liska introduced into the mix a few collages ago. I also used some very old construction paper that Emma brought in. I think she found it in the eves of an old house that was being torn down.

"... as soon as the door opened, all the faces instantly expressed only one thing -- fear. Prince Andrei asked the officer on duty to announce him once more, but he was looked at with mockery and told that his turn would come in due time. After several persons were led into and out of the minister's office by the adjutant, the fearsome door received an officer who had struck Prince Andrei with his humiliated and frightened look. The officer's audience lasted a long time. Suddenly the thunder of an unpleasant voice was heard from behind the door, and the officer emerged, pale, his lips trembling, and. clutching his head, passed through the anteroom. " Next, it was Prince Andrei's turn. The minister of war was contemptuous. His petition is denied. -- Lola

Lola Baltzell
from page 535-536 of original text
made 11/10
collage, acrylic paint
page 425-426 of Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Collage 263

There is a "found" Lola- of Valence- in this collage and a general messiness....

Lynn Waskelis
from page 533-534 of original text
collage, acrylic paint, ink and crayon
made 11/10
page 422-423 of Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Monday, December 13, 2010

Collage 262

Charlene has a studio in our building at 80 Border Street in East Boston and is a member of Atlantic Works Gallery where we are currently showing this project. She heard about it and asked if she could be a contributor. Here is her artist statement from the Atlantic Works Gallery web site:

"I look for the other side of things (assuming there is another side.) This often involves a road trip. I try to reduce the visible world, which I find increasingly inscrutable, to essentials, using a variety of means, including both painted and electronic media and silkscreen.

Lately, I've been looking a lot at old movies, trying to capture something of their quality of wakeful, tangible dream, the enhanced reality of the black and white, the pivotal moment (the fleeing figure, the man in the mirror, the hand poised on the telephone.)

I take photographs, paint from the photographs, photograph the paintings. I like what the various iterations reveal."

Here are her comments about this collage and project:

"I have been much taken by the literal and other meanings of the title War and Peace; e.g. polar oppositions both intrinsic parts of life, seemingly, both within and without us. I was struck especially by an extended conceit in War and Peace wherein a batallion of insects descends on a large, lush, red, red flower, conveying all the contradictory feelings of
danger and joy and luxury and sensuality and machine-like focus on 'objectives'. For your current show, I wanted to contribute something on the opposite end of the spectrum from what I understood you were doing so far, to introduce some of the yang to the yin or whatever the current metaphor is for the eternal dualities, thus the tiny helicopter/insects buzzing down the page like the black and white of the letters themselves."

Charlene Liska
from page 531-532 of original text

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Collage 261

I don't know if this image is relevant to the actual text I was
using, but on that I recall reading a sweet scene between mother and daughter. It was taking place in their bedclothes in the mother's bedroom, where they were discussing Natasha's flirty, youthful love for Boris. This collage doesn't convey the tenderness, but I feel this particular stack of origami paper (here I've used the yellow and red plaid) has a domestic quality to it, and so it snuck in to offset that foreboding black. -- Adrienne

Adrienne Wetmore
from page 529-530 of original text
collage, acrylic paint, printers ink

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Collage 260

Alas, this is the last collage we will be posting until the show ends on 12/18/10. It is one of the images that we used for our postcard for our show this month.

Every collage we have done until now -- 299 of them -- is hanging in the gallery. Mark didn't photograph any beyond this one. We've been so focused on the show that I lost track of where he left off!

So bear with us and keep following along! And if you live in the Boston area, please come to one of our events. The big reception will be tomorrow from 6-9pm, and the smaller reception will be Thursday Dec 16 from 6-9pm. We have been getting a lot of press which is wonderful. So we are anticipating a fun party. I have confirmed with the Russian musicians, the food and drink is purchased, the gallery is beautiful. Until soon! -- Lola

Lynn Waskelis
from 527-528 of original text
made 10/19/10
page 418-420 Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Collage 259

This is from the new magazine Time Out Boston which was published online on recently. The article is entitled "20 art shows to see this winter Cold weather culture, all season long: By David Wildman

Laura Baltzell: “The War and Peace Project” (Dec. 3–18)
Atlantic Works Gallery
Laura Baltzell is taking artistic ambition into whole new realms of the neurotic: She and a group of volunteers have pledged to make 750 separate collages using every page of her Russian copy of Tolstoy’s bleak classic. Her press release describes the idea as “crazy and enticing.” We know they got the first part right, at least. File this under: must be seen to be believed.

Lola Baltzell
from page 525-526 of original text
made 10/19/10
page 416-418 of Pevear/Volokhonsky translation