This original artwork measures 6" x 8" x 1" and is created with acrylic paint, decorative nails and gel medium. The artwork is titled and signed on the back. Collaboration with Anna Mahoney Burba.
The 46 wood oval panels in XO Numia are inspired by the tradition of Exonumia items. Each panel documents moments in my life and the exploration and experimentation of materials.
With the XO Numia series, I wanted to experiment with a new base shape, unique materials and a variety of techniques that challenged me to rethink how and why I make art. To start the series, I thought back to my childhood when I would spend hours playing with coins. The various sizes, shapes and weights, the texture of their engravings, and the variety of patinas fascinated me. The elongated or “squished” coins were my favorite.
Recently, I learned that elongated coins belong to a category known as Exonumia, which are numismatic items (such as tokens or medals) other than coins and paper money. From the elongated coin I drew from the shape and surface quality with it’s embossed imagery and metallic patinas, which I emulated with Pouring Medium and paint. I combined these qualities on the oval wood panels that references another numismatic item, the wooden nickel. Since I love to play with symbols, metaphors and especially wordplay in my artwork, I took the word Exonumia, pulled the letters X and O, which have long represented the concept of love, or more specifically Kisses and Hugs, and began my love letter in which I gave myself permission to play.
Many of the panels were begun by paying homage to the life of the tree and creating what I call, Found Compositions, in which I would simply separate the various wood grain shapes with color. Once established, the Found Compositions created shapes that I could respond to with images. Each panel documents moments in my life with renderings inspired by dreams, interactions or the exploration and experimentation of materials.
For this series, I also collaborated with ceramic artist Bruce Grimes and the painting students currently enrolled at Wittenberg University. This work is reminiscent of the Surrealist tradition of collaborating or using games of chance as inspirational starting points for works of art. The collaborations are a culmination of everything I hoped to explore with this series where I am given a puzzle that I must solve and the result is a new work of art and a new experience.