For years I have incorporated words into my paintings in a variety of ways. As I started painting for this exhibit, I became fascinated with the concept of ‘palimpsest.’
Wikipedia: A palimpsest is a manuscript page, either from a scroll or a book, from which the text has been scraped or washed off so that the page can be reused for another document. Parchment and other materials for writing or engraving upon were expensive to produce, and in the interest of economy were re-used wherever possible.
One thing about these “washed/cleaned” manuscript pages is that often the original text wouldn’t be completely obliterated. The residual writing remained and could be seen as a kind of ghostly image under the later script.
I have worked to create this kind of imagery by using layers of paint and collage materials that are semi-transparent. It is not my intention that the script in my paintings be legible. I write things that are important to me (quotes, thoughts, poetry, song lyrics) on the collage materials that I glue into the paintings, but then I obscure the words using various techniques. I want the writing to be partially hidden so that its essence is deep in the painting but isn’t clear.
For me, a palimpsest is a metaphor for the human condition where, as we go through life, we have experience after experience. Our new memories are layered over older ones and can become changed and distorted as a result. This series of paintings represents our multi-layered human experience.
Keep an eye on Instagram, Facebook, and my webste: www.jacquibeck.com, for information about the exhibits and images of these paintings, and join me at the Women Painters of WA Gallery and Columbia City Gallery receptions to see these paintings in person.