This is a final version of the work I outlined below (compare the two), now titled "Landmark: Gospel Essentials". I am now working on another combined found object assemblage and realist oil painting using the work "Scott Fertilizer Building" and fragments I collected at that painting site nearly a year ago. The concept of "landmark" occurred to me as appropriate to what will be a new series. The term landmark originated with the need to symbolically represent on maps recognizable, commonly found features in the landscape. Landmarks aid our orientation, creating a visual vocabulary of familiar locations.
Mapping our world, marking our world... the human interaction with the natural environment. "Landmark" seemed to me to be a good overall term for representing how I approach these locations that are at once both recognizable and undiscovered mysteries in my immediate ecology.
The subtitle "Gospel Essentials" is actually the title of the cassette tape in the lower right corner of the work. The print on the plastic case is barely visible... just a ghostly little bit of text. It was, like most all the elements in the painting, something I picked up in the vacant lot represented in the painting. I think this element, and the Dollar General store plastic bag represent something of the population closest to this site. The aerial image in the upper left shows the site, including the cell phone tower. I have marked red lines showing the angle of view of the painted picture.
My critique group liked this piece. Appreciated were the representation of multiple surfaces and perspectives, the way I carried certain line elements outside the painting into the assemblage construction. The names of Kurt Schwitters and Joseph Cornell came up. Their approach to assemblage and use of paint comes closest to this work, but I think the inclusion of a highly representational (plein air even) work as one of the elements is rather unique.
Technical note update: Adhesives...
I mentioned earlier that I used the Liquid Nails Heavy Duty construction adhesive for the wood and masonry objects. On Judy Hiramoto's suggestion, I tried the craft adhesive E6000, which is crystal clear and very tacky. It worked great on the glass (over on the upper right inside edge between the painting and the wood) and for several of the metal objects. Some elements are nailed in place with either galvanized finishing nails, or copper plated brads; I'm a stickler for the "archival". The painting itself is attached to the backing board with screws from behind.