Pearle Northrop

Artist Statement
It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I started taking what I do seriously and it took even longer to consider myself an artist. I love to paint whatever I can get my hands on from things as small as a Scrabble® piece to as big as a dresser and hopefully even bigger someday. Whatever it is I will paint it. I love transforming trash into treasure literally. Imagine that a chair that came from a dumpster (2006) made it into a museum (2009). It blows me away to think that something I did creates a sense of awe in a viewer’s eye.
I was talking to a friend a few years back about my love for furniture, my relationship with chairs in particular. There was a chair that I found discarded and ultimately forgotten. I came upon this chair accidentally. I wasn't looking for a relationship. Anyway, the chair was a very handsome chair with so many things to look at. His back was decorative; his arms were long and lean. His legs...I have never seen such beautiful legs. But he was beaten down. His self-esteem had long been worn out. His seat, which was repeatedly upholstered over years, was torn and faded. His stuffing was busting out revealing his age and loss of pride. Me, being a care taker and rescuer of sorts....picked up the chair and brought it home. He sat at the top of the stairs for a few weeks in a corner. My friends however saw this chair and commented on how ugly he was. They wondered why I had him in my home commenting on how dirty he was and how unattractive he was due to the years of neglect. I ignored them and kept him around. Finally one day I decided to put him on my coffee table and take the layers of cloth and wool stuffing off of his seat. Then I cleaned him, primed him and painted him black. Three months later I sat back and looked at him and this is what I saw.....A chair, a man restored...but not only restored but given a whole new purpose. He was beautiful again. He was unique and wonderful....The same chair that my friends were grossed out now a chair that they ask permission to touch. Amazing.....One thing is for certain...NOTHING STAYS THE SAME! Change is inevitable and what is ugly or dirty or discarded as trash can be saved, can be rescued and can be made shinier than new!
Taking discarded forgotten pieces and giving them their self-esteem back is a passion for me. Living in a world where we discard things so easily I’d like to think I am making an itty bitty difference.
Pearle Northrop

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Relationship Developed

I am amazed. I love painting furniture. I love taking these pieces that are so neglected and rather unattractive at first glance and give them a new life. I go searching sometimes for pieces....yard sales and thrift shops. I have to admit though that some of my best pieces found me. Most of my best pieces found me.
The recently completed highchair belonged to a woman who found it on the side of the road. She saw my painted furniture and decided that after years of having it in the basement that she would have me paint it. I am not a business woman....I am an artist with a rather quirky personality. I was nervous about the business aspect of doing this job. Amazingly, I handled it fine and everything went smoothly from beginning to end.
When the chair arrived it was a mess. It was caked in years of grime. The hinges were rusty and caked with grime as well. I had no idea where to start. As a matter of fact I dreaded starting. I looked at this chair and I was overwhelmed. I forced myself to start. as simple as removing the hinges and latches. One small forced step at a time. The whole first week I hated this chair. I may have even sworn a couple times right at it out loud. It was during the second week that I started feeling the groove. The paint was going on, patterns emerging, colors exploding and like magic the nightmare chair was becoming one of my favorite pieces ever!
I delivered the chair last Friday, January 29, 2010. The owner of the chair was wonderfully pleased with my work and put the chair in her living room.
The strangest thing happened after I delivered the chair....I crashed physically and emotionally. I was exhausted for two days. I didn't realize it but for two weeks I worked so hard on the highchair and was so into it that I failed to realize that I was running on adrenalin. It was like I drained my entire being into that chair without pause. When I let go of that chair I was letting go of a piece of me. It is almost indescribable the emotions that were experienced.

Putting myself out there is still so very new. It is not just about painting on a piece but rather it is about my dissolving an itty bit of my soul into each creation that emerges.

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