Friday, November 27, 2009

These four drawings were all worked together at the same time. One of the things I enjoy doing is setting up little games with rules or limitations by which to work. This was one of those games. I could use only what I found in the classroom that I use for drawing, and I had to work on all four drawings at the same time. I also had to finish them by the end of the day.  The thing that I also enjoy is breaking the rules if I need to. I set the rules, so if need be why not break them.

Depending on what is happening in the drawing classes, I can use time between different tasks to work. This process, relieves some of the pressure to preform and forces more experimentation in search of solutions. There are at least a half dozen different materials used in these, and there could have been more. These are all in the range of 16 x 20 inches. They were completed and all donated within a few days, so I tried to get some pictures of them to be able to look back at the images.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lipstick Flashback

There were two things that grew out of procrastination and avoidance this past week. Both are 20'' by something, one I think 24, the other 28 maybe.
The first one is "Lipstick Flashback", the second is "Heart and Soul"

Sometimes titles make some difference. I don't know if that's true this time. Flashback is a hybrid of new and old ideas. Heart and soul is also in some ways a fusion. I had been asked to make a smaller version of something that has been out in the world for a few years. I don't even remember exactly what it looked like. The bigger problem is that I can't go back to where I was when it was painted. I thought I might have a better chance of one working out if I worked on two at the same time. I think that this isn't a bad way to work, it slows me down and while working on one, I discover possible solutions to areas that are giving me trouble in the other one. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

This is better.

There seems to be some movement in direction, maybe some kind of transition. There is a new painting which is not like the previous two and I have no explanation for that. It's been in the process for a little more than a week. It was not easy to get an image on the canvas to start with, and then what showed up was really bad. The only idea that I wanted to hang on to, was the use of an irregular color structure. my youngest sister told me that she would love a picture, but no reds. So now when I use red, and I like to use red, I feel some pressure to reduce if not eliminate red altogether. I find myself trying to negotiate what exactly is, and may not be red. And still I come back to red.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The last few weeks have been very productive, and not in a particularly predictable direction. I had been doing a bit of drawing and had been working on one canvas for a while. The drawing helped to reveal some directions that seemed to interest me. The paintings that followed also seemed to develop quickly and were based somewhat on the drawings. Both September's Blush and Middle Ground went on to the canvas  with out much struggle, and seemed to be self directed in some sense. There always comes a point where the next step is not easy to see. Then there is a period when everything slows down and the process can become difficult. To change is inevitably to loose something, and replace it with something else. When I look back at the progression of Middle Ground, I like lots of the painting in the early stage, the first image. I have heard painters talk about this, "you can't stop, you have to go on". There are things that will never be exposed without the release of the known, and the pursuit of all that is not known. This is I think, the important thing, to continue to learn and understand through direct experience. We all want to conceptualize things for some reason. 
I have been reading about the work of Arshile Gorky, and in the reading I ran across a phrase which I couldn't let go of, "poetic ambiguity". In the context of the work, it refers to providing the reader, or viewer the option to see the resolution in more than one possible way. I have for a long time thought of resolution as the holy grail, and this idea has made me think about what I'm looking for. I still find that I know less about things like direction. I feel excited at the end of a painting for a short time, and then I am overwhelmed by the idea of the next one. I never quite know where to start. Almost everything is based on something that preceded it, or an idea from somewhere. Both Gorky and De Kooning  talked about abstraction and the point of their having painted or not painted a single abstract painting in their lives. Gorky seemed to strongly believe that observations of nature could not be eliminated, and in fact may be the language of common ground. I love figurative images but don't know how to combine the figure with this kind of work. More drawing may help, and couldn't hurt.

Middle Ground

And then something very different and exciting...

September's Blush

After the two drawings, I tried to bring some of the subtlety into the painting process.


no title yet...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Today I spoke with a grad student about her work. The work, that is, the recent work, the new work, is intimidatingly stunning, and intimidatingly large, which in view of the size of the largest thing I have done in the space I use, you might think would have some upsetting effects. And I have to say there was an instant of realization, and I remember thinking wow, and crap in the same moment, but at the same time, I am excited and in admiration of the work and it enriches my spirit to see work of this quality being brought into the world.

A different direction

Sunday, August 30, 2009

notes: to anyone who is even a little curious about things

I don't know most of the time, what I am doing. I learn as I go along. I bring all kinds of stuff with me, and all kinds of people, whose voices I listen to for guidance; all kinds of technical things that I know, and try to let go of, or at least not let those things lead the conversation. The rest is a result of movement and recognition. Movement forward, is not easy, and can become a victim of neglect, fear, and reckless pride. Recognition is something more delicate, eyes that see, the good, the bad, and the stuff that lives on the edge between, which can be nurtured into the positive elements of the work without losing identity. There is no refuge in the security of the work already done, only restlessness and insecurity about the work to come.

Three at a time

Another Direction

some new things I promised to post

Thursday, June 11, 2009