All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Chuck Close
In this week's blog I am sharing the development of one piece that I worked on over three days, (8/19/19 - 8/21/19). When I, and many other artists, work abstractly we respond to the colors and shapes that arise from our hand gestures and our thoughts. The abstracted composition is built from shapes and colors that are in turn, built from layers of marks of color. As an artist, going about in the world, you become acutely aware of your surroundings and frequently study patterns and shapes, light and shadow and how color is manifested. I synthesize my visual experiences. Those synthesized elements emerge as I work. What I have seen and remembered in the deeper layers of my consciousness appear. The result is in an image, a mirror of my consciousness, discovered through the creation of the artwork. In the artwork created in the days prior to 8/19/19, I had been working in an "all over" pattern, varying the sizes of the shapes, sometimes building up shapes from smaller marks. As I looked over paintings, from the prior days I noticed some circular shapes made up of smaller marks. These were not deliberately drawn and painted, but were generated through gesture. Looking at the shapes, I thought that they resembled rings, or circular and flat forms sometimes found in nature. I decided to explore these shapes deliberately. In this piece I continued the overall patterning and started to explore and deliberately define the flattened, circular forms.
Looking at the image in each of the developmental states, you can observe how the underlying structure is preserved even as it is transformed through the application of pigment into something much more solid.
“When you start working, everybody is in your studio- the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas- all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave.” John Cage
I came across the quote from John Cage, posted above, way back when I was in art school. It has remained with me over these many decades, because it is so true for me. The activity of painting is similar to a very active meditation. I use painting as a method to explore perception and memory, the moment in the flow of time. A method to find the root of my being. While painting I must look and and make choices, however the choices are based on discernment not judgement. Judgement must be suspended or the painting will stall. In order for a painting to be "successful" I must come to the work with a mind open to discovery. I hope that the viewer can discover something of themselves and their truth in my paintings.