Archive for February 11th, 2011

The new work I’ve been showing over the past few monthes has maintained a similarity in the color and in the way they are painted.  I often switch back and forth between the two distinct styles I maintain in my work-  the reductive style which is very fluid and transparent  and is about adding paint then taking it away, as though carving the image from the paint, and the additive which is about building layers of paint upon layers of paint to form the image- but when I get in a certain groove where I feel one style is clicking in sync with my mind I will stay in that style for a while, creating a series of paintings that have unmistakable similarities.

I’ve talked about this here before, explaining that one of the benefits of staying in a series is that it reduces the number of conscious decisions, allowing me to focus not on decisions of color selection or composition but rather on qualityand depth of color and brushstrokes.  It also allows me to almost paint without conscious thought, allowing other parts of the mind to enter the equation, which creates a subtlety and nuance that makes each piece distinctive.

Taking away these decisions simply makes the flow of the painting smoother, like a piece of music in the hands of a musician after monthes of rehearsal.  I’ve often thought of my paintings as rehearsals in a way, each often a fine tuning from the last.  Actually, I think performance is the better term.  Each is complete within itself, each stroke being done with the intent of that piece alone, like a note being played for the beauty of its tone at that moment, not as a rehearsal for a later performance.

I am usually pretty excited by the work I do when I am am painting in series.  If not, I wouldn’t be able to stay in the groove long and wwould move on.  Maintaining my own excitement is pretty important for my work, and I think for most artists.  I don’t know where I heard it  but the saying goes that a bored artist makes boring work.  I have certainly found that to be true.  Though there are always exceptions to the rule, if a piece moves or excites me in some way it generally will do the same for others.  If I am not moved by a piece then I know it should not leave the studio.  Simple as that.

So far that has been a good rule to follow…

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