Archive for February 25th, 2011

I’ve started working on a few new pieces on paper, taking a short break from the larger additive paintings that have occupied me for the past few months.  One of the first was this painting, about 7″ by 12″, which is a continuation of last year’s black and white series.  I thought it would be best to dive back into this work with some black and white work to regather the feel and rhythm of the medium.

I call this black and white but it’s pretty evident that this is not completely accurate.  I still use bits of color, usually muted tones of red or yellow, and the rest is really black and gray.  Actually, now that I think about it, I think I was calling this my gray work several months back.  Writing or talking about the work is the only reason I try to label the styles I use.  In my mind, they are simply different and labels don’t matter.

This reentry into this work on paper is always interesting because there are always tweaks in the colors.  The time away from this style has cleansed the palette and gives me a new chance to see the colors and combinations in a new light.  While there is a continuum with obvious traits and colors in my work,  going back through the years and reviewing my work on a year by year basis shows these tweaks in an obvious way.  Some years, the predominant work is very bright with almost a gleaming white underneath that makes the work glow.  Very clean, very bright and light.  Other years, the colors are deeper and crowd together densely giving the work a very rich feel.  Some years are dominated by cerain colors. In these years there will be mainly blues or golden yellows or deep oranges that seem to jump out from every piece.

Every year is different even in a similar fashion.  So as I go back in for this year I am eager to see how the year evolves and what trail I will follow.  Looking at this piece allows me to see several pieces into the future.  Many new pieces have that effect.  They spark something, some new idea or rhythm, that I instantly visualize and, if things go as I see them, eventually find their way out into the world.  Sometimes they evaporate before I can capture them and I then find myself struggling to recall that spark, that idea.  It’s like trying to recall a story, something someone told you in passing several before.  You can remember being told something but the details just won’t come.  So you let it go and one day something will spark that thought and suddenly bring back the whole story in detail.  That’s what often happens when I look at my work– it brings back ideas that have laid dormant in my mmemory for a long period of time.

So when I look at a piece like this, I take pleasure in the painting itself but also in the inspiration it provides for subsequent pieces.  When this is happening, I know I’m back in rhythm and the work usually shows this.

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