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Archive for September 16th, 2011

Anomalies

I’m always surprised at how observant people are about my work, how they will be attracted to details or pieces that were one-of-a-kinds and hold onto that image long after it has been pushed into the far recesses of my mind.  It’s sort of like making an offhand remark and forgetting it but the person who heard it holds every word clearly in their memory.  I know I’ve had that sensation where I remember every detail of a moment or conversation that the other person has long forgotten. 

I had such a conversation this past weekend at the gallery talk  in Alexandria when I was approached by a couple who talked about a small piece from several years before that had a row of telephone poles along a road descending to a far horizon.  I have done only two or three of those paintings over the many years so I was somewhat surprised to hear their admiration for this small group of work, one that I have thought about resurrecting now and again but just never seem to get to. 

 I do so few that I couldn’t even remember the last one I had painted and decided to go looking for this anomaly.  Giving a quick scan through my images from the past several years I found nothing.  I knew they were small pieces so they might require more detail and more time to inspect the files.  This could take a while. 

Scanning through, I was surprised at some of the paintings and how distinctly different from my typical work they were.  The piece above, Time Flows, is such an example.  It is unlike anything I have done before or since.  I remember the texture on this piece as being very extreme, with deep pits that would catch and hold the pigment.  Painted for my 2007 show at the West End gallery,  it drew a lot of attention and was acquired quickly by a longtime collector so it didn’t stay around long enough for me to really live with so that it might become part of my regular painting vocabulary. 

 It simply came and went.

I always stop and look at this painting when I come across an image of  it, both with a bit of admiration and with wonder because it seems to have come from somewhere in myself I don’t remember or recognize.  It is a pure anomaly, one that I can never recreate.  And maybe that’s the way it shold be and remain.

Now, to find those telephone poles…

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