Archive for January 14th, 2012

I’ve been pretty busy in the studio lately.  That’s not unusual at this point of the year because it is when I’m gearing up for upcoming exhibitions but  in past years  this is when I have often  felt a bit blocked and far removed from the point where I wanted my work to be .   But thus far this year, things have been flowing easily and I feel as though I am near that sometimes elusive groove where the act of painting becomes more  instinctual than cerebral.  When I feel myself in this groove, I start to trust these instincts, this pushing back of conscious decision making.  As a result, there’s no dwelling over decisions at the table or the easel.  I just make the mark and move on from there.

And each piece brings an inspiration and desire for the next painting with ideas gushing forward.  I often find myself making quick little sketches on scraps of paper, little rough stick drawings really.  Just enough of the thought to be able to rekindle the idea later.  Often, I don’t make the sketch and the idea floats away and is sometimes fortuitously recalled at a much later date or is gone forever.  I sometimes think my best thoughts have taken this fleeting route.

The piece shown here is from this recent burst, a smallish canvas, only 6″ by 18″ that I call Tangled Up In Blue.  The title is, of course, taken from the old Bob Dylan song.  This is a simple composition, very typical of much of my work, but it’s carried strongly forward by it’s colors and contrasts.  It has a dramatic edge to it.  I think the red of the mound really highlights this feeling of high emotion.  I try to envision it in other, more natural colors and the result is less potent, more understated.  This feels to me like the tangled trees are two lovers springing from the same red bleeding heart.  The intensity of the red mound and the trees is a sharp contrast to the cooler blues of the water and sky, even though they still have their own intensity.

But the piece is probably brought to completion by the break of pale yellow in the sky, the light that comes through creating chasms in the blue night wall.  This break sets off all the other color and creates a sense of moment in this small, simple piece.  The result is that the result is greater than the sum of its parts.

Or at least I think so.

Here’s a little music.  I bet you thought it would be Tangled Up In Blue.  It was going to be but I came across this version of  a different Dylan song, Love Sick.  I really like this film and performance of a song that has been a favorite since it first came out in 1997 and decided to share it instead.  Enjoy.

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