Archive for March 9th, 2012

I don’t want to get into the habit of revisiting past blogposts here, as I did the other day when I reposted a blog on the similarity between a painting of mine and the trees from Dr. Seuss’ Lorax.  But there is a painting that I wrote about back in March of 2009 called Endless Time that I really wanted to revisit today.  It’s a personal favorite and one that hangs in my studio, always giving me pause when I let my eyes rest upon it, as it did in the very early hours of this morning.   It has dwelt here for a couple of years now and remains special for me, always making me think. 

Or better yet, not think.

   There is something in it that is as definitive of all that  I desire from this world and of myself as anything I have ever painted.  It makes no overt appeal to the viewer, like nature, not giving a whit if you enter or not.   It has gifts to offer for those who make the effort to enter but there is no path inviting them in.  No beckoning tree or clusters of humble homes.  It simply is. 

Here is what I wrote back in March of 2009:

I wanted to talk a little about the piece shown here, Endless Time, which is a 24″ X 30″ canvas. This is what I consider a performance piecemeaning that I have performed several paintings that have a similar palette and composition in different sizes.

Each piece has its own character and feel, distinguished by differing color intensities and textures. The colors of each are similar but have their own peculiar colors due to the factors that make my color palette differ from day to day. Things like humidity and temperature, different gessoes that I use with differing absorption rates and my own lack of consistency in mixing color.

I call these performance pieces because I equate painting them to a musician performing their own composition. The musician may often change bits of their own compositions, changing things like tempo or intensity. Changing the coloration of the notes and how they’re played. The composition is intact and is identifiable but each individual performance has its own character, its own wealth.

You may notice something quite different in this piece as well.

No tree. No red tree. Nothing…

This is really a direct descendent from my earliest work that focused on open spaces and blocks of color, work that was meant to be spare and quiet. The weight of the piece is carried by the abstract qualities of the landscape and the intensity of the colors.

With this piece, I have chosen to forego the kinship that the red tree often fosters with the viewer, acting as a greeter inviting them to enter and feel comfortable within the picture plane. In Endless Time the viewer is left to their own devices when they enter the picture. There is no place to hide, no cover. They are exposed to the weight of the sky and the roll of the landscape. They are alone with not a sound nor distraction.

It becomes, at this point, a meditation. One is not merely looking at a landscape. To go into this painting one must be willing to look inside themselves as well.

And I think that is where the strength of this piece dwells. I hope this is evident to some viewers and they feel welcome to enter this quiet space…

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