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   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.


Thursday, April 13, 2006
  studio update
Two mnths ago (2/15)when I posted a shot of a few of my paintings in their very early "abstract expressionist" phase, I had intended to track one or two with photos as they developed. I soon realized though, that I had little heart for that project. As I've explained before, I like to keep all of my options open and I sometimes make very drastic changes. Given that my paintings don't tend to progress in a logical way, I realized that it's unlikely that anyone would gain much from seeing my fits and starts (except to perhaps find some stage along the way they preferred over the finished piece!)

On the other hand, I do sometimes take photos of paintings in progress for my own amusement, and recently one of those found its way (long story) onto the cover of a brochure put out by Ampersand (they make the panels that I use in much of my work.) I had some misgivings about allowing this photo to be used, preferring one of a finished painting. But in the end I could see that the in-progress photo shows a moment in time, a slice of an artist's experience, that allows viewers to imagine ideas of their own for using the panels. It's a different focus than a series that would reveal the ramblings of my art mind in action. And when Ampersand also hired me to write an article about my process, I deliberately did not include photos illustrating the various stages in a painting's development, which seems to be standard in such articles. I just couldn't see trying to illustrate how one thing led to another, why entire areas disappeared or panels migrated in and out of the composition. Even to me, it is often a mystery.

In case you are wondering, though--here's how one of the paintings in my February photo turned out. I took this while it was still hanging in the studio. The final state is the result of lots of paint application, plus (if you wish to refer to my photo in the Feb. 15th entry) taking two of the panels from the painting on the left in the earlier photo, combining them with one additional panel, exchanging the center panel for the top one from the painting on the right in the photo, and turning two of them vertically. Got that??
 
Comments:
Huh??

What is the deal with the emphasis on "steps/stages"? You see it in all those standard format, 128 page art "instruction" books. In the various American ________ magazines. Painting is "fun". Painting is "easy". Painting can be reduced to a few steps. Some of the pictures I've seen seem to show a whole lot of work between the penultimate step and the finished painting. I'm always amazed how it goes from barely blocked in to "done"!

These artists must be really incredible to never backtrack, remove paint, repaint, etc.

Is it our culture that has to reduce to pale formulas something as mysterious, seductive and addicting as painting. Painting isn't very scientific, though there is some technique to the specific media. Painting is very mystical. I don't think our culture does "mystical" very well.
 
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