open studio reflections
I'm planning my second annual Open Studio for June 17th (noon-6pm.) so anyone in the area who is reading this, please come! I'll be hanging both older and current work, as well as some in progress.
Last year I decided to sell some of my oldest work at very affordable prices, which was a succesful idea and one I'll be repeating this year. My older work ranges back over 20 years--besides paintings there are drawings, watercolors, lithographs, monoprints and etchings. When I first hauled all this out last year I was struck by the many connections and progressions leading to my current paintings, and by all of the paths both explored and abandoned that were evident. These thoughts come again as I once more begin to arrange and organize this work.
Midlife maturity has definitely taken the edge off the rather surreal, sometimes jarring stream of images I produced in my grad school days in the mid-80s...but I enjoy these older images for their wild color, and their uncensored, unedited energy and general strangeness. The painting pictured here is titled The Nature of Change, 54"x40" (1984.)
An interest in black and white nature imagery in the early 90s resulted in a pile of large charcoal drawings that are dramatic in their contrast and use of line. Some of these forms and compositions later evolved and appeared in color, in large acrylics and oils. And in a series of abstract paintings from the mid 90s, the roots of my current color and texture-oriented imagery are clearly evident. These went dormant during an abstracted, though fairly representational landscape phase that lasted until around 2000, when "abstract" began to assert itself over "landscape." I also noticed that as far back as grad school I have used multiple panels and geometric divisions in my work--very important in what I do now, but I hadn't realized it had such a history with me.
Like many artists, I guess, I tend to dismiss my older work as less interesting or worthy than whatever I am doing at the moment--but in revisiting these things from the past, I see the turning points and milestones on this long journey. And in doing so I find myself regarding it all with considerably more affection and respect.