This is one of many paintings in my studio, either finished or underway. Titled Arroyo
(24"x22", oil and wax on panel) it combines a few of the newer techniques and approaches I've been working with lately. Rather than relying completely on divisions that are created by placing panels together, I've been playing around a lot with adding divisions within the separate panels. This evolved naturally in my single panel paintings, and now is spreading to the multiple panel pieces. I've also been experimenting with various ways to make lines and shapes with solvent, evident here across the middle of the painting, and pushing the scratched and etched lines that I have been making on the surface with skewers or old ballpoint pens. I'm happy with the way these various changes are working here...increasing the amount of surface texture, depth and complexity of composition, while keeping a clarity of structure and color relationships.
Once when I was still in grad school one of my instructors said that all the changes he had seen in my work followed a logical progression. (Looking back, it hardly seems like I'd been painting long enough to receive this comment!) I don't recall the full explanation, if there was one--only that I found this very perplexing--how could it be true, when I had not planned anything out? Yet it gave me confidence to think that somehow I was building my work in an intelligent way, however intuitively. That was probably my first lesson in "trust the process."
Many years down the road, I'm still a bit in awe of how this works. Authentic change evolves intuitively, and for me at least, rather slowly. I may envision something I want to add or move away from in my work, but if it happens at all it will be in fits and starts, and most likely in a different form than I imagined. But inevitably, more satisfying aesthetically, and more connected to what came before.
was delivered today to the Regional Arts Center in Eau Claire, WI--the nearest sizable town to where I live, for the Last Minute Exhibit. Which is just what it sounds like--a spontaneous group show to fill in for another exhibit that was canceled. It's only up for two weeks--easy and fun, and if you live in the area, the opening will be this Thursday night from 6-7:30.