This coming Friday(gulp) I will be speaking to about 75 people at the International Encaustic Artists
Advance in San Fransisco, CA. I'm on a panel discussion entitled Visual Thinking
with artists Cari Hernandez
and Laura Moriarty.
We'll each have a short time to discuss our work in the context of the topic, and then will respond to questions from the audience.
The following is what I wrote as an introduction to my talk (although I will attempt to ad lib rather than read this when the time comes.)
"Visual Thinking" to me is a synthesis of several states of mind I'm typically in while working in the studio. Being completely immersed in the painting is one--meditative and timeless, it seems the core of creativity. Yet it’s so seductive I can become completely absorbed in even small nuances of paint, losing the bigger picture.
The analytical and self-critiquing mode, at the other end of the subjective/objective spectrum, makes it seem as if there is an invisible viewer in the studio with me. Which is not a bad thing, as long as the critical voice does not become too overbearing or the sense of being watched lead to self-consciousness.
I conceive of visual thinking as a middle ground, a state of being that is neither total submersion in the work nor pointedly objective. Visual thinking means being intuitive, subjective, and involved--but also aware of the viewer and concerned with communication. It is visual intelligence, perceptive and attuned to nuances in the work, receptive to where things may be heading, and aware of how a viewer might respond. There is observation and response, a loop in which one creates interesting visual situations, and then responds, sometimes spontaneously and intuitively, sometimes with thought and decisiveness.
I still have some work to do to put this together with images of my work, and there will be considerably more content of course. About half of the hour allotted to our panel will be questions from the audience, and I expect it will all be very interesting.
I've also been busy finishing, photographing and wrapping paintings for my upcoming shows. The painting above, Vertical #24
, 66"x12" represents a return to the series of vertical pieces I have been doing off and on for about 6 years. I enjoy the ongoing challenge of visual thinking involved in working with this unusual format.