Tuesday, February 22, 2011

oil on canvas  5" x 18"

"The best we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves"
Willem de Kooning

I think what he was saying is akin to the title of the Bill Walsh book -'The Score Takes Care of Itself' - every painting is a struggle and a roll of the dice but as we immerse ourselves in the process we learn the joy and discipline of this mysterious personally directed exploration of visual existence.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  oil on canvas  12" x 18"
Hemingway often said he would put in everything in the first draft and then cut everything out except the absolutely essential. He wanted you to feel the stuff that wasn't there anylonger - without clubbing the reader over the head with it. He used to claim he learned this looking at Cezanne's paintings in Paris in the early 1920s. This seems to me to be a pretty good way to describe my working method on these works - a fight to bring form out of the chaos of everything - with the power of the thrashing chaos still present. Cezanne's form was attempted by bringing the visual world to understanding through his color and regular marks. The man is present in his method - in his way of seeing and recording. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

choobie 2
  oil on canvas  22" x 26"
Sometimes it is difficult to enter into a painting - everyday life has a way of tresspassing on one's momentary ability to focus or to muster the discipline of undivided attention needed to paint. The only thing that seems to work at these times is to begin - eventually, because focus is not sharp, one is bound to create something ineffective and then become absorbed in fighting the battle toward a painting that works. It seems to be a backwards way to work - make something bad to react to and paint out -
but it seems to work.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

krackle  1
oil on canvas  12" x 18"
Sometimes, when one expects it least, color will begin moving forward and back, shapes will occupy new ground and the dynamic of the painting begins to revolt and shift. Most times I have found this to be a good thing - it means I am so lost in process that my sense of time, of place, of self, have evaporated. 
I think this is similar to when novelists claim that their imgined characters take on a life of their own.
One of my guideposts has always been a quote attributed to e.e. cummings.
"mystery is significant."