I remember telling a man once, “I would never paint something on a whim.” I wanted to sound efficient, austere, and serious. I didn’t want him to think I was one of those self-indulgent, frivolous painters, mostly because I wanted to have sex with him and I knew he wouldn’t find the hippie-dippy art fag thing appealing. (I was completely spot-on, by the way.) Not that I was lying to him. A part of me completely meant what I said, believing that if one painted, it should always be with purpose.
Lately I’m finding that I am painting with purpose, but rather than a highly orchestrated or pre-defined sense of purpose, it’s more along the lines of purposefully unplanned. I have certain images or sensations in my head – yes, especially sensations, mostly imagined – and then I paint on whatever canvas (usually something abandoned by someone else) feels appropriate at the time. It’s kind of liberating, really. I still want to experiment with other methods of working, but for now this is doing a lot for me.
The one above and below are finished.
The paintings below are in the Unfinished category.
My friend Mira Gerard has a studio near Kingsport that she graciously shared with me last week. In the new space with “new” stretched linen previously painted on by Mira, other tangents started to occur. I imagined these shapes pushing into each other. It felt more collaborative or conversational since I responded so heavily to what she had already painted. (The two larger paintings on top are her newer paintings in progress, not mine.)
I really enjoy palettes. Just as objects. Mira was working on a new painting (currently unfinished), and I really wanted to take a picture of her set up because it’s wonderfully simple and focused.
This ended up being mostly a prep night, though Liz worked on her super fabulous leotard, and made quite a lot of progress with it. It’s nice to have an excuse to collage. Not that one actually needs an excuse, it’s just that I’ve had weird hang-ups about it for years. (If this doesn’t make sense now, it will once the installation is up. Hopefully.) I’ll get into this more later.
“Wouldn’t it be funny if we all achieved enlightenment and then the world ended?”
Apparently, 2011 was rough for a lot of people and now those same people are cartwheeling into 2012. We all look shinier, which might just mean we need a shower, but the shower will be a triumphant shower. With hot water and bergamont grapefruit scented soap filling our nostrils. With a sigh and cool, overcast winter light shining in on our fresh faces. This kind of optimism requires no smiles or cake or cards. Just… a shower.
(What I’m trying to say is that I’m still a bit dirty.)
I’ve been preparing to move some of my art materials into my soon-to-be new studio, where I will mostly paint and work on moderately large projects. Since I’ve been thus forced to acknowledge the boat load of crap that I own, I’ve also been purging a bit of it and devising a plan that if I don’t start using it all within 6 months, it’s gone.
On many occasions, my hoarding of papers and other materials saved me from having to buy those materials for a project; however, at this point my possessions feel more oppressive to me than time or money saving. They are an ugly reminder of all the time that I have wasted, opportunities missed, ideas forgotten, creative (redemptive) impotence. Instead of seeing the potential that I originally saw in them, I see myself failing. Constantly.
(See what I mean.)
I am giving myself the chance to use those items — at least to a degree that indicates productivity, instead of weirdo hoarder — and then if I don’t, I’m letting them go. Because I need to. I don’t even know how to sew and I have three large plastic bins of “scrap” fabric. Yes, three. That’s just one example.
(Yep, you see it.)
I will probably never stop squirreling away some materials because they are legitimately useful to me. There are other reasons, too, but I feel like that’s a given. Some stuff you can’t ever wash off.
I think what was suddenly so appealing about drawing when I was working on Between Two Thoughts was the momentum behind it, that it encouraged a continual push toward the edges. And I could work very intuitively. I could just pick up a piece of paper and a pen and work for hours, until I was literally falling asleep and drooling on my drawing, and then wake up and do more.
Now I’m trying to see how that translates into painting and colour, which add certain complications. Especially while trying to see this Horse.
p.s. Clicking on any image on this blog will allow you to see it larger. In case you didn’t know.
It’s raining. It was raining in my dream this morning, too. There was a naked girl and I gave her a piggy back ride, running through a parking lot. The idea behind this was that if I carried her, people wouldn’t be able to see as much of her body. Men would stop leering. Her menstruation blood left an ink blot on the back of my sweater that looked like a voice recording. I couldn’t carry her, she kept sliding. People were staring. We ran.
Yesterday I spent a few hours working in my sketchbook, today feels like it will be similar, with some painting mixed in there. My studio and the kitchen are right next to each other with a swinging door separating both rooms from the rest of the apartment. Most of the time I prop the door open, but if I decide to close it, it’s like Rapunzel in her tower. And I cut off all my hair, so you can’t fucking come in.
Unless you bring me a soy dirty chai latte.
I’ve had many studios, including my bedroom years ago, which I turned into a studio when I got rid of my bed to make more room for painting. It’s tricky, figuring out how to make a space work. If it will work at all. This is one of the better studios I’ve had, despite it’s rather small size.
A bluejay christened it when he found himself trapped in here a couple months ago. In some cultures, poop is a good sign. I’ll take it.