Mar 19, 2014

winter's end

You have the freedom to make whatever you want to make. What will you make?

The problem with the freedom to do "whatever" is just that. There are NO bounds. The wilderness is wild, baby.

Winter is an uneasy time in the studio: there's no heat so I don't want to stretch new works and painting in gloves can get tiring by early March. I end up with a lot of time to muse on why I approach my images the way I do. Before the frost set in completely, or while I was still willing to brave it, I painted a couple sort of dead-pan realistic paintings: 3 small still-lives that are completely divergent from the rest of my work. I initially wrote this off to as siphoning the tedious, precious-making part of my painterly instincts off of the purer more intuitive approach I covet. Well, now I wonder.

My work has been about play- but maybe, just maybe, thinking this way has limited me. Isn't what I seek is much bigger than 'play'? I've always had a difficult time articulating the subtle meanings to my paintings beyond the obvious. Don't get me wrong, I know what they are...but finding the right words and communicating them in the .5 microseconds that the average human is capable of listening, well, proves difficult.

But here's a bit of it:

What seems like play, is actually an awareness of absurdity, an awareness of approaching madness, annihilation created by the exhausting sameness of modern existence. The sheer scale of modern existence creates anxiety; anything repeated so many times: whether a product, an action, a cultural phenomenon, serves to remind me of my smallness. There is no denying this smallness, so I must accept it.

So what is the result? My reaction? What image does painting take in the face of the behemoth?

Stubborn playfulness. It says, "you want me to have an easily digestible meaning, form or message: so I won't. I will celebrate the nonsensical right along with deep beauty" It says, "you will never stop primary experience, joy, wonder, or intuition. You will never stop my searching for meaning through images." I realize that this kind of thinking entails a MUCH more diverse approach to mark-making, forms, colors, everything- than I've fallen into. Perhaps a bit of styling has crept in....perhaps it's time to destroy to renew....time to be brutally honest with could do more to make what you're after....offer something small and tender in the face of the behemoth....offer something sweet in the midst of the chaos....YES studio YES spring.

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