Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's Not You, It's Me

Dear Painting,

I don't know how to begin, so I'll just say that I think it's time for us to spend some time apart.  I've been planning a trip for awhile, and now seems like a good time to reevaluate and get some perspective on our relationship.  This isn't about you: you've been great.  This is about me.  I'll see you when I get back from Maine.



Monday, June 22, 2009

One, Two, Cha Cha Cha

There comes a point, with every one of my paintings, where I feel like I'm dancing to a song I've never heard before with someone I've never met.  This is where the stranger and I are right now; what happens next is anyone's guess.  I've included a couple detail shots below to give a sense of the surface:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And a Little More Progress

Now about 7 hours old, and very much a gawky teenager, needing some help to feel confident.  The space on the right (our right) is mushy and indistinct.  The clumps of dark foliage -- looking like last year's leaves still clinging to branches -- need some work to feel at home, especially in the area just left of center.  But there is a space beginning to develop, and I like the glowing "center" of lemon yellow at the top.  I'd say I'm nearly half way there...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Painting's Progress

My next few posts will be devoted to chronicling the progress of the painting seen above.  It's about 4 hours old now, just a baby.  It's about 2 1/2 feet high, and 5 feet long.  I have this idea that I want to work on a series of paintings that place the viewer within a tangle of leaves, vines, limbs, etc., that need to be penetrated in order to see (or move) beyond.  For those of you who are familiar with my work, you know that my surfaces tend to be fairly refined, and my forms realistic.  What you probably DON'T know is that all my paintings start out looking like this one.  This time, though, I want to develop the surface, and the PAINT...not the forms.  What I mean is that I want the experience of the painting to be more about getting lost in a tangle of color, line, and texture (think Jackson Pollock goes outdoors) that resolves itself into subject matter from a slight distance.  In short, I want to find a new balance for myself between abstraction and representation that tips slightly more toward the abstraction end of things.  But as much as I want to develop the abstract (or maybe a better word is formal) qualities in my paintings, I'm too attracted to the subject to let it go.  So finding some specificity is important, too. 
What this amounts to is that I'm giving myself the advice I give my students.  I'm forever badgering them to make PAINTINGS, rather than PICTURES OF x,y, and z; I tell them that each square inch of canvas is equally important and that a painting is only as strong as its weakest moment.  Can I practice what I preach?  I'll keep y'all posted. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pirate Stuff

Mom!  Where's my pirate stuff??!

It's on the table by the door.  (Time passes).

Mom!  Where's my pirate stuff??!

David, I told you it's on the table by the door.  (Time passes).

MOM!  Where's.  My.  Pirate.  Stuff??????!!

David.  I've told you twice already, it's on the table by the door.  (Yet more time passes).

Mom, I've looked everywhere and I can't find my pirate stuff.

David.  Where did I tell you it was...?

On the table.

What table?

The door table.

So, did you look there??

No.  I did not.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Early Morning Showers with Sunshine Late in the Day

Trinity's a little sad.  She's moving from the 2 year old room to the 3 - 5 year old room at her school.  By all outward measures, she should be thrilled.  There's lots more stuff to do in the 3 -5 room, and lots of kids to play with.  There's Tiffany, dream teacher.  And there's even David, her big brother (admittedly a mixed blessing).  And she'll even tell you she's excited.  But we know the truth.  For one thing, she can't bring First Teddy.  For those of you who know Trinity, you know that where she goes, First Teddy goes.  So starting next Monday, First Teddy has to stay in the car.  Second, she's the reigning queen of the 2 year old room.  She's the oldest and the peppiest.  If they were seniors, she'd be Most Likely To Succeed, Most Likely to Be Voted Prom Queen, Editor of the Yearbook, AND Miss Congeniality.  She has Marisa and Smijla (her teachers) and Avery, her "best friend."  But I know Trinity, and I know it's all going to be okay.  She'll find her way to the top of the heap with the 3 - 5's and soon be singin' in the rain. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Congratulations, it's a moth...

And, just like that, Fuzzy has emerged from his cocoon a wee lovely brown moth.  The little bastard did it while we weren't looking, but it was quite an exciting transformation, nonetheless.