I Think I Am Getting Somewhere

Posted by on Feb 9, 2018 in Blog | No Comments

Famous last words, as when I finally arrive the desired destination will likely change. But here is what I know today.

I am super excited about the painting I have been working on. Not the end result yet — and it remains to be seen whether I can get it to that point, but it’s the way I am painting that I am excited about. While I do like the last few paintings I have done, they now feel like transitional pieces to me that are helping to get me more to where I want to be.

I want the “anything goes” ideas from Wanderlust — such as colors, lines, pattern, representation and abstraction, inspiration from photos combined with imagination, and “sure I can put text in the sky if I want” freedom. Plus I want the painterly qualities from That Place At The Top Of The Hill including reworked areas that are thickly textured with history juxtaposed with thinner paint areas that have a lighter touch, along with using different types of mark making — some more controlled, some less so. But I also want to see if I can incorporate the directness, flow and simplicity of Disappearing Coast — the loose abstract approach that still is representative of something. The painting I am working on right now seems to have all of these ideas coming together, although I definitely still have some problem areas that may or may not get fully resolved in this piece.

I’m trying to find the right balance between looseness and control, flatness and dimension, abstraction and representation, different brush strokes and surface qualities, complexity and simplicity, quirkiness and beauty. It seems like such a tall order to have everything I want. But I am just starting to get a sense of this in my current painting. I think I am getting somewhere and I may try and stay for awhile.

Dang. Now I’m way too scared to show you the painting. My enthusiasm currently lies in the infinite possibilities and process, not necessarily in the overall visual result, in which I find my enthusiasm rises and falls daily like the tides.

In the meantime, above is the reference photo that inspired the painting. Five loosely painted tents vanished when a lovely lake appeared. But the lovely lake was just too pretty a scene and so it soon disappeared and three tents were pitched again. For awhile a very simple outline horse grazed nearby. But now the tents are gone. And the horse. And paint and pattern remain where they were. At least I have my thick, textured history. I’m still trying to figure it out…