One artist's journey

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Studio Journal: An Abstract World

This first painting started off the new series of the semester.

Over the course of 6-8 hours, I began to layer paint on the surface of a blank canvas. Each successive layer did not feel adequate; I was constantly struggling with ideas of space, composition, mark, and color. Many intuitive comments on my work from other people as well as myself, created a layering of paintings that ultimately became a rather flat surface.

At the moment of complete clarity, the moment of recognition with the painting's surface, the colors, the composition, the space and the mark, I was alone in the studio, with no sound and no distraction. Within 20 minutes I had created and finished this final layer of the painting. My mind and body had arrived at a complete meditative state, understanding completely and wholly what my purpose was. This is the same state I seek to reach in my other successive paintings, working layer by layer until my mind settles and releases the tension of the surrounding world.

I am thinking also about time and the human concept of living. I apply paint, thin in some areas and thick in others, suggesting a dichotomy within life, within painting. Often, the thinner surface has a blended quality, reminding myself of the essence of a blurry photograph-referencing time, space, and movement. The thicker paint applied on top is heavy with presence. Scratched marks back into the canvas reference a primitive, intuitive gesture, unearthed by my unconscious. A feeling of immense energy exudes the slashes, the strong curves, and the harsh vibrating cross-hatching, fence-like motif. Light emerges from behind the colors, deep back in space, peaking out with hesitant force.

Influenced greatly by Pat Steir.