Finally finished 'Visible Thread'. Here's the summation of my thoughts for the next wave of work. Some of this is rehash, but with the new year coming, I need to regroup and understand where I've been, and where I'm heading. My artistic history is heavily steeped in realist painting, but I am greatly interested in the emotional impact that marks can bring. It's hard to let go of how I first began as an artist, but I'm trying to break the boundaries a bit without totally losing my roots. I often look at the work of Cezanne, Diebenkorn, Cassat, among many others in a variety of genres. What I look at is how they communicate over and beyond the imagery. I try to understand their point of view by how they reveal it with paint.
As you can see from what I've done recently, children are becoming a focus, a single family in fact.. It has been very interesting for me to work with them in this way. I've come to know each individually, and as a unit. They are seamless together, strong on their own. I love that. These wee little ones, with eyes so clear, hearts so pure, fearless in their confidence.
The environment has taken on a life of it's own. This is where I listen most intently. This is where the dialogue with me and the paint happens. Prior to that, the child is with me, and her connection to where she stands is made known before I even pick up a brush. At the easel, my hand in it becomes important. I don't want to lose my voice in the dialogue, because it sets up a multi-level conversation not to be missed. Questions are always present, the answers too, right there along with my gut.
And so it begins... Often very logically, sometimes not at all. Sometimes I start by indicating a proper place in reality. Then I obliterate it. I don't want the imagery to take over what you see. Yes, the portrait is important, that will stay. Next, what colors are making themselves known? This is what often determines the direction. A few speak clearly, the rest fall away. How deep is the environment spatially? Does space have to equal a place? I've become conscious of textures, and how to include a variety. I've become aware of speed, and where it needs to be adjusted. There's a lot of energy visible in my paintings. It's inherent to who I am and I give it life within the piece. I also need the stillness to focus, and see more.
How to manage all of this will be my journey in paint for a long time, I truly hope. If my own experiences on canvas can inspire others to travel inward on their own time, their own speed, all the better. Fear is no place to live. Let's find the subtle joy that lives within each moment, and keep that going... Happy New Year!