Thursday, 19 December 2013

Transitional Spaces: 12.19.13: Part 3

It is now the second week in December and I have been painting on this piece for over two months.  I am in the glazing stages, a process of layering translucent color upon color to achieve the light that my paintings hold. It is a process that, if done incorrectly, ruins the painting completely. It is intense and exhausting emotionally but gives me such joy when I step back from a canvas and see that I maintained my faith and held true.

                           “In Silent Touch My Purchase Seen”
                                  84”x60” oil on canvas 2013

                                    Though they be
                            Distant, unimaginable, yet
                                    Divine in silent touch
                            Upon each singular moment
                                    In this, the tenuous convention
                            Trust, found, deep within to be.

                                     November 20, 2013

This painting comes out of the idea of finding purchase within this chaotic life, of finding a quiet balance, a quiet space within. Again, from my journal:

There are many gates that open upon this hill, this mountain that we all ascend towards understanding, towards enlightenment. Journeys that take one far and wide, to search, to struggle to find purchase and gain hope. It is this, to find that singular moment, that fragment, that glimpse that becomes the key that unlocks the gate into the garden of impassioned understanding free from convention and traditional thinking.

Angelic warriors, ancestors, those who have gone before, line up to offer solace, a shimmering glance of hope; a piece of illuminating light. This is the gift offered and one received. This is the purchase found that gains us balance as we continue upon this ascended path.

It is in this act of transcending that common value, of stepping outside of the humaneness, rejecting the chaos that surrounds and consumes us, even for brief moments. In this we find a quiet strength and a glimmer of the truth that we hold inside.

December 6, 2013

The next step is to frame this piece so I can see it as it will be when finished. Then after long hours of contemplation finish the glazing even as I begin the next canvas.


Friday, 13 December 2013

Transitional Spaces: 12.1.13: Part 2

I have been painting now on the painting for over two weeks and here is the next photo:

From my journal:

She sits, stunned into deathly silence, hands between tightened thighs, kneeling upon shimmering floor strewn with hopes alive. Pensive, head cocked slightly towards a sound not heard, her eyes travel upwards and ponder what lies ahead.
Spirits fly upon the night and whisper keys to open locks…locks locked tight.

In the distance 3 figures silhouetted by fires back lit in arched grove of which wonders framed. One holding the other in comfort-like mother to child while the second reaches out in shocked silence.

The night dances with spirit shapes. Time no longer relevant or linear. Nothing makes sense and all is chaotic. Yet…the figure remains in prayerful pose, contemplating, almost there, almost cognizant of purpose known.

October 31, 2013

How to find purchase within these words and transform them into paint, that is the quest each day as I struggle to comprehend how these disparate shapes will unify into a whole. This is the greater struggle within my painting world. To trust that inner voice and where it will take me, confident in my hands need to lay paint stoke upon stroke until out of this dense language form is revealed. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Transitional Spaces: 12.1.13: Part 1

Time seems to have just flown this year of transition, 2013. Here we are in the last month before the page turns and we usher in new hopes as symbolized by the turning of the calendar. Another year escapes our grasp.  As I look around I see how time has taken us prisoner, turning us away from quiet thoughts as we are now in constant contact, always in demand. A product of advances technologically, which we eagerly embrace, but at what cost if in the process we get swept away and lose our selves in the process?

The difference between my studio in Montana and Chicago is the relationship I have with this chaos of constant contact and the press of time.  Now that I am back in Chicago, going on two months, I find this constant need to isolate and find long, uninterrupted hours to be another battle to contend with. It is not enough to push and find purchase within the studio, within a given painting; I now have to fight against those outside demands in a way that is absent in Montana.

I know that this is a struggle we all face within our daily lives of work and family.

For an artist, especially as we get older and the body does not take as kindly to the abuse of stress and lack of sleep, I find that quiet and deep isolation become more and more important. To be able to tap into consciousness at a deeper level it is so important to look within, to not get caught up in chaos, to observe and witness.

I came back to a studio in Chicago devoid of prepared canvases and spent the first two weeks building, stretching and priming 12 new pieces ranging in size from 2’x3’ to 8’x6’ before I had to shift gears and prepare for the studio opening and unveiling of the book on October 19th.  After the opening I began two new large canvases:  



Beginning new work is intense in itself as once I begin applying the turpentine washes I don’t stop or take a break until they are full, rich and dripping in paint. It is a dance of movement and abandon. The layering of colors on top of colors without intellectual thought, a process that can last over 10 hours or more.

If I have prepared properly with an idea and drawing I can just be totally in the moment without regard to whether the painting that begins to emerge is like the drawing.  In a deeply satisfying way it is a transcendent movement, a waking meditation, an almost out of body experience.

It is within this mezmerizing process that the pure essence of creativity unfolds.

I now have been working on the oil on the right for a month and will begin to share a series of post as this painting progresses.