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. 

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