March 2, 2016

how to get everything you want

Samantha Palmeri painting
what I thought was finished 6 months ago, now decisively, completely finished  
Bird Brain, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 inches

When it comes to looking at other people's artwork or curating or planning a show I think I am a fairly decisive person. I usually know what I'm looking for and know it when I see it, or don't, right away. 
When it comes to almost everything else, and particularly that infinite realm of self-knowledge and critique, I am just the opposite. 
I don't see clearly what everyone else is seeing and I can't make up my mind. I want so many things at once I can't decide which to put forward and which to push back, so much like the foreground/background issues that are currently plaguing me in the studio. 

Thankfully, it's a good thing that unlike in the real world where self restraint and stoicism are necessary servants to an amiable life in society, in the painting world there is much more leniency in the letting-it-all-hang-out, I-want-everything-at-once department. 

However tempted I am to put every single idea, mood, desire, color and line into every single canvas, I try to accept that it's virtually impossible and it will surely defeat my purpose.  
And then just as I've accepted it, out of nowhere a painting will resolve to make this happen.
Not completely of course. No one painting can encompass everything you want. But when you've been working on a specific set of ideas, shapes and colors for a long while and you suddenly see even a few of those elements come together and give you what you want, it is wonderful! 

It is so satisfying it keeps you going, until against all odds, it happens again.

Samantha Palmeri painting
so far untitled, oil on canvas, 54 x 54 inches
still working on this one, 50 x 72 inches

Samantha Palmeri painting
untitled, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 inches

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