November 20, 2016
So, this happened today. My favorite and most useful tool suddenly gave out on me. I can't even remember how many years I've had it or how many palette knives I've purchased since (that were never half as good), but it's been a constant in my painting life for... like... ever....
Blah, so much for reliability.
Anyhow, in other pragmatic news today.
Do you ever have one of those moments in the studio when you realize you're standing way too far, like three feet away from your painting wall and you're thinking why can't I see what the hell I'm doing??
How To Be A Better Painter: stand closer to the fucking canvas
October 17, 2016
|Philip Guston, Alchemist, 1960, oil on canvas, 61 x 67 inches|
Philip Guston in an interview with Joseph Ablow 1966
"For reasons which I did not understand at the time... when I went into nonobjective painting or at least non-figurative painting, I felt I was even then involved with imagery, even though I didn't understand the imagery, but I thought it was imagery.
For some reason that is not quite clear to me yet, and maybe I don't want to be clear about it either, I was forced and pushed into the kind of painting that I did. That is to say that the demand, in the dialogue of myself with this, was that I make some marks.
It speaks to me, I speak to it. We have terrible arguments going all night for weeks and weeks.
"Do I really believe that?" I make a mark, a few strokes, and I argue with myself. Not "Do I like it or not?" but "Is it true or not?" And "Is that what I mean? Is that what I want?"
But there comes a point when something catches on the canvas, something grips on the canvas. I don't know what it is. I mean, when you put paint on a surface, most of the time it looks like paint.
Who the hell wants paint on a surface?
You take it off, put it on, it goes over here, it moves over a foot. As you go closer, it starts moving in inches not feet, then half-inches. There comes a point, though, when the paint doesn't feel like paint. I don't know why. Some mysterious thing happens. I think you experience this, maybe in parts of canvases or something like that. If you can do it by painting a face or an eye or a nose or an apple, it doesn't matter. What counts is that the paint should really disappear. Otherwise it's craft or something like that."
|Philip Guston, Portrait I, 1965, oil on canvas, 68 x 78 inches|
December 30, 2014
|started the day finishing these two paintings...|
...and ended the day with something entirely differentI guess I missed my old lines
How do you get a line to smile at you or say hello to the line standing next to it?
or "Merry Christmas" or "I saw you in the supermarket last week"?
Is this possible? Can lines exchange such pleasantries?
Should they be required to make such small talk?
There comes a moment in the life of a painting when
it's not enough to leave behind an idea that something may have just happened here.
There comes a moment when line needs to speak to line,
with color asking all the questions for a change.
This way we could all be in it together, frolicking around, acting out.
I'm not quite there yet... almost.
November 14, 2014
I have had a renewed determination lately to get as much work done as humanly possible. It all started with an amazing and inspiring talk at the Garrison Art Center by artist Judy Pfaff (who I'll write more on later as she is my absolute new favorite artist). It also coincided with what I thought would be an open studio event at my studio building last week, which by the way, didn't even know had a name: "KUBE". Although it turned out to be free chips and red wine for someone else's opening, I ended up with an organized and raring to go studio space, which is always a much needed good thing.
|here's my space last week just about ready for company|
This morning I started my day looking around and thinking,
"I don't know what the hell I'm doing but I sure am doing a hell of a lot of it".
|studio view this morning November 14th, 2014|
It's been an interesting week. Monday I met my studio neighbor for the first time and another painter down the hall. Tuesday I brought my daughter to work with me. Wednesday I went and bought some new painting tools to play with and a space heater to keep me from freezing. Guess whose landlord decided to turn the heat on as soon as I plugged it in?
|my new favorite toy|
Thursday I ended up cleaning all my brushes before I went home. I also may have had a great moment of clarity (which doesn't happen often by the way), so much that I changed my plans for Friday so I could spend another day working.
|dirty paint brushes|
|meet my muse: the mark on the right and his dialogue|
After all of this and due to all of it, the end of the day, and week, appeared much more promising than the start of it.
|the two pieces I worked on today|
|this one might actually be finished|
|this one definitely isn't|
February 15, 2014
Here is a video I made with the help of my editor husband.
I now know how to edit my own videos!
Although we can see that it is a rope of some kind, the specific thing that is being made remains a mystery. The ruddy and fibrous wet strands of material are undisclosed, allowing the viewer's mind to wander.
Continuously working and engaging in the art making process allows for unexpected moments like this. I originally wanted to film this project to document the process of making the rope, but I am very happy with the video as its own art piece. I'd love to see this projected on a gallery wall one day!
November 12, 2013
the story of the laundry meat rope project starts with me wanting to create a very large knitted piece. I was imagining it like a large blanket covering an entire gallery floor where you'd have to walk around the edges of it. I began to make yarn out of the laundry meat but it was not holding up well to the demands of knitting.
all the wrapping and twisting around both knitting needles kept tearing the yarn. so my first thought was to alter the yarn to work better
but I loved the way it looked all by itself; the variations of thickness and color from all the separate batches of laundry meat. I wanted to use the yarn as it was without having it have a specific purpose. I ended up looking at a bunch of youtube videos on how to make rope. using a freshly made batch of laundry meat that I purposely dried in thin strips I started the project.
|today's rope making station|
|on the kitchen table|
|separate batches of laundry meat piled together. strips are made from this first and then twisted together to make the rope|
|so far I've made almost 35 feet|
|details of laundry meat rope|
making the rope is an enjoyable process, although at the same time very tedious. it feels very primitive for the fact that there are no tools except my own two hands. and I love the fact that I am creating a potentially useful tool, and then the irony that there's nothing useful about it at all. this is the first time I've worked on a project of this nature and although I have no idea what will become of it, it is satisfying work. it can be very meditative but I find that after a long session of thinking that I'm getting so much done, I've only made a few feet of rope. in retrospect I may conclude that this is just another extension of my fascination with the body and perhaps one can see a correlation to umbilical cords and such, but right now I'm going with a flow that I only subconsciously know anything about!
more on laundry meat here
|part of finished project|