Thursday, May 12, 2016

Experimentation and Progression

Hello Art Lovers,

I have been thinking this week about the need to continually push boundaries and experiment with my work. I certainly am someone who will go into my own uncharted territory. I don't know how many times I look at one of my paintings in process and think, "What the fuck am I doing!" That used to occur more in terms of the painting technique I was using. But now it occurs more in terms of why am I painting what I am painting. I don't think what I'm doing is worthless, I just don't know where it is coming from or how it moves things further. Sometimes these things become more apparent later.

What do I mean when I talk about moving things forward? It's good to experiment, but not good to get stuck there, or to do nothing more than experiment. The work still needs to move your overall idea forward, fulfill your voice. But as I wrote, sometimes you don't see this until later.

Recently, I had a desire to paint fishsticks.  I thought this continued a conversation I started with an earlier painting of two fish on a plate.  But as I was painting it I really had to wonder what I was doing - I was painting a pile of fishsticks - with tartar sauce! Ultimately, seeing it next to my other paintings in this series, I think it does move the conversation forward, or maybe sideways. I'm not really sure.  I guess the best I can say about it is that I don't think it holds back the conversation. Maybe for someone else it will be a "stunner."  I do know that it helped move me into a slightly different direction with my work and maybe that is the role that it will have in the series, a pivot point that isn't a yet fully developed idea. Different paintings have different roles in the course of a body of work. Maybe that's why I feel uneasy about it, it doesn't neatly fit into a role in the series. Its too strong to be a supporting piece, yet its not quite developed to the point of being definitive. I think I need more hindsight - I'll look at it again in three months.

This week, I have a conversation with Jan Elftmann. She is sometimes known as the Art Car Lady. We talk about gathering potential resources and trusting the process to make the use of the resources obvious,... some day. And we talk about a whole lot more.


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