Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I have strayed from abstraction. I wonder if it is a change in approach due to the normal changes in the course of a painter's life, or if it is a change in response to popular opinion. I am concerned that I'm leaning from the pressure of positive responses to the images I've created where people can say, "Oh, that's a nice _____." With the abstracts, most comments I receive sound like, "Wow, that's really beautiful. What is it?"

The "What is it" is getting me. When I painted "Life's Little Irritations," I simply named the title for what idea I was translating into an image. How do we answer the question as abstract painters: What is it? My most accurate answer would be that it's a combination of oils and pigments that I placed on a prepared cloth using a bunch of hairs held together on a stick. That's what all my paintings are, with sometimes a shell or tile or something glued to the surface as well.

I'm really liking the idea of adding a dimensional inclusion to the paintings for one reason: it makes giclees clearly less than the original. In the movie Multiplicity, the copies got weaker. I remember in my office days putting a sticky note on my master copy so that I wouldn't use it to write on and end up having to copy a copy. I'm using the tile, shell, bits of something unphotographable to make a sticky note on the master. Copy away, but the original IS different. The original is different if simply by the answer to What Is It? A copy is a mechanically printed facsimile on paper or canvas. Not oil, pigments, hairs, stick...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I haven’t been blogging, but I have been painting.

I finished Life’s Little Irritations.

And quasi-finished Regrets Vanish.

I started painting a horse in fog on Mana Road, from photos I took some years ago. It will be interesting to paint all in greys.

And I started a coffee farm for a fellow who wants to buy the painting with Kona Coffee. YEEHAW. I painted fast on this one.

And here is the beginning of a piece that I didn’t know what it was about, so I just got started. Come to find out, it’s about Generosity of Spirit. I’ve had my share of miserly older women in the shop this past week, and it started me thinking about my own penny-pinching ways. The opposite of generosity must be fear, because I see such fear in myself and these mean-spirited people. One woman had a well-defined list of supplies to get for her husband. He was in a car accident some time ago, which she told me repeatedly, and they didn’t have money, also told repeatedly. I didn’t want to sell her anything because her objective was very clear: she didn’t want to spend any money on art supplies. We ended up with no sale because she requested assurance that she could return everything she had chosen to purchase, very little of which matched the list. I told her not in this case: I would accept no returns. She dropped her shopping basket and left. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Her mana (energy or demeanor, spirit) was poison to a place of abundant creativity, and she was immune to any comfort I would hope to offer her. I saw much of myself in her and hence am thinking about how to curb that tendency while still in the earlier years of my life. I’ll think about it while I paint.
The biggest question about this painting now is “What will her hand hold?” At first I thought about a gold coin, or light. But maybe an abstract symbol, an assemblage to represent generosity of spirit? What symbol can communicate this?