Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Quarter way inland through the state, amtrak floats over marsh . We honk and clang. Windows and plastic molding shutter. Pale grey sky is mirrored a shade darker in water. There are no hard edges here. Mirror grey and mottled red, green, and yellow grasses pattern themselves off into the distance. Urban texture is suggested on the horizon fringe.

The lady behind me is talking to her newspaper. "mm hmm" She flips a page.

The lawyer two seats back is arranging case reviews by phone. His ability to get to the bottom line mid-chit chat suggests ex military, but it could be the result of commanding a steep hourly wage.

The perceived interrogation of painting in recent weeks has driven me inside. Art making feels burdened. The field of studio art has unfurled and inflated, displacing my current craft. I keep being asked "why paint?" Since studio art practice is not limited to discrete objects, is the making of image-specific objects obsolete?

Fortunately, my elective choice (advanced painting)has forced the brush in my hand twice a week and reminded me of some of the Whys. The physical process (the ritual of it?) and the color and form discoveries. Painting's slow pace gives me time to meditate on the subject. Do I need to document the process beyond the final image? Or work on location? Painting from direct observation is lauded for the extra info you get from the subject (color, changing light, etc). Photos provide forms which become filled with personal abstractions on canvas, but the presence of the original forces me to edit and respond.

Its easy to gloss over the depression of past weeks. A new roll of canvas, and some five foot stretchers, boosted excitement about pushing my limits in this medium.

No comments: