Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Titles

Thinking about how difficult it is to title my paintings. Usually I call most of them "Untitled" followed by the date of completion. Before a recent show I was faced with the absurdity of hanging six works differing greatly from each other but all with the same title. Giving them numbers didn't help. They weren't part of a series, or even a sequence of making.

Odilon Redon writes in "To Myself" that the title of a work "is not justified unless it is vague, indeterminate, and aspiring, even confusedly equivocal." I struggled to find words that would not define the work or determine its meaning yet would have "imaginative logic".

Poets do this. I asked poet Pam Brown to name the painting she and her husband had just bought. They decided its title was Uova. Here it is:



I feel that the painting became complete when it was named by Ones Who Really See It.
Who, as Redon says, are spectators whose minds are incited by "fictions of great or small significance."




Friday, August 19, 2016

I'm always moving along. My paintings are always works
in process for a long time. I have them and come back intermittently maybe for a year or two. I can't really do "one, two, a painting". I try to work quickly but that doesn't usually work for me. My paintings are an on-going process of sedimentation? then excavation? Or something like urban renewal? Maybe due to shifts of sensibility? Choices of line, color, texture,opacity or transparency, density or sparseness, flatness or depth, warmth or coolness...volume?

 This one, called "Conjugational" evolved over several months of painting in, and painting out, and then reading some of Paul Klee's observations about line and volume, and "seeing" what the painting could be. Finally it became itself. Someone who saw it recently said it was funny, and now I know it is. The viewer completes the work...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I'll be talking about my painting tonight at Cocoa Bar in Brooklyn. I have several works on view there, with fellow artists Amy Weil and Carlos Torres-Machado. Thinking about what to say, I came across this quote from Brice Marden that greatly inspired me awhile back:
"There are possibilities to make paintings that people don't pursue. The whole post-modernist thing is about closing down possibilities--that's just bullshit. What about magic? Okay, magic. You look at all the religious paintings very formally, you look at them historically, but what about Zubaran painting something and just going out of himself. To me it's possible. It was a big thing with the abstract expressionists. How you could go and paint and work but there was only a small amount of time when you really painted. And that was when you were in another state. You're coasting right along, you're not even thinking. It's just all coming out. You're the medium, and to me that exists. This could be an aim." -interview in BOMB.

Francisco Zurbaran, St. Francis in Meditation

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thanks to Myra for reminding me
that I've neglected this blog for too long.  Time to resume.

A new painting is in progress: bigger surface than my recent 12inch squares. This feels very different to paint- I'm standing, stretching, reaching, stepping way, way back to see it. Yet I know its surface as intimately as the small paintings I sit before at my easel.



detail


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My painting is a search for form through color and light. The final image is not the goal. The paintings record my intention to engage the paint, canvas, and the tools at hand- my fingers, brushes, knives and scrapers.
As I paint, my attention is drawn to complements of complexity/simplicity, edges/mass, energy, the movement of light across the surface of the canvas-- reflected, glowing, undersided, rising-- that has spiritual resonance for me.
The medium I use is oil, but have recently experimented with acrylic mixed with oil pastel, and collages made of cut-up paintings.


Recent paintings





Just wrote a new statement and submitted works to the Brooklyn Museum's GO project.

Sunday, July 31, 2011