Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Working through it

The piling on of loosely painted grid structures in my new paintings is only working out marginally well at the moment. With both of the new paintings I worked on last week, I wound up painting out large sections in an effort to re-direct my initial ideas into something workable. I don't know what that is and it's pretty unclear right now where any of it is heading.

The questions I have now are: Now that I've abandoned (for the time being, at least) the hard-edged stripe in favor of multiple variations of hand-drawn grid structures, what is the new work about? What am I saying/doing here? why switch from the controlled energy of the stripes for the all-over, looser format I'm investigating now?

I can only partially answer these questions. The easiest one to tackle is the last.

I let go of the striped elements because I'm working with a different kind of energy than what was contained in the paintings of the past few years. I wanted to return to a less-controlled, more spontaneous way of painting. More than that, I wanted the new paintings to be more physically worked and explore ideas of accumulation and negation. Forms/images are emerging and accumulating and then being deleted in part of in their entirety as I search for an image that makes sense and feels complete.

What is the work about?

There's no direct answer for this question at the present. All I can say is that the new paintings are developing from ideas I began in drawings I've been working on since last fall. I guess I'm still exploring the accumulation of overlapping images gathered from my environment: urban grids, lots of visual/aural stimulation, linear patterns intersecting and repeated.

I've been looking for ways in which I could translate the hand-drawn grids done on paper with graphite into paintings. At first, I wanted to replicate the look and feel of the drawings on canvas, but failed miserably because of the inherent differences in materials and media. However, I've continued working with the idea and found I had to give up thinking I could achieve the same results in different media for this project. Once I let go of that, the paintings have taken on a life of their own and I'm appreciating the results a lot more.
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