Saturday, June 28, 2008
mildly foggy this morning ...
not clear enough to move quickly -
not so thick i can’t rely on experience to navigate ...
picasso said he only painted what he knew -
what he already discovered ...
used to sound arrogant,
but i guess i could live with that ...
lately i’m haunted by a lot of what some major leaguers said -
including gorky, pollock, and rothko ...
seems to be a madness that comes
from trying to see too far in the distance -
an intolerable frustration with the ordinary and real -
and the pressure of maintaining ideals
to actualize visions ...
'every line and nuance is its' own experience' ...
i have no idea of what i want to see -
or i only want to see what’s in front of me -
not how it will or should be -
but what it becomes -
through an accumulation
of ideas and actions ...
relying on experience -
building on discovery and knowing -
forming some syntax of elements -
providing evidence of painting - today ...
as only the dying do ...
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
outside studio ...
moments of attrition,
relieved ambition ...
stratas of strokes form texture
paradigms and lexicons
illness of people we care about
snaps us back to true form -
equalizing perspectives -
focusing on momentary changes of disease
and the body’s challenges ...
the early florentine and sienese artists
attempted flawless surfaces -
void of texture and impurity ...
brush strokes, tiny crustaceans, accidental marks,
the occasional insect -
this is more interesting to my work -
layering, building, forming -
amalgamating what occurs from start to finish ...
like things in slivers of amber -
moments in time ...
i’m more interested in
varieties of surface markings -
but not as a primary focus or issue ...
blemishes, scars, wrinkles, expressions -
always more interesting than retouch perfection ...
the big bang was a collision of protons and neutrons ...
Sunday, June 22, 2008
flexible design ...
under sky in good weather,
under roof sometimes -
but always outside above fifty degrees ...
[for paint/pigment stability]
crescendos of anticipation
with every gesso layer,
seemingly mindless tasks
done thousands of times
leading down paths
of what i did, should have done, or wanted to;
cleaning the slate - conditioning - quieting -
preparing what’s next ...
few ideas arrive -
except next steps -
preconceptions vanish ...
recognizing where the birds are nested by sound this year -
flurries of activity from squirrel rivalries -
[a year of red and gray]
seems to be an over abundance of yellow jackets,
crow and turkey buzzards ...
[must be more dead things around - probably road kill]
more man-made sounds
echo through coffeetown ravine -
changing games of aging children playing,
familiar howls - gone,
puppies growing into their barks,
no roosters - more fox,
more curious groundhogs and growing fawn ...
hurried cars, suv’s, gigantic [unfarmer] pickup trucks -
everyone on cell phones with coffees to go,
atmospheric static -
proliferation of lawnmowers, weedwackers, leaf blowers,
motorcycles, atv’s, teenage speeders, airplanes, helicopters,
high altitude rumblings and vapor trails from newark,
emergency vehicles, mechanical decibels -
sad when silence becomes more unusual than noise in the rurals ...
[a competition nature is losing]
cumulative events ...
Saturday, June 21, 2008
a triptych - one narrow panel squeezed by two larger,
now joins what was and will be ...
that first stroke -
the first coat of gesso
over finely sanded wood surfaces ...
it’s gettin’ to be an old tradition
for me and painting’s history ...
for years i’ve been layering seven coats of gesso -
thin to thick over the surface to create stable ground
between surface and paint for a few reasons;
- because i admire the durability and care of the medieval fresco
and panel paintings, their patina, texture, and aging;
the artist’s hand ...
- repeated actions of layering gesso familiarizes me
with the surface and size of the terrain ...
- by the time i’ve completed the gessoing,
the surface is already imbued with patterns and texture;
with its’ own code ...
- seven coats is probably overkill, but eliminates guess work
and has consistently provided stable ground ...
- seven is also a bit magical to me - it’s all white on white,
motion, sensing, praying, planning - getting down to the moment,
the environment, the key; where the alchemy begins ...
emptiness and purity
have history ...