I have been consumed with creative activity vocationally. In art, not so much. The wonderful artist Sammy Peters quotes Picasso (he thinks) as saying “He believed in inspiration, but it better find you working when it comes.” I agree that prolific Artivity lays the ground work for an occasional breakthrough. I will also say that weeks of dabbing and pulling paint around while feeling little or no connection to the work is quietly, incrimentally demoralizing. I do think that warmer weather ahead, spending time with my Fam in April, and having a couple of museum exhibits openings behind me is going turn things around.
In the between time, here is a small painting collage from February into March:
Ohne Titel, 18 X 23,” Collage and paint on panel
Between Times, something more interesting has been going on in Raul Dorn’s studio. When I left Las Cruces, I invited Raul to paint over several canvases that I just never felt were successful, and that I didn’t want to schlep across the country.
Recently, Raul said: ” I did hit on something when painting over them, as the process was stimulated by having a visual history/engagement to work with and not that intimidating void of blank canvas etc. I created about three paintings over your work, in oils, that in the end left some of your imagery peeking through. I dug what was happening and felt that the pieces deserved some “remnants” of your layered short brush strokes here and there. I actually feel that a couple of these paintings finished last Fall were some of the best paintings of the year, and I couldn’t get myself to cover 100% of the reclaimed canvases.”
Here is the paining now titled “Shaman’s Incantation:”
Here is “Adventis” (Diptych:)
I really like Raul’s results. I will observe that I think that some of my less successful paintings are too full of incident without strong graphic/iconographic forms to bind the images together. So much as I have “goals” in my work, I think that ideally paintings should “work” from thirty feet away, and offer rich incident and texture when looked at nose to surface. Raul has pulled these together in just that way. I miss visiting Raul and his small, amazing studio. Always made me want to get home and paint. That is a source of inspiration missed.
Note to Raul:
Rauschenberg: ” . . . the newspaper was a tool for anchoring the paintings in the everyday world outside the paintings; as he explained: “I began using newsprint in my work to activate a ground so that even the first stroke in a painting had its own unique position in a gray map of words.”
It was DeKooning’s practice to lay newspapers over his paintings to keep his (very unconventional) mediums workable. Newsprint transferred to the surface – famously, see “Easter Monday” https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/488916 – Bottom, right hand corner. Dig that spear.