Saturday, November 30, 2013

The New Series: Nothing is Simple

Upcoming painting of Turner Falls Oklahoma

I have usually worked on paintings that have been on a list of paintings to do for often years before they actually see paint. I always think of this as the fermentation of an idea or inspiration, probably the reason why the edges are often soft and the thought is open for the viewers' interpretation instead of the realistic, straight forward landscape. Recently, I was able to finish many of the paintings that had been on the list for a long time and now the work that is being created are fresh and most of the inspiration is very recent and still very clear in memory.

So you would think this recent series would be so quick and easy but that is just not the case with creativity. One canvas that you see on Tuesday is often completely a different canvas when you look at it on the following Tuesday or even the next day for that matter. No, there is no magical change of the actual form and no, there is no magical metamorphosis of the image over time but the eye of the artist is always changing and can often be extremely critical. When you start a painting often the excitement of the direction you are going become almost intoxicating and after the initial rush you are left to a painting that it seems like some one else started and you like it enough not to want to damage the essence that make it attractive to you and yet as the artist, I feel incapable of moving forward.

View of the autumn foliage from Tucker Tower
This series started quickly and with great enthusiasm and yet it stopped just as suddenly. I have several large and small paintings in different stages of completion but they are all suddenly like a train wreck that I can't seem to find the path through the execution. Even the feeling of the entire piece is barely discernible and yet it started out so clearly. I believe you take the image out of memory when you start the work and than there is the insecurity and doubt that follow and often haunt the artist through the creative process.

My theory on this whole process is don't ever get attached to any single painting and realize that you can recreate the same painting over and over again and each time you will see it differently. Be bold with color and welcome failure, every process of painting is a learning process and only after getting past the original fear and insecurity does the true beauty of the piece become true to itself. The next two days I have off and plan on working somewhat furiously on the paintings and while I am in the process of painting the landscapes that are in process, another group of paintings have appeared on the list. One painting is of the waterfalls at Turner Falls and another looking down from the tower at Tucker Tower on Lake Murray, with this season comes the cold atmospheric breeze and the perfect atmosphere for the kind of landscapes that seem to haunt my imagination.