(Work In Progress)
oil on canvas,12" x 36½", 1997
you begin a picture you often make some pretty discoveries. You must
be on guard against these. Destroy the thing, do it over several
times. In each destroying of a beautiful discovery, the artist
does not really suppress it, but rather condenses it, makes it more
substantial. What comes out in the end is the result of discarded
finds. Otherwise you become your own connoisseur".
certain point I realized that I was becoming stuck on certain
paintings because there were aspects of them that I wanted to hold on
to, I was afraid that if I painted these things over, I would never
see them again. To counteract this, I made the Original WIPproject
using small paintings on board. Hoping that having a record of these
paintings at every stage would give me greater freedom to paint
(without fear of losing something), I documented each iteration with
35 mm photos, scanned them and uploaded them to an AOL hosted web
site. All in all it was a frustrating experience.
painting "Eternity", I wanted to do a series of paintings
based on this long format. I decided to revisit WIP Project
with these canvases (18" x 48") (a digital camera and my
own website). The size was big enough to allow a full gesture,
yet small enough to be able to view 16 of them at a time on my studio
wall and have at least 20 wet ones going at once. At this
point, I also decided to add 1 hour of oil painting to my daily
process of 1 hour of watercolor a day (Journals).
I knew I could only accomplish this if I continually had fresh
canvases to start (for when I was stymied by what I was currently
working on). This new format was manageable with respect to
both size and $$$.
outcome of this project can be seen by clicking the link below.
The experience has loosened me up considerably, I have become
(sometimes overly) ruthless in my attitude of painting out sections
of a painting or even all of it. I fully trust, as Picasso said, that
the painted out images really do reappear. If they are
truly yours, truly a part of your vocabulary, they do come back
The whole project was so fertile for me, that I have started a second
project based on this concept called Starting
With A Line: the color within.