WIP Project
(Work In Progress)

ETERNITY, oil on canvas,12" x 36½", 1997

"When 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".

At a 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. 

After 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 $$$.

The 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.