I find it’s rare for me that a painting can’t be improved upon after the first few sessions. I often see (in my own work and others) art that has an interesting effect or shows off skill or finesse, but wears thin after a few viewings. Once in a while a piece feels wholly complete in a session or two. And for sure sometimes I’ve lessened the best qualities in a painting by overworking it.
I like journeying (via this admittedly conservative route) into the unknown, through this process of discovery in making my simple paintings. I feel very fortunate to do some exploration through this discipline. I’m not (currently at least) out to push the art world (whatever that is) in any new directions, nor alter society toward what I feel it should be. I just want to add some beauty to the world. Each painting is a sort of physical record of a small journey, which I feel can act as an object for contemplation.
A dear friend and patron recently mentioned she could sense a certain “engineering/musical composition” quality in my finished works—and I take this as high praise as I’ve great admiration for both disciplines. It’s my aim to make art that will still captivate me on repeated viewings. For me this often requires lots of looking and considering. I want all that I make to have “staying power” and be able to give back to the viewer continuously, hopefully for years.
This is why I like having a studio at home. I routinely set my work up around the house to take it in slowly. When I can glance at works daily, it keeps the conversation fresh for when I can get back into the studio. When I focus on them I’m watching for what catches my eye in successful or unsuccessful ways. This lets me steadily refine or tweak a painting over several weeks. So here’s a smattering including the beginning of a larger scale one, using the small one to its right as the starting point. Even when a larger version begins from a touchstone, the end result inevitably takes its own course. I always look forward to seeing where it ends up.