When people come see my work, the question I get the most is “How do you do that?”
I always feel a slight hesitation in answering… because ultimately it comes down to letting myself get swept away by some mysterious sense of emotion that is deeply entangled with the experience of color and light.
What?! That isn’t the easiest thing to wrap your mind around… is it?
It took me years to even understand that much. I’m actually a little embarrassed, because I feel that if there is someone who should know how I do what I do… it really should be me!
Sure, I can tell you about my process and materials, but that isn’t enough. That’s why I keep painting despite the obstacles it brings to ordinary life. It’s the only way I can see what some unconscious part of my self senses. I try to understand this thing called art, what Alva Noë calls a “Strange Tool.” A thing which we use to do the job of understanding ourselves within reality.
He goes on to say…
“Art is not manufacture. Art is not performance. Art is not entertainment. Art is not beauty. Art is not pleasure. Art is not participation in the art world. And art is definitely not commerce. Art is philosophy. Art is putting our true nature on display before ourselves. Because we need to. Art is writing our selves.”
Still… I want to be able to share something about how I make art with you. So, I’ve attempted to “document” the very early beginnings of these paintings. They began blue/green, but are already pulling off in a new direction. Something is softer with the first brush strokes, and I’ve used an oil stick to draw on the canvas. This newness makes me happy as an artist, because it’s good to feel that something is percolating.
Anyways… if I’m lucky, someday I’ll look back at all the paintings I’ve done and truly be able to answer the question… “How do you do that?”
If you are in Phoenixville this weekend, don’t forget the Chester County Open Studio Tour is Saturday and Sunday. I hope you can stop by to see these work in progress. I’m Studio #6 on the tour at 148 4th Ave in Phoenixville.