I could be experiencing external pressure here, and that’s why I’m doing them, but I think it’s more the urge to communicate.
Two paintings today: a wolf and a wolfman
I walk from 88th Street on the Upper East Side to the west side of Harlem and 125th Street, pick up supplies, then to the studio at 107th. Full sun, my skin rendered pink; I see a veiled mystic in Central Park. A trek replete with strangers and bumping into them.
I reach the studio and listen to Mozart’s 1st and 2nd. I make a painting which isn’t Cubist; rather, it’s a cabbage patch or a crop:
What if, when painting, it’s not my energy that matters, but only the making—only the making of the painting—NOT the style, NOT the concept, NOT the aesthetic, NOT even the relationship, just the making?
I touch up “Miami Beach”—I guess that’s the painting’s name. I think about other people quite a lot while filling in colors, and feel perturbed.
I try to remember: the painting is whatever I want it to be, my joyousness and nothing else!
I cover over the goth/hipster teenager portrait with some new cartoon style characters painted Cubist-wise. This painting looks more like the George Condo painting from the Met which I sought to emulate in Miami Beach.
I have quietly but consistently disqualified my painting techniques when they’re derived from another painter’s work. The reality is that the paintings with these appropriated techniques are still mine.
I come in to the studio early morning. The walk here from the Upper East Side was magic. There are several housing projects I pass by on my way; their expansive grass lawns have so much exotic, weedy growth. Worlds within worlds.
I have a puzzle to solve today: how to color the 3 figures in my Miami Beach panorama. I think of George Condo’s painting at the Met (“Rush Hour”): Cubist, a lot of white with flashes of pastel
I attack the painting with wet, sploshes of color, trying to keep palette muted and pastel. It is turning out more coloring-book, naïve and less dynamic or Cubist. It is, however, DIFFERENT.
Still trying to think less and avoid thoughts from outside sources—in other words, verbal thoughts. Rather, I want to go based on feel. Even if I work with phrases or concepts, “Cubist”, “Naïve”, “muted” etc., I carry them through feeling rather than practical thought.
Painting with less thoughts; purging judgements, tastes, plans and concepts
Painting with impressions—just impressions
Painting as pure aesthetic: impression, phenomena, sub-phenomena, sub-thinking
Today I draw a face—a man’s face with feathers and plants coming from the mouth. It looks like a Renaissance sculpture.
Eventually this face looks more like a Byzantine Madonna icon, the yellow ocre background resembling gold leaf. It grows to my distaste, wavering between a goth/hipster teenager. I leave it alone, facing the wall.
I decide larger-scale work, on canvas, heavily drawn, is calling me. I draw a panoramic “Miami Beach” scene with 3 figures, so far to my satisfaction.
I am still happy with my “Woman with Dog” from yesterday.
“Rhino and Poachers", is on view at The Plaxall Gallery/LiC-A. Opening Reception September 8, 2018. More info here
The painting addresses the issue of the black rhino being poached for its horn. In certain cultures, the rhino’s horn is believed to have medicinal and virile-endowing qualities. This belief is erroneous. Since hunting the rhino is illegal, poachers must act fast and therefore unscrupulously, taking no heed as to the animal’s welfare. For more regarding this travesty, see savetherhino.org