Saturday, June 12, 2010
I have been feeling pretty indestructible during the last few months. My time has been filled with painting and attending the NYFA/ MARK seminars to improve the business of my art practice. The MARK program concluded last week with a two day retreat in Syracuse, NY. The brilliant and industrious Jackie Battenfield was our keynote speaker. Each artist received a gift of her book, The Artist's Guide and Jackie graciously signed copies. We were also given copies of ART/WORK by Heather Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber. Curators indulged us with a panel discussion and we even had networking breaks. Connecting with artists across New York state has been rich and transforming.
Home, the trees are thick green and poppies bloom around the woodshed. I am alone with the geese dropping into the pond, the resident wood chuck and bunnies in the wet morning grass. It is difficult to paint. I am returning to my series, Paintings for a Waiting Room. These paintings started as a means for exploring the emotional and environmental space created by waiting. I have a friend- an anesthesiologist- who offered that waiting is an opportunity for introspection. While his patients wait for narcotic sleep, we wait for computers to boot, we wait for prompts, we wait attached to Blackberries and iphones in a kind of passive stupor. The space of "waiting" is actually big.
During the retreat I spoke with the painter, Bruce Adams about my work. I paint big in small scale with rhythmic form liberated from specific composition. He asked me why I was painting like painters from sixty years ago. We talked about the scale of my painting which made it a little more interesting- but perhaps not "ironic" enough from Bruce's point of view.
Paintings for a Waiting Room is an ironic jab- most often we wait among a detritus of "Real Simple" magazines and thermos coffee with plastic packets of Coffee Mate.The paintings- metal leaf superimposed with paint - express a radiance and missed opportunity. I have some crazy idea that "waiting" is a detriment to the sanctity of the individual and to personal liberty. Waiting is numbing. How long should we wait? Why do we have to wait at all? Finally, there is something jumpy about waiting- a hurry up into the future quality.
I find myself agreeing with my friend the anesthesiologist: waiting is an opportunity for introspection and here is the intersection for paintings. In the meantime my studio- filled with these works- has become a Waiting Room. The paintings are waiting for shows and I am waiting for a certain someone.