The studio is brighter these days. It's not the light -- it's late winter and my studio gets no direct light regardless of the time of year. It's not the temperature or the background music or the podcasts or the plethora of materials. It's not the re-organization, the thinning of the herd that makes everything easier to find. It's not the wonderful Costco memory foam floor mat and the comfort it brings my back and knees. It's time; wonderful, glorious, time without limit. No end-of-the-summer to fear. No singular one-day-a-week to forcibly concentrate all of my efforts within. I have time and a future of more time. When I use up this day, there will be tomorrow and next week and next month and next year. The only thing I've ever craved and daydreamed about has been time. I've always wanted more. I want all the time. All of it.
Like most artists, I work in several motifs, or styles, each of which serve a purpose. The body of work which I refer to as the Corpus Group is distinguished by their focus on the relationships between and among nature’s elements. In casual talk, we distinguish between earth, sky, water and fire but no sharp lines truly separate nature’s elements from each other. In fact, the chemistry and physics of the sky and the water are intimately intertwined. The painting above, as well as several others on the Art page, belongs in the Corpus group.
This painting is called Full Figure (previously named Force Form), completed in 2011. It's made of paper and acrylic on board and the measurements are 32" x 40". It is one of my favorite paintings because of its figurative motif and warm, rounded form. The placement of the cut paper pieces was intuitive; I recall using a right/wrong, non-analytical process to make decisions and operated without a visual goal in mind other than finding the painting through trial and error. The other day, as I was scrolling through the Art page on this website and, alternately, walking around my house, it occured to me that this painting was not represented. I went through all of my art photo file. No image of it existed. I scrolled through six years of photos on the computer - nothing. I've sat next to this painting nearly every day of the last six years. How could I have missed it? How could I have never taken it off the wall to photograph? I have no answers - no defense. Surely, this painting was hiding in plain sight and a quiet part of my consciousness kept it out of the lineup and, as a result, kept it at home where I need it to help remind me how to paint.
The creation of the painting above, Resurrected, started 2 years ago. It was an unusually convoluted and difficult process. I began in my habitual way by building forms using cut paper and modeling paste. I gave it color - gray-greens, Payne's grey, etc. After monkeying around with it for a couple of weeks, I hated it and never brought it into the house - into public view. It landed on the floor of my studio and, within a month, I turned around so that I didn't have to look at it. During my next fallow period, I thought perhaps I could redeem the canvas if I could just peel or scrape off the glued paper forms. No such luck - they were glued within an inch of their life. I took the two canvases apart and tried to squeeze it into my garbage can but it wouldn't fit. So, I relegated it to the garden, hoping that a few months of cold and rain would soften it so that I could either peel off the paper or crush it more easily for disposal. I examined it periodically looking for signs of decomposition. Nothing. After 6 months of outdoor abuse, it looked as good - if you can call it that - as the day it was painted.
In August of 2016, after a summer of travel and family falderall, I was eager to get back to work. Unfortunately, I had neglected to purchase a supply of fresh canvases. While wandering around the yard, frustrated with the need to work but without the means to do so, I saw the pair of canvases in their burial spot by the gardening bin. I was needy, it was available and I brought it back into the studio thinking I would cover the shapes with a thicker dose of modeling paste and then begin a new image. But after reattaching the panels, applying a pound of paste, allowing it to dry and painting a neutral ground I found that the original form was still there. But it looked softer, worn and inviting. It had acquired a plaintive tone and the shapes had cohesion. It asked me to continue to uncover, meditate, communicate, listen, try again. The latent form guided me and I am pleased that I found the painting that was there. The painting is not pretty, but it's truthful. This piece that was discarded, neglected, abused and unwanted but in spite of all that endured and waited until I could see it's heart and soul.