Sunday, January 02, 2011

Loving my paintings and why I don't feel guilty.

I have been up to my ears in paint lately. The constrictions of illustration bottle up so much pressure that when all the other jobs are finished, I EXPLODE into a million pieces of light.

With the body of work I am creating right now, there seems to be cycles of discovery and finesse, and freedom. Unlike illustration, where the narrative of the story is king, these pieces can ebb and flow right out of the studio if they need to.

Ink. Acrylic. Canvas, or board, or panel, or plastic, or anything I can get my hands on mid-frenzy. (I considered the fridge doors but knew I would scare the wife.)

As I work with ink, I let the imagery out onto the canvas easily, knowing I am completely safe. If I screw up, pshhht. Who cares? I can go in with acrylics and chisel away the ink blobs until they are gorgeous representations of whatever they need to be. In fact, when I bring the canvas from ink (after it dries) over to my acrylics, I get the rare and beautiful treat of discovery. As I cut in to the territory of the ink, I am not in complete control. I, like a paleontologist or sculptor, get to find out what it is that is beneath the surface. The initial ink is only a suggestion, but often, and most rewardingly, once I begin to see into the true self of the painting to be, I get to explore a direction never intended.

I am basking in freedom.

I am basking in beauty.

I get to be stoked at how gorgeous they are. I don't have to temper my appreciation of my work because of not wanting to come off like those annoying artists who bleed on and on about their own work at openings. I mean, I know how hard I have worked to get to where I am now as an artist. I am not trying to be falsely humble or anything like that. I just normally don't have any desire to spend much time appreciating my work. I just do it and move on to the next. But this stuff... I am falling in love with it. It makes me feel amazing to be around it and just stare at it. It feeds me somehow.

I get to celebrate this work because it seems to have little to do with my skills or abilities. I am using fairly crude techniques to unearth brilliant visions. What I am celebrating is the healing power of art.

I can get used to this.

(Oh, and I realize the irony of this post, having posted no images of the work. Well... Maybe later.)