Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Clouds and Paint

Last week I went to visit several very good friends.  Each stop revealed multiple works that I had painted.  My style has been very different than most of that work in the last two years.  While there is something really great about my newer drawing based work, I have been missing the layers evident in my more painterly style.  I really had started drawing more as a way to work on my skills where I felt they were wavering.  It was not that long ago that I wouldn't worry about the state of drawing so much because I knew that once I started painting I could make the work look like whatever I needed it to look like.  I had kind of lost sight of the fact that the strictly drawing based work was an exercise.  It is time to paint again.  I want some more serious shows again.

With these last two thoughts in mind, I started at one of my sketchbooks during the middle of a class that I was monitoring on Saturday.  I visited some cloud motifs that I had worked with a couple years ago.  They were really a modification of the clouds in the old Cloud Constructor works, but with more of the express intent of making the clouds characters in their own right.  I started crossing this imagery with the rain marks.  Rain has always signified a sort of cleansing and rebirth to me.  Perhaps it is like a continued sort of baptism?  The rebirth brought me back to me child who is on the way.  I started mixing the baby badger into the piece as well.

Finally I was able to get some real painting in the other night.  My wife was asleep on the couch and I was listening to Ben Kweller ( I love pop music when I am working through new ideas. )  I took a panel that I had nailed together in attempts to entertain her little brother at one point.  Side note: that plan did not work.  I liked the shape of the pieced together wood and I thought that cloud forms would add a nice contrast to the rectilinear shapes making up the larger shape of the surface.

Slowly everything started to form in my head.  The clouds and the rain are a way of thinking of media and ideologies which saturate our vision and thoughts.  It is all one confusing cloud or blob.  I began to think about my child.  What are all of these extraneous bits of information going to feel like to a small child learning the ways of the world?

The larger piece felt pretty good and I felt like the colors were working really well.  It felt like the right thing to be painting again.  I started to wonder if there might be something in working the painterly and the drawing back and forth a little bit more.

This is what I ended up with when I started to think about the two as one.  I think that there is probably some success in here that I had not been aware of before.  We will have to see.


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