Wednesday, November 17, 2010

About the Painting Process

     Each color element, and its attendant texture, has a distinct personality that is partly inherent, partly predicated upon the space that it must occupy, and also partly predicated upon its perceived relationship to adjacent color elements. I usually develop my concept for a new painting by first engaging in what one might consider a sort of dramatization. This is a process of thrusting an imaginary scenario onto the unsuspecting color elements, thereby providing an invented foil against which the color elements then strive to define themselves, acquiring detailed personalities and characteristics in my mind. Vital to the overall process is the sub-process of textural accretion that occurs in a large number of my canvasses, by which I complicate the surface, thereby muting what would otherwise be an unqualified dominion of color interrelationships. The painting is usually complete, or nearly so, when the variform elements have arrived at a state of accommodation with one another. Note that this accommodation does not necessarily imply harmony, only relative stasis; a willingness, perhaps, to remain in a certain fixation for a brief stasis in time. The finished painting is therefore a frozen moment in a dance, a snapshot, if you will, of a single frame in an animation of poise and counter-poise that has neither beginning nor end. The image, if there is a generally perceivable image, is always secondary to the interplay of the color/texture elements. The universally identifiable image is, for me at least, a largely untrustworthy quantity that I feel the need to conceal with greater fervor than the accompanying urge to reveal.  The mood engendered by a painting's subject is of much greater concern to me than the subject itself.

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