Back in the studio after a short trip to New York to attend a friends opening at a gallery in Chelsea. I go often, to see what other artists are doing or have done, as I find it really important to see what is being said. Once back to work, I purposefully forget about all of it, preferring to draw entirely from my own sensibilities, intuition and experience in creating a painting.
Pictured here are six panels in progress and set aside to dry. It often takes days before they are dry enough to work on them again and add more layers of oil paint. Some of these already have dozens of layers of paint, and seem to be nearing completion. We'll see.
I'm starting to incorporate some delicate horizontal lines into the paintings, along with the fabric and bands of color.
These are paintings in various stages of completion. As I build up the layers of color, I'll be in a dialogue with the painting, coaxing the color this way and that, feeling my way for harmonies and interest. Sometimes there may be as many as 30 layers of paint before the finished painting finally "arrives". I'm not looking for resolution so much, as a sense of mystery and wonder.
For much of the time throughout the development of a painting I apply oil paint by hand. Having a direct and tactile relationship with the painting as it emerges is of critical importance to me. While I also use rags, brushes, palette knives and various other implements to create a painting, hand rubbing the paint into the canvas is central to my process.
Before they are a painting, the artwork in my current series must work as sculpture. After laying in fabric onto the canvas, I use multiple coats of black gesso to give the work a uniform matte finish. I'll live with the paintings in this form for some time, looking at how they work as relief sculpture first, before beginning to explore how color might best bring them more deeply to life.
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