Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Painting, Teaching, Etc

I have been painting a lot for an upcoming show. February at Flanders 311 in Raleigh, NC.

In response to those who contacted me about taking courses. First of all, thank you. Expect a PDF in early January outlining the classes and pricing structure.

The following are photos of some of the recent paintings. I am not really sure what I think of them yet. It is a struggle to paint, and I do not know if I am any good at it anymore. The best things I have produced seem to result after much failure and many, many mistakes and reworkings. Most often, I feel like a failure. I do not know any artist whose work I value who has not failed miserably in order to create their work. Not that it has to be a painful struggle every time. There are happy accidents. But what I get at least out of knowing what I am doing is at best an imitation of what I have seen before, and if all I can do is repeat and copy the achievements of other more skilled painters, then I am not a painter, or at least, not a very good one. If nothing new occurs, if no new ground is discovered, it hardly seems worth it. There are plenty of bad pictures out there, and we need no more. Sometimes, even when trying to forget about what is right, to forget about how to paint with what you know, about what colors work at the moment, about how to use a brush, to forget everything you have seen or read about other paintings, you still end up with something that looks like a pale echo of past artists' works. Damn those great artists who have discovered incredible pathways and exhibited their discoveries! Damn all the labels about what "ism" it falls into. Categories such as "abstract", "surreal", "representational", damn all that! One great thing about painting, is that after a long round of painting, I will go outside and see beauty everywhere. The asphalt, the dirt, the leaves of autumn, all are so much more beautiful than anything I have done.

So, in humility, I share these recent efforts. I welcome any and all feedback.



1 comment:

Kelly Kilmer said...

I really, really like the bottom one. It jumped out at me.

It's always hard to be an artist. It's always a matter of reinventing yourself, staying fresh, etc...I totally understand how you feel and where you are coming from.

I tend to think of art as a journey. It's always the pushing and pulling. Working to your damndest to birth your baby...and some times that labor is easy and some times it's painful.

I always ask my students what do you like about your work? Is there anything you'd change? Don't worry about what others think...worry about what you want to say and what you want to express.

One of the neat things about these is that they are different and yet, they reflect your style. They still have your hand on them.

I love your work and I think you're really being too hard on yourself...