I just finished my first painting using my new easel, bought with my COG grant:. The easel's roomy and nothing tilts! I don't have to hang onto it with one hand in order to keep it steady. Thanks again, AoRC.
Lately I’ve begun to merge the figurative with the abstract in my work. Miles Davis’ jazz fusion, Turner’s mature work of storms, fire and vague buildings in the background, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles ’d Avignon, Kandinsky’s improvisations, Gorky’s subliminal imagery combined with lyrical color, DeKooning with his women’s series –all used figuration and abstraction, and serve as my models. Themes of pursuing vision—trying to see what blocks understanding; entrapment; relationships between people -- are all subjects for my work, and lend themselves to oil paint because it has fluidity. Since it doesn’t dry too fast, I can go from one space to another, one shape to another, and that allows me to show a metamorphosis from space to image, tracking my thought processes.
Science interests me, its controlled randomness -- like the somewhat unpredictable trajectory of an electron or the element of chance in natural selection, or a Degas where the figures (dancers) are arranged in what seems to be a sort of randomness, but the composition is still very much controlled. There is some chance in my drawings when I put white acrylic over gray chalk and charcoal and end up in a fit of pique, slashing the white with more charcoal and finish up with a texture and a degree of dark- light that works well with the whole drawing. That moment of chance is stored as experience.
Music inspires me – Hendrix, Miles Davis, Waits, classical music. Music creates an environment that allows an image to pop into my head. It's not a completely formed image. I don't want it to be. I want something spontaneous to happen when I start to draw or paint. After losing and getting back the drawing many times, and developing the space, I can recapture the original image. German Expressionists like Gorky, Max Ernst, Schiele, Bacon, and most especially Munch have influenced my work greatly. I'm not completely an expressionist, though. There's objectivity and logic and subjectivity in the space I create, and some realism in the image, usually a head. So I'm not entirely self-indulgent and personal!
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