January 21, 2013
Kathy is in Spain so I stayed home all weekend and attacked the reject art in the garage. I threw away the hopeless boards and panels, filling a big garbage can. Then I grabbed the rest and organized them into three piles: Nothing to Lose, Possibilities and Solid Underpainting (decent background, verdict out). Took me about three hours but here are the piles:
From the Nothing to Lose pile I grabbed five boards and brought them into the studio and gave them nothing-to-lose bold strokes. One of them turned into this: "The Anvil Cracked."
"The Anvil Cracked"
I did five bold, decisively quick paintings. Two died and three went where they wanted to go. Ever been in an ancient church and seen the peeling paintings on the ceiling?
"The Lonely Virgin"
When I was in the third grade in Swea City, Iowa we would have snow days where they held school but it was too cold to go outside for recess, so they would herd us into the gym and show "Victory At Sea" documentaries of Japanese planes being knocked out of the sky by pom-pom guns. I loved those and would go back to class and draw a flak filled sky and a Zero coming in with one wing.
The idea is to create honest strokes with no, or little, attempt at trying to make it into something. Just let it go where it wants to go (it's no accident that I'm reading "On The Road: The Scroll Version" AND a biography of Jack Kerouac where he talks about his writing process, which he called "sketching" and which Truman Capote derisively said, "That's not writing, that's typing". But I digress). Anyway, this is an honest engine, at least for me. Is it the split between Arizona-New Mexico over who has better Mexican food? Is it the anvil of art resistance, or art inscrutability? The hard iron of art skills needed to crack the secrets therein? Is it a 2001 Space Oddity monolith in four-four time? Well, I did five others as well, but I'll save you the navel gazing.
"Remember to remember, because sometimes you forget all the things you know. You already have the knowledge, you're just not putting it into practice. So remember to remember. If you stay still, it will come to you."
—Petra Nemcova, a supermodel who had her pelvis crushed in a tsunami