Saturday, October 13, 2012

Playing with Pastel

I'll never understand why I keep wanting to do pastel, but here I go once more.  The first one is my successful attempt to get a good dark value by adding water once I had the picture pretty much complete.  It's another version of the view from my window, obviously.  I seem to have much more interest in experimenting with various mediums than with subject matter.  The second is another repeat.  I did it on top of a failed watercolor, which gave an interesting surface to start with.  I found myself remembering my passion for showing the process that led to the finished work that I once took to such extremes.  When I was in school, I used to paint many paintings on one canvas, covering each one with another, leaving evidence of all as I layered them.  As with so many of my thoughts and actions, it is really a statement that mocks a common belief...that art is supposed to represent reality.  Abstract expressionists forced it down the still unwilling throats of the public by leaving representation completely out of their work, or using it as a very obvious symbol of something else.  The acknowledgment that cameras portray reality much better than paintings ever could traumatized them.  Flaunting this fact is near and dear to my heart.  My mentor, Mike Lewis, painted representational scenes (sort of) but he had them framed with the edges of the paper showing.  Otherwise, he said, he might as well  pretend the 20th century never happened.My landlady in Bangor, a doctor and certainly a weird person, said that paintings are colored rectangles.  Most viewers fail to divorce the painting from its subject.

So.....this piece is my newest experiment in this direction.  In the past, I poured out my emotions and ideas, then covered them with new emotions and ideas provoked by the first ones.  It was hard to know where to stop.......what idea was worthy of being the one that stayed in view.  Now I am playing with the idea itself.  I am certainly glad that I have art to occupy me, to take up my time and my aspirations.  The fact that it all gets buried behind us as we move along is such a great metaphor for life, as well as death.  Each work is neither precious  nor irrelevant.  It just is, and then isn't.

1 comment:

valentino said...

It's beautiful