Processed Art

A figure emerges  out of the charcoal and acrylic

So there’s this pocket sized composition notebook in my studio that I keep close at hand  when I’m getting ready to begin a  painting. On the front cover  of this notebook there are the words “DO THIS” written in thick black permanent marker. The letters are now faded but the message is a clear reminder to myself that I must   get  to work.  On each page of this book are different steps to take each in order to achieve a particular outcome. For example, on page 16 the steps are as follows:  1) on primed canvas sketch in composition with charcoal 2) mix gesso and sand together in bowl-add a drop of color 3)block inside the composition but not the charcoal lines 4)wipe away charcoal lines 5) block in once more 6) develop. This approach is a reflection of my personality in some ways.  I need order or else I fall apart. Ideas enter my thought stream and they must be documented almost immediately  other wise they float away to a place  where they are beyond my creative grasp. I do not  consider myself to be an intuitive painter which is precisely why this strategy works for me.  Staring at a blank canvas and seeing where the painting takes me would be a complete waste of my time. I am  both a left and right brain thinker when it comes to my creative practice. I set up a canvas and proceed to follow a plan, a design ,a  formula if you will . Different formulas yield different results with regards to how I execute a piece. I am in control. This what I tell myself but  the reality is, the process is controlling me. In other aspects of my practice I need to free flow the creation of imagery. My images are often representational and are often dictated by my strong feelings about color so it is important to me that I find a means to  generate relevant  imagery regardless of  what steps will get me there.   The paintings  are not only a byproduct of my thinking but simply an extension of who I am.   I do not create so that others may directly  benefit but rather so that I may benefit from the experience of creating. In my view, the artist exists before the art is created. It is a state of mind which eventually  manifest itself with   into a product or experience. This product or experience is rendered useless when the thinking it produces ceases to exist.  For now my processes continue to drive my practice forward. I think I’ll keep this notebook around for a bit but if for some reason it goes missing I’m sure everything will turn out fine.


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