Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sock it to me.

A new effort here. My intentions aren't really clear, and—as I told Tomaz today—it's in the "ruination phase." I murmured to myself on the way home this afternoon that every act of creation includes destruction and while this idea is exciting it's also frustrating. Every painting starts from zero it seems, and it feels like an entirely new set of variables. This is an intriguing, eternal challenge, but sometimes I wish it would just get a little easier.

I had an interesting talk today with Ezio about the whole group of things. He was reassuring, and volunteered some enthusiasm. I trust his word—having worked with him for a while I don't think he's one to blow smoke. That gave me a little boost.

I had been telling Tomaz that I am really feeling a little panicked about how there's no common language in anything. I am describing volcanoes, but never the same way twice. I am describing boats, but with a different vocabulary every time. I wrote this to Tomaz today:

I talked with you a bit about the need for some consistency in my work. I don't regret having explored different visual languages and I'm not a big proponent of style, but I think I am so "all over the map" right now that it's a bit of a problem. Take the three paintings of boats, for example. The fact that I never use the same "vocabulary" to describe the boat seems to show a lack of certainty or dedication to an idea. It's just skimming the surface:

See what I mean?

Same with the volcanoes. It's obvious that I am still in an investigative mode, still trying to figure out how to show something, how to say something. And if a person doesn't have fluency of "language" how can he artfully form thoughts without drawing so much attention to the flair of the language? If the voice is changing so often, I think the attention will be on the voice, rather than the message.

I mentioned to you that this is a persistent problem of mine: I seem to either be on a quest for the best voice/language, and unable to formulate a body of work which ultimately says something in its consistency.

An analogy: imagine reading a book by a writer who is telling a story but who constantly changes voice or even language. That's what I think I am doing Tomaz. At the same time I am loathe to commit to any sort of consistency which would indicate an attention to "style" over substance—which would seem to read as a convenient "bag of tricks." This is the shit I need to sort out. It's what most painters refer to as "fetishizing."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Un'altro cambio, ancora.

A couple minor changes in response to Elizabeth's comments about the source of the eruption.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I changed things drastically. I just couldn't stomach the way it was turning out. Here's the reworked canvas and a detail—some new iconography that interests me.