I stopped painting in 1999 Art was Modern. At that time any critique of The Modernism Movement came from within an all-encompassing modernist world-view. Post-Modernism or Traditionalist, the thrust of every approach to painting were simply reactions to Modernism. They did not challenge its underlying assumptions.
Today the Art World reels along with the rest. In one way it’s much easier to go directly to the people, by-passing traditional gatekeepers, with websites like this one. It has also become increasingly evident that not only is “Big M” Modernism dead, but overall, Business-As-Usual is teetering on the brink.
I am at home in this world.
Over the last few years I’ve been pondering our predicament at, Horizons of Significance and writing fiction. Writing is an ephemeral output. It has shown me another approach to art. Helped me form a new relationship with my work. I now see that I am a recipient of what comes to me. The fiction-of-control that Ego demanded has been replaced by acceptance and gratitude. My efforts are now centered around the implications of discovering a broad relationship with creativity.
Painting brings us into contact with the Plenitude of Being.
Painting, the act of painting and paintings as objects themselves, allow us to interact with our direct perceptions of the world. The material-ity of painting, of the paintings themselves, grounds us. The potency of their surface acts as a passageway.
Painting taps into a powerful mimesis. Reflection, refraction, transparency, and translucency act upon a field that stands in for the visual field of perception itself. Paint on canvas can appear to the eye as almost anything while maintaining its integrity as the frozen traces of a liquid medium. It is surface. It is what we see in it as it presents us with a world made up as if from light itself.
There is no validity in pursuing reductivist strategies. We cannot maintain arbitrary restrictions on where our perceptions lead us as we confront a canvas. Relating to any work of art, we bring our entire experience to bear. This challenges modernism’s deepest assumptions. These discoveries have dispelled my confusion and the ambivalence I had directed at painting. I return to the studio with a new clarity.
Painting is a viable medium. It brings us meaning and an awareness of value as we relate to our world.
I’ve renewed my commitment to painting. I’m heartened and excited by returning to the studio and by prospects to come. I hope you find something here that engages you in some way and I look forward to connecting with you through my art.
All of my paintings are oil on canvas, wood, or Masonite panel. My drawings are graphite or charcoal on archival paper. Dimensions are in inches, width x height, without frames.
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I don’t have to put any thought into driving what my paintings will mean. It’s struck me how true this simple statement is and how much it conveys. Meaning is never something concocted and attached to a work of art. Meaning is what emerges as the work develops. Meaning is woven into the strands of … Continue reading Meaning
A painting is a presence. Not that it has presence, though it does. We’re talking about good paintings, real paintings; whatever any of that might mean, in them presence is an essential quality. Maybe quality isn’t the right word…. Is a being reducible to its qualities? Is presence something beyond quality as well as number? … Continue reading A Painting Is a Presence