#8283 Today about 15 new panels arrived. So I started in on some new ones a set of 3 24" x 24" and a 36" x 40". The green striped one, 8305 is quite hideous at this point but I just wanted to get something down to respond to later after this layer dries. The 3 24 x 24s are a bit better, at least from a distance. And then since I had a big pile of paint I made a giant blue square on #8283. I am thinking of small light shapes on this dark background--maybe very very tiny marks on a dark field.
Kept going on 8157. Almost everything gets re painted over and then by the time I come around to paint it again it is done in a different way. The ghosting of under painting is very interesting when it is contrasted with a thickly painted shape nearby or on top of it. I tend to work on parts of the painting that are easy to reach--the bottom part takes more effort so I notice I leave it more empty. I need to add more screws in my wall so I can hang the painting higher up. Today I bought 5 months supply of paper towels. These have a new pattern on them that leaves a kind of grid mark when I press it in the paint. Kind of fun.
Today I kept working on #8157 and #8283-both of which have changed into very different paintings than the way they started.
One thing that I find difficult is putting marks on a painting when I know that they are not right. But the very act of being careful creates a mark that "feels" careful -which is usually boring. When I find myself spending more time looking at what I have done than actually making changes to a picture then I know that I am holding back. Sometimes I have to plod for awhile till something strikes a chord and then I re remember. I am trying to be thoughtfully out of control. Carefully careless.
Heard the poet Billy Collins last night. Wonderful...he left me with the feeling that having no plan or direction might just be viable. He described the importance of writing about nothing in particular- a found chess piece, a bit of string or maybe a hippo. Stumbling along, bumping into things along the way. The delightfully randomness of life. It is in the in between moments that matter and sometimes illuminate. In a strange way this seems applicable to this practice of painting. However, realizing this has made the starts on several paintings seem thin and not at all juicy with life. So I repainted and started several over.
I spent the first part of the week painting another painting from this one pictured here--This is a diptych-2- 48" x 48" panels that hang together. Another "Weave Painting". In a way it has been easy but it has also allowed me to see more clearly where and how the pattern and balance can be more refined. Shown here is a barn roof I drive by on the way to Bolinas. I love this roof.
I drive by these water tanks all the time out here in West Marin. I finally took some pictures and it's amazing how similar they are to some of the recent "Weave" paintings I have been making.
Nature has corroded and weathered these surfaces in much the same way as the layering of paint and washes that I use in my work. The formal grid lines of the construction of these barns and water tanks are beautiful contrasts to the out of control degradation that is occurring year after year from the natural elements.
I drastically changed the paintings today. It was beginning to feel tiring-when I feel as though no part of the painting can't be worked on then the whole painting begins to look more cohesive. All parts are considered. Took me all week to really let go and risk.
Introduced these roundish shapes on #8300. Not sure I like it. Worked awhile on this and it might have gotten worse. Can't really see it clearly yet. Moved on to the "Sand Shapes"-#8157 re do and #8283, the 36" square-tried to paint as loose and as bold as I could after feeling like the larger painting kind of stalled out--I think they are getting better. Lately, I have been using the paint very thin in washes and this soupy application is impossible to control which ends up being a good thing.
Went back to #8300 from last Wednesday. This time I started by drawing lines on top of the existing composition. Starting a secondary conversation--quiet but seems to take the eye around in contrast to the extreme vertical composition of the shapes. Soft Curves add some relief. Such a little thing, adding lines, but actually I have never done this on a painting in quite this way. Still surprised that something happens at all when I have no plan and sometimes not as much drive to show up at all. This painting is still getting better and it's been extremely easy so far. I hope that I can keep it from getting too precious. Then it will surely lose some of it's strength.