Wednesday, May 22, 2013


When you set aside a painting for a long period of time to be able to come back to it with fresh eyes you gain perspective. When you set it aside and years pass the chance of gaining perspective or insight diminishes. What you end up with then is more like an artifact dug up from the depths of an Egyptian sand dune.

Each work is an archive of the time in which you are creating. Who you are in the moment, what you are feeling, the tensions or joy that are a part of your life inform the work and every stroke involved in creating it. Step away for a few days to let a problem resolve itself. Step away for years and there may be no resolution at all.

I look at this vessel and see where I was going with it. I see that I did learn quite a bit about how the pigment floats through the water and settles itself. I learned how to let things manifest organically within a structure to essentially let the medium do all the work for me instead of tediously nitpicking each grain of solid within each molecule of liquid.

And I see an artifact. It is part of the past. It is a part of self discovery within the theme of the human body as a vessel of the spirit, human clay molded by experience and divine influence. I see something that I do not want to finish.

There are many bits from the past studio experience that surface as I excavate the vast amount of supplies in storage. I almost feel like I've cracked open Tut's tomb. But really, I've cracked open the resting place of an older version of myself. I think that I would like to collect all the bits, trim them down to size and arrange them somehow to be a cohesive display. Tut's treasures ask as many questions as they answer of the inquisitive mind. The bits in the studio seem to do the same with me.
What was I thinking? What were my influences? What was the grand scheme intended with all the pottering and producing? Did I have a goal in mind or was I going to work until I was done feeling the need to explore the theme? Were these works a statement on my life as it was or as it would be? Or... as I hoped it would be and knew it could not?

Ponderous. And unresolved.
For now. It could very well turn out that what I think is too much time to begin again is not enough. Only when I get to the End of Everything in My Life's Work will I know if this represents a thing that is resolved or forever a mystery.

And that it the nature of the artistic life.

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