After a break from painting, I've been asked to participate in a show (May 2019). It
always takes a muse.
For once I'll create a traditional sort of artist's statement...
I drew constantly as a kid. Getting lost in art is a meditation.
I began painting at sixteen--a friend gave me his father's paint and said use these.
Painting was never a quiet meditation like drawing. Painting for me was a frenzy of
movement, of music and chills, and in vino, veritas. It lights up your brain.
I painted regularly until my late twenties when I took a break to reset life.
I picked it up again after I experienced what some would call trauma, and others
would infer painting was therapeutic, but it was neither: it's just lighting up the brain. I
didn't assign any therapeutic value to the act of painting, and didn't assign meaning,
until a young French woman asked what they meant.
So I fired up my education, my knowledge of psychology, mysticism, and religion
and created a hybrid of spirituality and semiotics and assigned the paintings meaning.
Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the assigned meaning guided and reinforced the
subsequent creations. Somewhere along the line I segued from abstract
expressionism into impressionistic landscapes that had an undercurrent of
half-detectable symbolism, ambiguous enough to elicit pareidolia in the viewer and
reinforce the three-fold conceits of aleatoricism, the role of the subconscious, and
mysticism in my works. It's only self-interpretation in the end, an interesting side-note
on the nature of where the truth lies between the interpretations of two people and
the possibility (or impossibility) of understanding between individuals. I don't much
pontificate on the meaning of my paintings now, since there is always that gap in
communication, between those who 'get it' and those who would misinterpret, or
worse, twist my words to try to fuck me (figuratively).
I took another break, a reset break. I find the artistic mindset conflicts with the
demands of the ordinary world, and I've been absolutely maxed-out with my real-world
duties. The thought processes seem to be the antithesis of creativity. And, I keep
these two worlds separate, my art and my professional career. In some instances
there's a certain undercurrent of prejudice against artists, a kind of phobic
preconception, an inability to separate the narrative from the person, and sometimes
just dumb malice.
Now though, I'm glad to be painting again, and pleased with the results. I've
christened another studio and am generating new works for the upcoming May 2019
show 'Voyages of Exploration' to be hosted by the Sprinkler Factory in Worcester.
As I said, it takes a muse.