I will say I am pretty ignorant when it comes to famous artists. Uneducated might be a better term. While I know of Jackson Pollock I do not necessarily know what he did. 10 or so years ago the same could be said about Chuck Close. I did not even know his name. I was experimenting with some techniques in a figure drawing class when the professor asked if I was familiar with him. He gave me a book on Close in which, in my typical fashion, I read most of 3 or 4 pages and then studied the pictures. I get that words often repeat the same letter forms and in due time the expectation of finding a new pattern or form of energy is just not there. My mind will wander off into a fabricated animation in my head. A small portion of brain continues to read, but the rest of my mind is off dancing and painting with the illusion of space, time and objects. A small theater of sorts while a disciplined section continues to follow the exhausting pattern or repeated letter form we learned at an early age. The two parts don’t want to work together and the majority of me would just rather play and experiment while creating “what if” scenarios.
So this leads me somewhat to a New Year’s resolution of sorts. That would be to become “educated” on what other artists are doing or have done. Thinking about what I just said as I sit here and type this-”The two parts don’t want to work together” I may be setting myself up for failure. Or am I?
I would start with a 360 page book about Jackson Pollock and Tom Benton. I won’t go into details, but the thing that sticks out most in my mind is that Pollock, while making his famous paintings, was designing around “rhythm”. He used rhythm in his paintings.
Studying the works of Chuck Close, I gather, that the appeal will be his use of color on the surface and the way our brains interpret light and color information. Looking at the two artists side by side I might wonder how in the world can I make this work? I want to introduce rhythm into a calculated and gridded painting? I allowed the questions to take respite in the back of my mind while I went on to other things.
I was preparing for a trip to Florida in which I wanted nothing more than to shut down this wandering, drifting, thought creating process my mind does on a daily basis. I needed a vacation from myself. It just would not listen. As I laid down that evening to go to bed the foundation for this process came to me within the space between my eyeballs and my eyelids. There it was right in front of me while yet right inside of me.
I start this painting (above) with these thoughts in mind. Somewhat hastily and not entirely planned out, but more of the opportunity to release this new found energy and the chance to explore. It’s in it’s early stages and as I paint I improve the idea in my mind with the next painting I am already planning in my head. Had I not told myself to study (read about) the works of Jackson Pollock this year I wonder if my mind would’ve seen this new challenge I’ve recently discovered? Not a complete failure in my attempt at reading.
Stay tuned I think this will be quite interesting in a few months time.