April 27, 2004

Up close and personal

My sister has been taking a photography class. Her photos are very good. She is just starting to put together a portfolio, just beginning. Another student asked her what she wanted to focus on in her work, what was her subject. It made her think about what she was doing in a different way, about what a portfolio, a body of work is.

It made me think about my photos, the snapshots I take around my life. I like to get up close. Very close. The same is true in my painting. Before, during and after.

There seem to be two approaches to making art. One is taking something universal, an idea, a concept, and making it personal. The other is to take something personal and make it universal. The latter is my approach. Iíve taken very personal photographs and worked them into my paintings. When the painting is finished, the photographs are barely seen, not recognizable, yet they infuse the painting process from the very beginning. Sometimes it is hard to look, day after day, at the photos I have chosen. They are there to give me a charge. They do inform the painting.

I used to think that a painting had to be pure, have no personal, recognizable emotional content, ever. Not at the beginning, not in the middle, and definitely not at the end. But this seems to be working. And at the end, no one knows the story, it does transcend my personal storyline.

Posted by leya at April 27, 2004 08:01 AM