June 19, 2006

Why live on the edge when you can jump off

Been down with a bad cold. Bummer. It started Monday evening with a bad sore throat and blossomed Friday when I had to teach all day. Two classes. My own in the morning and a friend's in the afternoon. (She had taught for me when I was in NYC.) I think I did okay. A burst of adrenalin got me through the afternoon. It was a screen-printing class. I had done some prints with the instructor and I focused on transferring an image/idea from one media to another. I showed slides of my work and also brought in my prints and told them what worked and what didn't. I enjoyed it but was very happy to go home and put myself to bed!

Because I was nursed on Abstract Expressionism, for many years I thought each painting had to come from an original impulse. No preliminary planning, thinking, drawing. Just spontaneous insight. When I was offered an exhibit at the Henri Gallery in 1981, and I had no paintings, just some new handmade paper pieces, I agreed to the show and told her what paintings I would exhibit. Described them in detail. She never knew that I hadn’t been painting on canvas for at least a year. So at that time I used the paper pieces as mockups for the paintings. I tried to transfer the images directly to canvas. But the change in texture made it a challenge. For the most part, they were successful.

The next time I decided to do something like that, I didn’t keep the original colors. By changing the color, I was able to keep more freshness in the paintings. Now I find I can use an idea/image but it is best if I use it only as reference point, not as a literal translation. For that reason there are a few pieces I continue to like to have around as source “information.” They are usually pieces that are successful in a way that I can still learn from. Maybe that’s what I like so much about making art: it is a continual never ending process of discovery.

Posted by leya at June 19, 2006 06:35 AM