Saturday, May 23, 2015

Downhill Stump; Beauty Walks A Razor's Edge: Bob Dylan, shi tao

Downhill Stump
 oil   8" x 10"

"Beauty walks a razors edge,
someday I'll make it mine."
Bob Dylan,  
from 'Shelter From The Storm'

"The ultimate aim of painting is not decorative beauty but truth. What is truth? It must not be confused with formal resemblance; indeed, formal resemblance only reaches for the appearance of things, whereas the function of truth is to capture their essence."
shi  tao

The difficulty in making paintings lies in the balance between 'thing' and form, subject and material. Each practitioner must discover a singular way to cut a path through the struggle, to give each of these forces its own weight and presence in the work. I've been allowing surface and viscous paint to rule over time, luxuriating in the thick paint and color. But value and structure sit on my shoulder reminding me to not forget them - while subjects hold a place as visual incidents and triggers and sources of seeing - 
the original source of the visual poetry.  
 For each painter this may well vary as one works through the repeated days of looking, seeing, working - constantly seeking that razor's edge of beauty and the truth it enfolds. This is the difficulty  - and the joy as well! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Wave Break", Fairfield Porter, Eliza Gilykson

"Wave Break"
  oil on panel  12" x 18"

Think I'll go down to the Sea for awhile,
Kick my shoes off in the sand.
Don't know what I'm gonna be for awhile,
Don't want to try to understand.
from 'Coast' by Eliza Gilykson

"As the wholeness of life eludes control, so the wholeness of art eludes the artist"
Fairfield Porter

All one can do is grasp for some kind of understanding, some kind of form, while engaging the swimming chaos of living. This is, humbly and fully aware of Porter's statement, how I make the attempt. Enjoy.