Monday, June 2, 2014

Taking Risks

Last week I was totally inspired by the start I had on this painting.  I was so connected, in the moment, and the marks seemed to just channel through me. Fortunately, I took some photos along the way, so I have a memory and record of it to share here, for now it has been lost through my attempts to complete it. But, I am not going to beat myself up over it. It had some legitimate compositional errors (the above is a cropped detail, the original is 30x36) that needed to be addressed and I wasn’t going to let those remain even if others were willing to overlook them. I also didn't want to just crop the piece down to the composition that worked. As artists, if we aren’t willing to take risks in our work, we will never move beyond what we already know. We will continue to create work that is familiar and comfortable to us.  I took a risk, it didn’t pan out.  But I reserve the right to take that risk and not stop working when it reaches someone else’s idea of finished.  This isn’t an original thought. I went to a talk given by Amy Silman at the ICA in Boston (  She remarked that she hated the question “When do you know a piece is finished”. She vehemently stated, “When I say it is!”  She said that she retains the right to totally destroy a piece in the process.  I concur. There were many discoveries I made while working on this piece that I will carry into future pieces, and I haven’t given up hope that this painting will become something respectable eventually.  I rarely abandon a painting, it may take years but sooner or later I will have recovered from the memory of what it once was, and I will discover what it can be now. Stayed tuned for the future incarnation!