Thursday, July 2, 2009

Back to life...

Wherever you go...
Back to real life in New Mexico after an incredible first residency at AIB. I'm still absorbing the experience -- loved meeting the other artists in the program and was absolutely amazed at the incitefulness and willingness to be open and helpful. I am excited to get into the studio this weekend. But first, I'm typing up notes so that I can write up the residency summary (I very much want to get it in ahead of schedule since I'm back to Boston August 1 for my brother's wedding).

Balance of theory and feeling
One theme I felt weaving itself through the residency was the push and pull between theory and emotion. In one camp the insistence that an artist (particularly a painter) needs to be able to articulate (and justify perhaps?) the meanings and reasons for their work, in the other the assertion that an artist needs to be free of the paralysis of overthinking in order to express. Not sure I quite captured this idea completely, but good enough for now. I think it's perhaps the themes of modernism and post-modernism still gutting it out.

Right now I'm thinking about something that was said during one of the crits. Tony asked us the question, "what is it that moves you to paint?" For all of us, there is something that motivates us to paint and to paint certain things and in certain ways. There's something we want to express. So I've been thinking, what is it that moves me to paint? Because there's a reason that I feel the need to paint (and paint abstractly) as opposed to do something else.

What I think I’m trying to express is the energy that I feel when I look at something. I’m moved by something and I’m trying to capture that response, or maybe capture a little bit of what’s going on with the thing I’m looking at. I'm usually looking at something: a figure, a landscape, and interior, a photograph... something. So I think about why I am looking at a vase of flowers for example. Is it about the objects? Or could I just completely go more abstract -- not even look at the vase. How important is it for me to actually have that literal subject? My hunch is that it's very important.

I started reading "Chromophobia" and "Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing". I like the idea of pairing a book that looks at the cultural meanings and history of color (that's my inept summary for now) with a book describing the nuts and bolts of how humans perceive color.

I've got an assignment to not forget to feed my soul in all this. So far on the music front, I'm listening to the soundtrack from "Barbie and the Diamond Castle"--over and over and over--hopefully my 6-year-old will move on soon.

Still looking for a mentor in New Mexico and in the processing discovering some very interesting artists right in my back yard.

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