Video of me painting a 12 foot wide painting with a 1/4 inch brush. I don’t exactly remember the moment I made this decision. This may be why golfers have caddies.
Ok, actually I do remember planning this painting. The nurse log is complex with its intersecting branches and moss and miniature leaves in all shapes. If I squint, I see a mass of dark log, then a mass of green and brown in the center band, then gray above. So one choice would be to use a large brush and get those major shapes and gestures down, then rag/scumble/brush on paint of different color/opacity/thickness to create complex visual texture. That’s a time-honored way to do it, fun to do, fun to see. But I want to do something different that challenges my stamina and seems contrary. It’s not action painting as we know it, but it’s silently very active within me. Focus.
I enjoy the thousands of micro-decisions required to create a rich whole after making small marks. The small brush isn’t for re-creating reality. I can’t keep track of which plant is which. But the little brush can capture both the sweeps of the plants and the interesting negative shapes I “feel” as I fill in the panel. I can compare and contrast. Make a mark, react to the mark, make new marks, create a group. Evaluate that group of marks, evaluate groups of marks next to each other. Create a zone of groups of marks. Compare zones. Repeat. Hours upon hours.
I’ll be sharing this painting in January 2017 at Smith and Vallee Gallery in Edison, WA. Reception Saturday, January 7, 5-8pm. Artist talk Saturday, January 28, 4pm. Hope to see you there!