Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Continuous ...

I just found this painting in my studio and was surprised. It obviously didn't make the cut when I was choosing paintings to show off. I don't know what I didn't see in it way back then. I love it now! I wish you could see it. A scan has absolutely nothing on an original. A scan is just an idea of the actual painting; all luscious nuance of color, brushstroke, and layer, mostly gone. That said, it is nice to be able to show you a glimpse of it anyway :)

When I was about 10, I drew a picture of a flower, a big daisy-esque flower on white drawing paper, whilst visiting my grandmother. I didn't think it was very good though so I threw it away. For years and years, every time somebody commented on it, hanging, framed, in her living room, my grandmother would tell the story of how she fished it out of the lixo (lixo is Portuguese for trash)! What a sweet love lesson she taught me.

These days in my studio, no finished painting ever gets the bin treatment. If it's finished, it stays, whether I'm enamored of it at the time or not.

How do I know when a painting is "finished" or "complete"? This is something that every artist must figure out for him/herself. The moment tends to be elusive. I know it by a sound, a feeling, a sensation. I call it a Zing. I play with this Zing sometimes too, moving it around according to whatever it is that I'm investigating as a painter.

Unfinished paintings will eventually be revisited. Even if it starts out, for eg, looking like an horse, and ends up looking like a spaceship, it's the same painting. All the layers of color, shape and brushstroke, inform and transform each other continuously; the underlayers as much a part of the painting as what you see on the surface. It's certainly not like throwing a painting in the trash and starting over with a blank. It's continuous. We're continuous.


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