Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Two distinct viewpoints

Back to painting after a few weeks of consciously taking a step back and some time away from my studio. A little time not painting gives me, when I come back, a fresh perspective on what I'm trying to say when I paint.

This morning I finished a piece that had been almost done for a month or so, and I also started a new one. The contrast in their two styles reminds me that I regularly go back and forth between two distinct approaches: one which places the viewer in a definite location, and one in which there is no discernable reference point.

The "you are here" works, which are often stripe-oriented and seem to have some reference to a horizon line (that's why people often say they see landscapes in there, I think), are like the ones below. They are usually vertical rectangles.

And the paintings which are "surroundings" and don't have any sense of orientation are like the ones below, usually in a square format:

I need to make both types of work, as they both reveal different sensations and ideas.

These natural pauses in creation time, to me, are healthy and productive, although I know many people view them as "artist's block" and are afraid of them. But I believe that time away from painting reinforces in my mind the reason that I'm an artist in the first place: because I love it. And I love it because I want to see how the visions that pop into my imagination will look in real life, pure and simple. Sure, a bunch of shows and sales are great. But the REALLY great part is just grabbing that paint and pouring, brushing, drizzling, scraping, blotting, layering, and everything else!!


Tamar said...

You write about accepting time to pause as nourishing your work -- I agree with you on that. Although I was initially frustrated by interruptions to the flow of my studio days, I finally recognize the value of these pauses. It give me more clarity.
The two 'surround' paintings are beautiful--lots of depth in them.

Catherine Carter said...

I believe there is a difference, though, Tamar, between deciding not to paint for a period of time, to take an artistic break, and having your creation time crowded out by life's events. If it's a choice, fine, but if not, it can be frustrating!

I'm so glad you like those paintings, thank you.