Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
I've been painting objects in boxes for a bunch of years. And I've enjoyed the box as a visual constraint within which I've had fun solving a compositional puzzle. The organic shapes I find for my subjects have been the perfect puzzle pieces because of their elegant and figurative lines. I'd use anything as my model as long as it served my need for finding a pleasing solution. It's a game I invented for myself called playing with still-life. This year I've changed the rules. This year I've simplified the proceedings. Or have I?
This year I set out to discover the beautiful possibilities that exist within the regular quadrilateral known as the square. It's not my first foray into being a square painter. Actually I hope that by embracing the square I'll become less of a square painter and ultimately find new freedom within my constraint. It will still take awhile to transcend the obvious before I begin to make the unknown known. That's why I've committed myself to creating ten 12" X 12" paintings per month. By the end of the year I will have made 120. It's not the only art I'll be making but I find it necessary to square off with the square this year. I fully expect to further my relationship with the unexpected. And who knows what else. And maybe I'll have a better understanding of what Lao Tzu meant by "the great square has no corners."
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
One of my favorite art books is The Unknown Craftsman by Soetsu Yanagi. And one of its best chapters is titled The Beauty of Irregularity. There I find eloquent support for my fascination with asymmetry and the poetry of decay. "True beauty... cannot lie in the perfect or the imperfect, but must lie in a realm where such distinctions have ceased to exist..."
It's this kind of wisdom that sets us free to discover the beautiful anywhere, even where it's not.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
Drawing is something I do to get centered when I feel disconnected from myself. It's not the only arrow in my quiver but it's one I rely on daily. Now, with a new year beginning, it's easy to get caught in an undertow of expectations. Drawing helps me to pay attention to the little things, the insignificant yet significant details of my life. It's a grounding exercise. The only objective in my daily sketch is to daily sketch. What I draw is not as important as making sure I draw. With it I'm less likely to stray from my purpose. And if straying from my purpose is necessary, then I can take that walk with a clearer mind and still find my way. Perhaps drawing is somewhat like the arrow in the archer's paradox, it must be aimed off target in order to hit the center. I may or may not be hitting center but I am aiming off target. Is it really better to aim high and miss than it is to aim low and hit?