I'm just getting ready to start a new painting. At this point, it feels like I've never painted before and I have no idea what I'm doing. I love that feeling. I have no fear of the starting of a painting though, the most painful aspect is the '3/4th finished' dilemma for me, because I expect the painting to be mostly finished, but then the anxiety sets in because I'm getting closer to completion, and often I struggle to assess whether it's finished or not. That's when I tend to find the original primer colour, remix it and scrape it over the painting with a spatula. It sort of bundles the whole painting up, then i can see a bit more clearly to what needs to be done and clarified to complete the work.
At present, I have Sassetta flying around in my head, so I'll be tapping back into his influence that I strongly felt while painting some of the big works in 2006/7
I received this book in the mail today, along with a rare Guston catalogue from a Skidmore College exhibition from the mid 80's titled 'Early And Late Works"
The book I'm holding in the photo is excellent and I'm really enjoying it as it shows Guston's dedication to the process, act and execution of painting. It features many writings, lectures and artist interviews - some I've read previously and some I haven't but it's great to have them in a collected volume. I believe it to be essential reading for any painter, wither to further your knowledge or to just get warm fuzzies from the mulitude of clever analogies and quotes used by Guston to illustrate what it is to paint.
Last night I went out to an opening at Brett Wesley Gallery in Las Vegas, a three-person show titled 'Wild at Heart'. I particularly like the work of Sri Whipple because of it's smart art-historical referencing and knowledge and freedom of subject matter. Unfortunately, the better paintings, which had a plethora of penis and vagina-type forms, were squirreled out the back of the gallery, obviously in a fashion to NOT offend the regular buyers to the gallery ( the painting is also NOT featured on the gallery website). I got to talk to Sri and we talked non-stop for a good 20 mins (it could have been longer, but it was his opening and I thought it best not to take up his time).
Anyway, in thinking of his work, I can up with this idea, which I recently posted on Facebook:
"an exhibition I'd really like to see, preferably curated by Robert Storr, possibly titled 'F**k Paintings', showing the work of Barry Reigate (UK), Robert McLeod (NZ) and Sri Whipple (USA)"
The responses were excellent, with other folk suggesting who else could be in the exhibition and where I could possible get hold of Robert Storr.
To this I answered:
"My idea here is it look at pattern recognition in trends of painting that have a core notion but their work pushes out from that point. Also by grouping three geographically disparate artists, it shows a social conscienceness towards paint and the body, you know -pickin up on that de Kooning statement of how oil paint was invented to depict flesh."

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