Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Staying With the Information"

In Progress - "surface zero"
graphite & wax

White/Grey Encaustic Gesso
(oblique process shot)

At times beginning the work is challenging and frustrating to stick with it when you hit a rough place.  I've noticed the amount of patience it's taking to stay with what's happening on the 'surface zero' project.  Striving for the 'zone' and being 'absorbed' requires focus-- balancing the thinking and doing part.  Do you have sessions where you are working faster than you should be?  Not waiting long enough for a surface to dry, pulling off the tape too fast or too late, smearing an area by accident because you wanted to touch the not totally dried surface?  I attribute this experience in my life to working under some level of anxiety and/or the complexities of handling mixed media. Or...the materials and handling of paint can't keep up with my brain.  Whatever this is, it's part of the doing and learning every day.  Working these larger panels takes muscle to move them around so I can work on other paintings simultaneously.  No real staging area here...every work in progress has a personality of it's own.  And, guess where it comes from?  

The emotional experience of working and chosing a particular project allows me to work out the internal material we call 'issues'.  When you become aware of that content, the working calms down and the mind follows. (Sometimes 'awareness' sucks).  More self-information and presence  requires an ability to know when to step back and when to step forward.  The truth?  is doing more of what this is right now-- following the thread -- the information that's leading the way (you hope to somewhere that's meaningful to you).  We want to wake up working but sometimes it's -- "what's next?"  When I don't know -- I get in the kitchen and whip up something special that will turn out successful --- or the other day, left with laptop, moleskin and my Mocha to unexpectedly spend 5 luxurious hours at the bookstore absorbed with Twombly, Gorkey and retrospectives of many favorite artists...getting in those little satisfying ya-ya's can bring you back home inspired and relaxed....reading about the artist life brings sanity to your world.... 

Pots of melted Wax
Grounding the Work

Painting on these new but reworked panels are keeping me engaged.  Taking them down was pretty rigourous but the traces left behind provided me with the work that comes out of the work...What's more exciting than getting inspired by your own work!  

The push and pull of the grid now is forcing the composition into new relationships, or simply put, beginning with a grid and altering it... or in this case, "deconstructing" it to see what happens.  

Staying with the information right now is helping me push through the disappointments that happen in the studio -- another form of going beyond resistance.  You know the various kinds of resistance that we can think up to 'not show up'.  We can feel fatiqued from so many things in life, and avoiding the work prompts me to figure it out.  Usually I need to take a day off.  Avoiding the work is having to face what it isn't doing and how to find the solution.  Some days the energy is there to stick to it and work it out.  Which ever way it turns out, I like spending the nites 'viewing' the work in progress.  Talking to myself and facing what needs to be done in the morning is dealing.  

The exhausting end of a 6 hr. day... ...stuck it out!  Tomorrow is my day to get skrinked....I KNOW  i'll be able to talk the ears off a wooden indian!  

"My slow painting, I tell myself is like life;
you don't know how it's going to end.
But that doesn't stop you from choosing
from moment to moment, from point to point."


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