A Torturous and Unpleasant Existence
One snowy day in my Artist in Residence space in Boise, Idaho something came over me. It was a reaction within myself, and in a way, against myself. It was more freeing than any other thing I had experienced artistically, and it was very simple. I had grown tired of painting what I saw. The painfully dull process of adjusting and layering and correcting and layering and blending and adjusting had gotten to the point of migraines, along with dread and displeasure of my beloved activities as a painter. I was no longer happy to come to the studio, or to make paintings for that matter. Something needed to change and fast.
The Journey Into a New Realm
Like a rogue train derailed at high speed, it hit me. It was so simple but at the same time so complex in its beauty and rebellion. The decision had been made; despite the risk of losing my beloved identity as the night dwelling painter of nocturnal imagery (and the demand/sales that went with it) it was time to transform. The 9 months spent in my studio space “job-free” had provided me with much alone time (up to 13 hours a day) painting, journaling, and researching. After pod casts, blogs, books, Instagram and Tumblr searches, I was still lost. How do you make good abstract art? What do you try to say with it? Why do you do it? How do you do it?
After weeks of thinking about this phenomenon (while simultaneously torturing myself with more night scene and portrait paintings), I decided it was time to dive in. Just do it, and see what happened. The first canvases were horrible. Eventually I went back to the nocturnal imagery with new abstract backgrounds. They were meaningless to me and therefore not good. I felt I could hear everyone talking about them under their breathe in my opened studio events. I had to dig deeper and really improve, I felt like I was lost and failing. Finally I realized I had to let loose, and not care what the people coming into the first Thursday shows thought, or what the artists who came in “biting their tongues” had to say about my work after they left. It was time to paint for me, it was time to paint and not worry. It was time to abolish fearful thinking.
Finally after much experimentation I realized what it was really all about. I realized there is one thing that unifies all artists and all manifestation of anything new into this world, and it is called process. A mapped course of organized events sequenced in a consistent fashion as we travel through time, unifying us all. That’s all we are doing, and if you want to be happy, god damn it you better enjoy it. Process, and not any process, but one created and catered to me. Let the artists and curators judge and the people say, “I could make that”. If I can master the universal thing that all of us creative misfits they like to call artists are trying to, that seems to me a much more noble way to spend my existence. If your time needs to be limited, why not drink Prosecco, and make sure your hourglass uses twenty-four karat sand.