February 03, 2011

Thorazine Thursday: a Flashback

I ripped the post title from Carla, but what else does one do when feeling unoriginal? Why, post images of art from the early days, that's what. I don't think I posted these before, but if I did, indulge me. I may have stated this before but out of about 75+ artworks, only 3 or 4 paintings and a handful of watercolors still exist from that period (1987-1992). Not that I can do anything over again, but I remember standing in my basement with my then boyfriend > husband > ex-husband, (a painter whose paintings were drastically different from mine), who while looking at my stack of paintings told me he would NOT help me move them to his > our loft, that I could NOT store them in his  > our loft, and that I wouldn't want to keep any of the work I did before grad school anyway because I would make MUCH better work in grad school and that's the work that would define me as an artist. I remember that moment clearly. I know where I was standing in the basement. I remember thinking, I really don't want to move all these paintings again by myself. I didn't really believe him, but it seemed like a huge amount of work to haul around for the rest of my life if indeed I wasn't going to ever show them to anyone. I only vaguely remember destroying them by myself, but not really. I only remember the walk from the basement to the trash can in the back alley. I forgot how long it took to purge them. I hope, of course, that as a painter my work has matured in 20 years, but looking at this work digitally is like having amnesia and slowly recognizing bits of who I was, and where I was, not only as an artist, but as a person. Obviously there was a bit of a conflict. I try hard not to destroy works now, since sometimes I've been dead wrong and since sometimes the ugly ones are the best, but most of all, I think destroying paintings is an akin to being an enfant terrible. My current position is to try and remove words like  "good" or bad" from the decision, though yesterday I ripped up a watercolor as I was sinking into a bad mood.

These are oil on canvas and oil on panel,  60" x 48", c. 1990.

I also found a color photo of the bench, so I reposted it.

As I mentioned in another post, I not having a stellar studio day. I may never be able to paint anything worthwhile again. For as long as I live. crap.


Carla said...

Were they all this large? Your early work relates to your now work. You seemed to have grasped your truth kernals early on.

Elaine Mari said...

I agree with Carla, a good grasp of kernals. I see your work very much relating across time. Sorry about the funk in the studio, that is so blah.

mj said...

Hi MAH, I agree with the above posts. I am glad you still have these -- it's like a family tree for your work.

(I have been meaning to email you and say that I love the M.T.A.v. work that I was gifted with. It makes me smile and look closer when I see it, which is often.)

Stay warm! I am mad at winter too.

M.A.H. said...

They were all this large, even the watercolors were done on really large sheets. With the exception of collages and stuff, I had never worked small or even mid-size until just a few years ago. I'm feeling so nostalgic lately.

mj, I was really touched your husband contacted me and so happy you like it.

These were scanned from slides. I actually don't have them anymore. I think I have the top one since it was on canvas. I am glad I took slides though I haven't scanned most of them. One day...

Nomi Lubin said...

"I may never be able to paint anything worthwhile again. For as long as I live. crap."

Know that feeling. It's a bad one.

These paintings are really interesting to see. Glad you posted them.