February 23, 2012

Studio Day, With Sentry

I've been thinking a lot about my captain's chair after Steven LaRose posted an image of his or someone else's. I think it was LaRose, but I can't confirm. I made a mental note and moved on. 

Pictured above is the small studio which is where most of the magic has been happening lately. My chair is an old oak rocker with a yellow ochre Naugahyde seat. Considering I grew up with a family that appreciated beauty and had a sense of aesthetics, they missed the mark occasionally. As do I.

I love having easy access to a physical library 2 days a week. I spend my break between classes in the library doing research on painting. After the studio, the library is my favorite place. Plus, it saves on gas. I had been talking to my students about what Sharon Butler called The New Casuaslists, when I stumbled across a catalog called Small & Beautiful. My interest was purely selfish, as scale is relative to my own work. I picked it up and discovered the Man Ray painting below. 
This led me to the Tate site where I discovered in Room 13, the following, albeit I had the sense I had discovered this in 2008 as well: 
Towards the end of their lives all three men reflected on their position within twentieth-century art. Picabia became ever more cynical about the art market, while Man Ray felt he never received the critical attention his work merited. Duchamp was happy to stay out of the limelight, preferring to ‘go underground’.Simplicity and economy became their watchwords. Picabia produced monochromatic paintings with small dots or discs, which defied interpretation. ‘We need a lively, childlike, happy art if we are not to lose the freedom we value above everything.’Man Ray’s ironic response to the rhetoric surrounding contemporary abstract art was ‘natural paintings’, made by squeezing paint directly onto a board, sandwiching another on top, and then pulling the two apart. ‘The least possible effort for the greatest possible result is my motto.’Duchamp continued his intellectual explorations, but ostensibly made few new works. Content to be seen as inactive, he said he liked breathing better than working. ‘Each second, each breath is a work which is inscribed nowhere.’

I'm still working on paintings for the shows. I notice when I am apprehensive about the reserve in my image bank, I head over to abstraction's place because it is comfortable for me there. For some people the nonchalant cacophony and chaos might be unsettling or exciting, but for me, it's relaxing and soothing. It seems off that I am currently most uncomfortable with paintings such as the one below simply because it is straightforward, right? I mean, wouldn't this be the time in my life to do what I think I know best? 
I don't know anymore. 

I cut the bejesus out of my finger the other day. Subsequently I spent $28 on putting together a first aid kit for the studio/kitchen. Last night I went to bed and decided to dream about the desert and Palm Springs.


Elaine Mari, Painter and Drawer said...

.."‘We need a lively, childlike, happy art " I've been painting flowers, well (mostly) dead flowers but they do look happy and lively, i think, not childlike though, at least i don't think they are. This post makes me realize how tired i am of the constant "effort". I like your painting. Very curious really. Or perhaps I'm so obtuse and convoluted in my thinking I can't see straight.

Steven LaRose said...

Yes. . . the captain's chair.

I really believe in the metaphor.