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May 04, 2013

Around Painting.

I had to clean a portion of the house the other day. I removed all the gessoed panels from the dining room, scrubbed the gesso splatters from the floor and sequestered all my stretching hardware and tools into a neat corral on a victorian marble top table. It looked like a dining room again. With the exception of the large oil painting resting on the sideboard and the bucket of gesso nestled in a planter, you'd never know the dining room is actually a prep room.

After that I continued working in the studio. I threw away paint rags away and made sure jars of medium were out of my footpath. Things were getting out of hand. I swore I'd never work with oil and acrylic in the same spacetime continuum...and yet.

I have mixed feeling about my racing slick panels. I've done this before- the slicks, but I forgot how labor intensive it is. I alternate between glee and anguish. After working with natural colors for a few years, I switched to a hi-fructose palette for some of the work. I wanted to experiment with my watercolors on a larger scale and not on paper. I'm also working on 3-4 types of painting in the studio. If you were to ask me why I am working like this, I'd have to say it comes from a sense of urgency,  though while looking at my statements, it's obvious that I'm also simply telling my truth in painting. I was reminded of that the other day while writing a blurb for a painting that was inspired by the writings of John Ruskin and his "truths" in painting.
Nice gainer, yes? Just wait for my dismount.

I'm closing in on show titles.

The semester ended today. A few of my students thanked me. Unrelated, a couple of weeks ago, a woman I know from LA contacted me wanting to know if I could tell her about my process-my motivation for working in the studio. She had been having trouble getting in the studio. It's rather simple for me: I'm driven. I love what I do. It's challenging in a good way. It's also my vocation, so I show up every day. I suggested she read Art and Fear, a book that discreetly made its way around the graduate studios a long time ago. I pulled it off my shelf to get the author's name. As I picked it up to place it back on the shelf, I opened it randomly to page 83, paragraph 3.
"The corollary here is that the greatest gift you have to offer your students is the example of your own life as a working artist."
Fancy that. The last day of school year. I must have read that years ago because I modeled my approach to teaching on my practice as a working artist. All in all, a nice piece of symmetry as I wrapped up that chapter.

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