Thursday, January 04, 2007

on painting BIG

The truth is, I enjoy painting most, and feel best about myself as a painter, when I'm painting pretty big. It became so when I was in graduate school. I was doing a series of paintings 8 feet tall, 8 to 12 feet wide. They ran all the way to the floor, and in an abstract way, were about creating a space that the viewer could enter. When I moved on to a space where that scale was impossible, it was quite hard for me to re-adjust.

That was all about 15 years ago, and since then, I've been big & I've been small, & I've been everything in between. But the truth is, if I work small for too long, I start to question all the whats & whys of why I'm doing this thing too much (angst), and I know it's time to get some big canvases and take it back up a notch.

Yesterday I went & bought 2 four foot square canvases, and now I've coated them in an under-layer of red. Yes, solid red, both of them, 32 square feet of red. A favored canvas size of mine for a long time has been 4 x 5 foot, vertical. My two recent pieces were 4 x 4 ft, and this seems to be a satisfying size, as well.

If I have a long term goal in the back of my mind, it's this. I'm doing the paintings for my next show, my big show at the end of the year at _______________________. (nice gallery, as yet unknown.) I think that over the past few years, I've been too scattered, too fractured, in my artmaking activities. And the gallery situations I've recently been in favored rushing things out of the studio somewhat quickly. I'm trying to (for now, at least!) stay more focused, eyes on the prize, et al. So, I'm working on this 'show'. I'd like to do 10 to 12 of these 4 foot canvases.Though with the way I tend to work, some of those squares are bound to team up, become diptychs. In fact, I think it may be happening even now.


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