Blues Jam, 24 x 18 inches, oil on linen
I'm nearly done with all the paintings for Urban Aria, which opens on November 5th. I started painting for this show about a year ago, and in that time I saw my style change a bit. Consequently, I had to reject some of the earlier pieces in this series because they no longer seemed to work with the group. They're good paintings and I still like them a lot, but I have this preoccupation with creating a show that's cohesive as a whole, and not a collection of different sides of me.
The very last of the bunch are painted thicker and loser than the earlier ones. It just gradually became that way over the course of doing three dozen pieces (of which 25 - 28 will be shown) I really am enjoying painting thicker. It sort of helps me look at paint as paint, rather than material with which to create a visual reality. Abstraction being one of the main concerns, anything that helps me think in those terms is worth investigating. Thick paint, it turns out forces me to think about the physical quality of the material, and less so about the physical quality of the thing that is being painted. I'm not sure if the distinction is important but it does seem to liberate me from being too literal.
I can't see myself going completely non-representational, because I'm not willing to let go of the structure provided by the recognizable. I need some rules, in other words. If all rules were thrown out, how do I know if anything is good or bad? Right or wrong? I'd have a hard time with that.
For now, thick paint and abstraction work well together, and I'm going to keep pushing it further.