Above: Work in progress: a detail from my latest painting using acrylics and pencil on canvas. It’s highly experimental and filled with gestures and markings that I have never done before. I believe painting is the most difficult medium to do really well. In my recent discussion with another artist, I said that painting this way was a process of first constructing, and then deconstructing. If it’s too obvious, it’s boring. You build something up, then obscure it. You create it, then effectively destroy it, yet in an unconscious methodology. And hopefully after several iterations, some new and exciting is born. The frightening thing is that in the destroying/deconstruction, you risk ruining the entire thing. It sometimes freezes me. Should I? Or shouldn’t I? That is always the question as one is making marks. You put yourself on the line. One wrong move and it might be I unsalvageable.
This is reason why some paintings sit on the side, unfinished, for many months or years. Because you’re afraid that if you work on it further, you’ll ruin it. I know this for a fact. This is why you hate (loathe) it when someones asks you how long it took to paint a painting. How do you explain yourself to ones that just don’t know? In the end though, I have found that doing nothing is usually the worst thing to do. It is far better to face the fear of failure, than to let it sit idly by. The risk of failure is worth it. Movement is better than non-movement. I have thrown away canvases thick with paint from hours of agony.
I don’t want to end on sour note. Knowing the risk, there is always the chance that the painting will turn out better than you thought it would, that in the process of adding and messing it up again, that something utterly beautiful will appear. The law of the unexpected, the law of accidents has worked for me many times, far greater than the safer route of doing something repeatedly over and over again. People who have come to know me find that I do many different things, and the reason for that is because I hate being bored. I rotate and evolve my mediums of interest from one thing to another. And in that rotating is new energy, new life, and best of all, beauty.