It's hard to argue with abstraction. Criticism is another thing. It's easy to be critical of abstraction and the process of abstraction in painting. How it speaks or not, to the individual is a learned behavior/reaction. As I move closer to my beginnings with my new work I find that it is much more difficult to pull off. People will look at a painting of a tree and evaluate it in relation to an actual tree. People look at abstraction and evaluate it in relation to their ability to translate emotion; or at least that is how it should be. That is what it is about, at least to me. It is about my ability or lack of ability to translate my emotion, feelings, moods and day to day existence to a tangible surface. A blank slate to be filled with color and action. Throughout the history of painting abstraction has been there. A gesture, a color field background, a hazy horizon, a blob of gradient darkness behind a spray of detailed flora; and in more recent times a painterly indication an impressionist swath or intentional distortion. The distillation of abstraction in the 20th Century and the Abstract Expressionist Movement paved the way for the total distillation of emotion and it's symbiotic relationship to color and spacial tension. I was very young when I started painting and I was always more interested in abstraction than recreating nature. Even though my formal instruction had me painting trees and flowers and people and all things representational, I never enjoyed it. The last time I painted anything remotely representational was a painting I did of my father shorty after he died many years ago. I have since created several pieces that tap into that emotion of loss, as the losses have been many. Standing before a blank canvas deciding how to begin, how to react, is not an easy thing (most days). It requires often, a period of trial and error, layers of feelings, layers of release, until finally it all starts to look a certain way, radiating a certain emotion. I have reached a point in life and a point in my development as an artist where this process of truth telling is more important than any aesthetic floweriness or glossing over. If I am feeling a brightness and lift in my step, surely the work will tell that truth. If I am feeling frustrated, angry, happy, sad, sexy, sorrowful or any other emotion, surely the work will tell those truths. Hopefully the work will tell those truths. This is my aim.
Mapping the visual world through a nebulous lens. Varying degrees of tangibility and culpability.