Last night I had a dream, I was painting. I was painting on canvas with a brush... I have not so much as lifted a brush to paint since I started painting again last year. I paint with a series of palette knives, spatulas, cut edges of old matte board, almost anything but a brush. I have no prejudice against brushes, I used them quite often in the past, but for some reason I had not felt a need to swath paint on a canvas, but instead felt more like jabbing it on and scraping it on, and it shows in the work. The work is transitional, not quite what I want it to be, as I am not sure what I want it to be. Sometimes transitional work can be the best of an artists career. Something other, divorced entirely from organized patterns and the dreaded series... I have worked in series much of my life but have resisted the urge to do so with any consistency since my return to painting. In my dream the painting was vivid, colorful, color field, landscape-ish. Non objective and very much what I wanted to be doing. My brain just would not let me do it, as my brain has been in some sort of White Noise mode for the past couple of years. Whenever I think the words white noise I am usually reminded of the DeLillo novel of the same name. A boring novel about boring people who do not really want to be who they are and have no idea who they want to be. It's about the second life that lives in the back of our brains, the one that sizzles like old television fuzz late at night when there's nothing left to watch. That sizzle of white fuzz that keeps us from clarity, keeps us from breathing easy. The thing that has us always holding our breath and gritting our teeth.
For much of my life I have been good with the White Noise, I have learned to use it and live with it and most days ignore it. In my painting I have not been able to ignore it, so much of the work has been busy, jumpy, nervous and filled with the sizzle of white fuzz. Today I decided to recreate that painting from my dream. No prep, no textured layers, no palette knives jabbing at the canvas, just paint and a brush. This is the first layers of paint. Setting the tone for the piece. I will not be adding a lot to it, just some overlay of color to open it up, brighten it up.. This is where I wanted to be a year ago, but just could not get myself there. I had a few pieces that came close to this minimalist ideal. Aqua, Bloom, some of the canvas pieces. All created without the help of a brush. Brush work is different and I am different with a brush in my hand. So putting the panel pieces aside for now and seeing where this dream leads me. Pushing the noise to the edge of my Universe and doing a cha cha cha... a little back step remembering earlier works in this vein and a few steps forward to a new intention.