Sunday, March 7, 2010

Two by Two

Today I put what I think might be the finishing touches on two panels I've been working on. They're about 18" square and are part of a series that began back here. In fact, as you can see, the first of the two is actually a revised version of the last one in that series. I got the idea for the horizontal bar from a diptych that Scottie Flamm had on display at my school's carnival art show in early February. She had built up her paintings in layers of color and then scratched back into the painting in such a way as to create a band that looked like maybe some kind of computer music or abstracted language. I liked that effect, and I thought it might work well with the panels I was working on, especially since I had done a lot of layering and overpainting as I had put them together.

I wound up using a chisel-bladed x-acto knife to cut back into the surface and reveal the layers beneath, and tried for some consistency of shape rhythm, but some variety in how deep I worked into it.

About a week ago I finished another two-part invention. These were the result of an attempt to meld painting and collage in a more balanced way than I had been doing. I worked on the two of them simultaneously, thinking they might add up to a diptych, but I actually like them better individually than as a pair.

I'll close with a quotation from Gerhard Richter. I've been doing something of a study of his work, both what he has to say about it and what others have to say about it. (I find that I much prefer the former, of which more later.)

One has to believe in what one is doing, one has to commit oneself inwardly, in order to do painting. Once obsessed, one ultimately carries it to the point of believing that one might change human beings through painting. But if one lacks this passionate commitment, there is nothing left to do. Then it is best to leave it alone. For basically painting is total idiocy.

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