Artist & Writer, San Francisco Bay Area

Within, the Project: Notes

My mind wanders a lot when I’m lost in activities, not the least of which is painting. I’m pushing this liquified color around panels & canvases, and I lose myself/observe myself at the same time. This process is so halting, my relationship to the painting medium is on this side of new, so I’m just now making discoveries about my place in front of these small wet painted spaces of color. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve painted. But I have not sat before a piece to see it come to life before my eyes. Painting was a means to an end, and right now, I’m doing something in a different way.
1. The wordless language of paint is complex and inticing. I know this as a viewer, but I know it better as a painter.
2. Spending time in the studio starts to become a jar of honey spilled on the kitchen counter- it spreads slowly, with everything getting irreversibly messy.
3. This project is about imbedding pieces of my own information into paintings, along with the documentation of the making & the selling (recap: I’m exploring personal vs. public; concepts vs. objects; artist vs. market). I started a working document of everything in the realm of personal that I could think of in my life, and I pull pieces of information from this list in order to write it (hidden) into the pieces. In these few studies for the series I’m working on, I’ve noticed a few things:

  • I haven’t selected the info to work with until I sit before the painting. At that point, it’s too late to compose the thought. I rush into jotting it down in pencil (backwards), then painting.
  • So far I have selected information that’s only slighty risky yet slightly innocuous.
  • Sometimes I lose sight of the concept I’m working with because the painting has been so seductive.
  • I haven’t explored alternate ways of placing the info in the work. I want to do more than write it (backwards) then paint over it.
  • The more I paint, the more I realize I need time to think about what I’m doing. But I’m resisting it, it sounds so boring! Why think when I can paint!!!

4. Despite the luscious joy I’m having with painting, I feel limited by only painting. On the one hand, it’s all I need, on the other, it’s letting me down. I want to throw in my usual suspects (metal, nails, thread, wire, wood) but I can’t just do that. I have to think this through. But if I over-think it, won’t I lose what I’ve gained so far?
5. I know that I’m documenting this as I go, so that as I’m painting, I’m taking pictures of the pieces before they’re done. It’s seems a little much. I want to work in peace. I don’t want to be observed mid-piece. But here I am. How can I have a voice when I’m being observed? How can I hear myself think, hear myself paint? Am I violating my own privacy? Is it worth it?
6. Does anyone really care that I’m doing this, this personal information thing? It’s so easy to lose sight that I’m not making this as an autobiographical piece. It’s easy for me to lose sight of it. I’m pushing myself in an act of exposure/disclosure that is layered & withdrawn, and it’s about that. Sort of. Isn’t it? Do I really know what this is all about, or am I waiting to find out?
7. What’s the role of ambiguity in this project series? Ambiguity #within.

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