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Nov 21, 2008 3 Comments
I hold onto a few illusions about what it is I do. Whatever value art has, I'm not curing cancer or unclogging toilets*. In the midst of the economic turmoil we're all hearing about or living, for more than a moment it seemed almost inappropriate to share new paintings and prattle on about my latest existential angst or successes. But what else can I or any of us do? At best, we can try to be pragmatic in our choices. And when doing so, not forget the longer view and not allow our fears rule.

On that note, I'm making a firm commitment to take another step away from commercial work. I'm considering it a christmas present to myself.

Having seen the painting at BICA, The Source Weekly chose to put a lamb chop on its cover.


As I move away from the other work, I'm giving myself the time to tackle harder paintings. I started the piece below more than a year ago. The desire to make every painting the culmination of everything you can do doesn't coexist with each piece having its own story, its own feel and atmosphere. I fought myself. And won. What's the prize? It took more than I expected to finish this one.

At the Door, 30" x 22", Oil on Canvas


The time invested dwarfs that taken for the instant gratification of the still life paintings. The time isn't the hurdle though. The challenge is keeping hold of the original idea that started the piece, without smothering it or missing opportunities for a better idea, can be difficult and sometimes impossible. Most ideas simply aren't up to the task. Like carrying a sack of flour around, if you haul it around for long enough inevitably something tears and it empties away. I started the painting below mere months after graduating college - fifteen years ago. I've carried it around ever since, making drawings and small studies for new attempts. Last spring I went at it again on a fresh canvas and a reversed composition. I worked on it off and on over the months, never liking more than an ever changing chunk of it. Yesterday, having learned more from the spring's painting, I started fresh over an old unfinished landscape.

This is but a start, but already I love what its becoming. The looseness reflects where the work has been heading the past months.

Weight, 36" x 28", Oil on Canvas


Here are some of the previous attempts stacked. The fifteen year old start at the bottom.


What idea are you holding on to?


* I originally mistyped, "I'm not curing toilets or unclogging lives."

DISCUSSION

Joe Calabresi    Nov 24, 2008  at  6:08 pm
1

“At the door” is a favorite of mine.

nwgs    Feb 10, 2009  at  11:24 am
2

I really like, At the Door.

very nice Scott.

Smartphone    May 18, 2016  at  1:14 am
3

“Last spring I went at it again on a fresh canvas and a reversed composition ” Very very nice! I really like! BIG LIKE!

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