It is a struggle, as an artist, to stop coming up with things to do and to just do them. I spend so much of my time generating and contemplating the pieces I want to do, that I never get to all the pieces I want done. I am spontaneous in ideas and deliberate in my execution. I have four three-ring binders and more sketchbooks of work to produce, but fewer pieces completed. That said, I also have about twenty in-progress pieces going at anyone time waiting to be remembered ;-). To keep the anxiety down, I have to remind myself that my art is just not produced in a quick fashion and that is how I work. One of my favorite artists, Edward Hopper, ideated for long periods of time before creating works, and my best pieces evolve over a couple of years. This makes for a hard living, but I am much more satisfied with the result.
I am creating my next few pieces from the phrase “Birds of a Feather” for exhibition with my artist group, Tipping Paint Artists. “Birds of a Feather Flock Together” is attributed to Plato and refers to the tendency of people with similar tastes and interest to come together. It could be positive, it could be negative, but we look for the similarities in our current contexts to find commonalities and to make connections. I like to think it goes beyond conscious attraction extending to everything around us.
I am approaching the works as commonalities of subject matter with a spark of something else. I have three works in progress, or ready to go. The nostalgic piece I am tentatively calling “Birds,” comes from a family stash photo and reminds me of the phrase “one of these things is not like the other.” A second piece exploring place looks at how the common is not so common anymore – its a “state of being” piece. The last in progress work is a series of three works based on a shed I photographed near Seagrove, NC. I am creating a visual story with each painting – an illustrative frame :-). The commonality is the place; The change of time is the story. I’m 80% done with two of the pieces; The third is to come. I have the canvas out ready to go but have been unable to get going because of all the other ideas bouncing in my head. Sometimes I wish I could just snap my fingers and have the idea complete itself. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, so I’ll just have to see how much I can get out onto the canvas :-).
Tipping Paint Artists, have an upcoming, May-June, show at Hagersmith Architects on Martin Street in Raleigh.