In the Studio last month

Abstract 2020.006(Written March 15) Dear friends of art (and of Owen); It’s been some time since I sent off a “what’s on the easels”  note and I am slightly reluctant to do this except that One of you actually asked me what was up! I’m in the hospital with my elderly father, who is undergoing some tests, and there’s not much else to do but worry My reluctance is that of the three pieces I have here, only one, the truly abstract, is done, and that came out right quick.  It’s a little oil stick on duralar plastic, I’m quite…

On Receptiveness

I recently went to an artist’s talk, given by a youngster who had had some recent success, both commercial and critical, for his work.  Most of these works were fairly large scale, three were before us while he lectured.  They were largely featureless, except for some surface granularity, with very little evidence of brush technique. This granularity was due to his treating his canvas with materials from “sacred sites,” over which he would then paint over.  He enthused on at some length about his respect for nature, and so on and so forth, while standing before his rather featureless canvases,…

When is a painting finished?

What an odd thing.  A painting is not finished when it is finished to look like something.  Not until the painting can speak with its own tongue, and say what the painter thinks it should be saying, is it done.  That moment may never come. This is a complicated matter, one of provision.  Once a painting leaves a studio (or any work of art, for that matter) what little control the artist had drops to nothing.  Then what will the painting convey to its future witnesses?  How can we possibly predict this, when we are signaling from history (we are…
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