Monday, January 26, 2015

Painting isn't about reality

Juniper #2
12"x16" Acrylics on linen panel $90
You can purchase this painting HERE.

I watched my Joan Mitchell video again  yesterday, and wrote down this quote from Elizabeth Murray, a NY painter who knew Joan Mitchell: "Painting isn't about reality, it's about life. There's a level where you cannot explain it with words; it's visual." I was thinking about that a lot yesterday, and also what Joan said in the video: "I don't think when I paint." She was talking about people who ask her what she was thinking when she painted a particular work.

One of the things I really love about painting is except where you're consciously trying to make it look like something in particular, where you're doing a lot of comparing or measuring, the activity of painting is pretty much a thought-free zone. I'm pretty sure that images and thoughts/words come from separate areas of your brain. I use music or old movies to distract my verbal brain so it doesn't think about what I'm doing, so it isn't constantly worrying about whether or not what I'm doing is working. My eyes do the thinking, and that's not verbal thinking.

This juniper is from another photo I took last spring in north central Oregon, like the other juniper I did last summer. This one is purposely painted in a much looser style, except for the bleached "bones" of a shrub in the foreground.

I'm happy because this is the 4th painting I've finished this month! I think that's a record for me! I'm looking forward to my show at the new In Bocca Al Lupo Gallery this October, in its new location in downtown Oregon City. Speaking of which, here's the flyer for the first show there, opening weekend after next, the first weekend in February.

I bought my first plants of the year this morning—perky little primroses for my hanging pots out front. So my new little car does work for carrying plants, as long as they're not too big. That's a good thing. Happy almost-end-of-January!

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