Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Painted Planet

6.25x9.5 inches, watercolor on paper

$65. US shipping $7.50; email for international shipping

Sometimes you just need to make some marks. Enough with the planning, the references, the premixing, the sketches: Just load up the brush and move it around. Paint first, subject later!

This is by far my favorite way to go… Sometimes it's a physical thing: Move to the beat, scratch the itch. More often, it's throwing myself off a cliff just to see where I'll land, if anything will appear to lift me up before I crash. The trick is to make marks that kick-start the pre-cognitions.

This is distinctly different from the pareidolia I talked about earlier. It's not just seeing, and then bringing into focus, real-world things—however imaginary—from random marks, so others can see them. It's seeing, and then bringing out, things and places that can only be visited via pictures, thanks to purely pictorial ways of manifesting things. The countless hours I've spent drinking in other image-maker's images, soaking up the light and space and tangibility of worlds as real, yet as strange, as stylized, as those you enter with a cave painting, or a Persian miniature, or a Chinese screen, or a Willow-Ware plate (or an NC Wyeth sky…) have surely been my training for this, my persistent impulse to place myself into fresh worlds that I can formulate mentally as I form them visually.

This is really what I'm doing when I paint: Picturing imaginary doors until I find one that actually opens, then stepping thru…

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