Thinking my paintings are about me always seems simplistic. A few days ago I thought about this while in the shower. Like driving in the car, these are my best spots for revelations, the shower and the car. It is true I paint these paintings, I do make them, and without me they wouldn’t exist, yet they have a life of their own. Anyway, that day I saw clearly how my life path, how I have lived, is recreated in my creations. First I make a lot of chaos, then I organize it and my impetus is to make something transcendent, a painting that speaks directly without all the fuss that went into it. Something to set us, the viewer and me, free.
In the past before painting I have been mostly screen printing onto the canvas, photographs of people in my life where there has been friction, people with whom I need some emotional resolution. What I am currently doing is using xerox transfers of photographs where I have had positive experiences with my artwork. Such as the Saint Mary’s exhibit in 2016 or (as in the photo above, Jacinte Armstrong dancing in that gallery to my paintings) and other good gallery experiences. It definitely changes the tone of what I am doing when I am working. It’s a push forward, not a look back.
I am still using some collage pieces of fabric. The collage works with me and against me. I can use it as a starting point, the colour, patterns, shapes and move on from there. Or it can be an obstinate element that needs to be worked in, be more congenial, less disruptive. The collage elements often have a life of their own and usually need either to be partially or completely subdued. To get them to work with everything else in the painting. Sometimes it is hard to let go. They look good but don’t get along with the rest of the painting.
All the things you need to give up to get it right!