Last weekend, GPI Atlantic had a fundraiser event. I donated a large selection of artwork to this amazing organization. They use the Genuine Progress Index to count what matters: happiness and well-being. The GPI Youth section sets up sustainability projects with young adults. Well worth a donation.
At the reception, I was fascinated by what paintings people were drawn to. Some of the work was several years old, enough so that to me, it looked dated. They are good paintings but I wanted to do something to them, change them, redo, make them what I have been doing recently. To a lot of people, what attracted them are what I wanted to change. One women liked my work because it is calm. That is not how I would describe my more recent work, or what I want in it.
There is some work I have done over the past many years that I feel could be from today or even tomorrow. When I look a them, I feel they still have something to teach me. I did a series of screen prints in 1995 that are not visually old. I could have done them yesterday, not over twenty years ago. I wouldn’t change a thing on them now.
What I am looking for in my newer work is a quality I had when I first started painting: a freshness, openness, willingness to expose, to show excitement, energy, vitality. A searching quality. It is happening more often. When it doesn’t I have to rethink, step out of that seductive comfort zone, where I “know” how to solve a visual problem. Try something I don’t know.
Yesterday, once again I had photos taken of new work and once again I saw what needed to be reworked and also, this time, what direction I need to take. A slight turn in the road. Again.