Driven To Abstraction

I talk. I argue. I stamp my feet (not literally) — well maybe occasionally. I get frustrated as hell. I fall in love (sometimes). And this is my relationship with my paintings. It makes me feel a little weird or nerdy to describe a relationship that begins with the first coat of paint—or to even describe the process of painting in relational language. But imagining that it is not a serious relationship is unimaginable. Or to think of it less than metaphorically, as in art is a mirror, is not the truth.

I bring my life to the canvas with all it’s ups and downs, questions, vulnerabilities, strengths and  weaknesses. Trying to come to the canvas with no expectations is comical.  In fact I honestly have tons of them even while my process seems so playful and somewhat random. At times it appears that I have spilled and dripped color and let whatever happens happen. But it is in fact a not-so -flowing explosion of sorts. Thoughts, feelings, ideas, censorship, condemnation, love, hate and ultimately a conlusion ending in a finished piece is the goal.

So when people ask if there is meaning behind an abstract painting I can’t answer simply—which makes it complicated. Getting into the psychological mumbo jumbo means I may lose the viewer in a nano second. But my work IS about relationships whether it be figurative or abstract. I am working something out with every brushstroke and it’s an arduous and often painstaking process. Staying with it is difficult and even painful at times. But art is a relationship and just like any relationship it needs time to process. It needs IT and me time to connect and form a bond. Abstract art may appear as a bunch of lines and colors on a canvas but trust me when I say it’s a painstaking endeavor. Decades ago I can remember walking through the Guggenheim museum and shaking my head. What does all this mean? I don’t get it. I may not want some of what I’ve seen on my own walls but I get it. I really, really get.

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