Progress and Stasis

Pony Agave

Here is the latest almost completed (?) WBHD painting. I’ll live with it awhile.

Process Agave

Here is an earlier state, a little further along than the first posting of this one in an even earlier stage. On a black gesso ground by the by.

This is one of three WBHD-built painting/collages. I generally talk about my “abstract” work done here in Las Cruces as being largely a result of the environment I live in and literally often paint in – the back yard. Though only expected to be working in our respective regions, I think many of us feel compelled to more explicitly present our home/lands. This painting is one of three attempts. I had the New Mexico agave form to draw on. It has been a part of my “iconography” for a few years. Really developed from picture plant and sweet gum leaves from when I lived back southeast USA. You may recall another “regional” attempt, the New Mexico “map” post.

Here is a third, problematic attempt:


Pretty cartoon-literal here. I could post photos of almost every identifiable form, but the post would fill the “page:” Trumpet vine on true picket fence, garage door in typical NM color, adobe home, moonrise over the mountains – all mixed in with gestural painting. I like bits of this, but I’m kind of stuck, maybe failed. I like seeing y’alls progress (or attempts) or thinking aloud on this blog, so here we are. I’ll post if I finish it.

I’ve got more in the High Desert hopper. Later, CC


14 thoughts on “Progress and Stasis

  1. Sounds to me like you are interested to have some comments on your current work. Well I think the finished piece is very well resolved. Strong and perhaps a little quirky (Probably a bit like yourself!!) I’m just trying to make a joke there CC! Please excuse me if it’s not welcome! But what I am saying is that the finished work does appear to have your signature style with a twist that you incorporate in colour or design. Very nice…and interesting. cx

  2. Comments welcome. Thinking about the stuck piece. . . being attuned and being careful are not the same thing. Feels too contrived? Premeditation is best only as a starting point. For me. Still change-up approaches are worth taking no matter the result?

  3. If you want the opinion of an ex-painter/techno junky, I think you have two paintings in the unresolved piece. Time to be brutal! I always enjoyed the chaotic feeling that would come just before you did something radical that ultimately resolved an artwork.
    Of course if you have good friends who are artists, you are able to talk about your works and it helps when ‘stuck’. Is there an art group in Las Cruces. There was a group in Bundaberg years back, but too much in-fighting caused it to break down and it still hasn’t recovered. My Dirty Linen Artspace is attracting some wonderful artists though fortunately. Trudie, Jenny and co are great supporters from the regional galleries. We are blessed there!!

  4. Like the finished piece, Carey. The other? No comment…..other than I lik the ‘two paintings’ remark in Christine’s comment. It is unresolved, so difficult to comment further on it. Me? Only one piece to finish for the entire show output, whew.
    Just got a calligraphy JOB in that must be done…a big one and illustrations to go with will be forthcoming so not much time to finish up our much more exciting project.
    Have fun on your Santa Fe trip. the Sammy Peters show you’re going to….you should love. He puts in a lot of work on his paintings, but comes out with ONE painting always and so resolved, no questions. So, while you still have questions about your piece, you still have work to pull it together. Not easy, but, hey…..that’s what we do! =]

  5. Fair. I don’t chafe at comments about work I’m not sure of.

    You can’t throw a chili pepper without hitting an art group in Las Cruces. I’m not inclined to join for the reason that you mentioned. One group schisms into two and so on. Their like church denominations. This blog is loosey goosey enough for me. I have a few artist friends that I’ll listen to. We don’t always see eye to eye, but they make me think about WHY I don’t agree. Puts me in touch with some art- fierceness. I get sparks from Nolan’s work, though she wisely avoids critiquing other artists. She speaks from experience.

  6. Hi Nolan…I would love it if we could see some of your illustrations. Tell Dave I will get some Bundaberg pics soon too. cx

  7. I’d like to see your “bread and butter” illustration work too Nolan. DeKooning once said something about fully resolving a work kills it. Not what we are talking about with mine though. I often intentionally have multiple paintings in one. Like the contradictions. But they have to be integrated or we get what I have in my work in progress. CC

  8. Amen on the comment about LC art groups, Carey! Throw an old sofa, washing machine, and a few chihuahuas in the back yard and you are there. New Mexican properties are mostly an unresolved mess anyway.

  9. Thanks all. I’ll pull the plug or go back at it fearless! Best results usually get it down in the first go, but not always.

  10. Love your finished ‘agave’ painting CC. Nice to see the various stages as well.

  11. Great to see such progress… hmmm, I better get cracking hey! I think Nolan summed it up, while there are still questions there’s still work to do. Thanks Carey for showing us the stasis stage, it’s gutsy to do that, and I’ll wager you’ll go back at it fearlessly – it’s going somewhere, go with it :-]

  12. We’ll see. I have discovered forgotten paintings in the garage that I’d struggled with and given up on. With nothing to lose, I loose limbed ’em. Three separate times the’ve pulled togther and resolved almost immediately. Happens.

    Nolan, looking forward to the Sammy Peters’ show in Santa Fe if I can make it. Maybe I’ll do a short report here. CC

  13. Hi Dave, might hedge on Art Groups after the Boarder Artist opening last Saturday? Quality uniformly good and they seem like a loose enough association that puts on successful openings. Maybe too successful? I almost had a panic attack in that crowd. No way to really look at any art. More so than usual.

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