Road to nowhere…

Thanks Talking Heads, for helping with a little Sunday morning happy dance… … baby, it’s alright.

This is how things are looking in prep for the show coming up in Brisbane. I admit there isn’t so much new ground happening, but new work is at least happening. I’ve been grappling for a few years on what I’m trying to lay down with landscape, not traditional, not abstract, but some mercurial place in amongst all that. I’ve been playing with an idea a tutor termed ‘collapsed space’, those areas of flatness that mess with your viewpoint, the perspective, the scale. It’s a ‘thing’ I’ve been working with for a while, but didn’t have a label, and bizarrely the label helps. But I often love a horizon line and the vertical dominance of the trunks, which can negate the flat void, so this might take me some years to get to nowhere. The piece I’ve sent to Las Cruces is blimmen’ close. The piece on the far end of the white wall is a debarcle that I spent another day on last week and I can not make it work – big brush, small brush. I’m starting to think ‘screwdriver’!

But I’m loving the fun of working fast again, the striking at the surface, the squoodge of big chunks of creamy oils on a big brush. It’s fun… yes painting is fun, tempered by the moments when a piece is getting the better of you. I’ve put that piece up in the rack so it stops tempting me. But that blue piece up high, now it’s calling down to tweak something…


14 thoughts on “Road to nowhere…

  1. Why don’t you try to go completely abstract for a while? It could be fun to give in totally to the paint, with no horizons to worry about? PS (Don’t take my suggestions, after all, I am now a painter of rabbits!!)

  2. It’s something I think about for sure, Chris. Have been a little way towards it at times in my past…
    there’s something about the narrative or something or other, the waffle I want to broadcast about connection with landscape and am possibly scared (like a scared wabbit) the the deep underbelly of my past will have me ‘designing’ abstracts. Thats probably a good point to take my head out of it, and just see what happens.

  3. PS I know this post is potentially me laying down on the WBHD e-Counselling Couch. he he he. The Studio Assistant has stopped listening :-]

  4. I’ve made a few attempts at painting “abstract” landscapes. Most recently the day after returning from the Nolan/Winkler Art Compound. That one is leaning against the wall in time out now.

    Curiously, I’ve had two artist friends refer to my paintings as landscapes, and not just the agaves. I kind of like that, actually. Here is a recent response to the Corbel painting that I posted the process shots of here on WBHD: “I love this new painting! It reminds me of ‘Hidden Hide’–still a landscape but more emphasis on colors, shapes, and fact of flat surface. Great colors! . . . ”

    Both “Corbel. . . ” and “Hidden Hide” I consider “designed” almost to the point of “head” paintings, but they were as “fun” to make as the painterlys. Most abstract artists still work with a “vocabulary” of marks. As much as I revere DeKooning, some of his late ’60’s – 70’s work is incoherent to me for all of their freedom. ( I sometimes suspect that is a failing of vision on my part. Perhaps time will tell.) For me, Joan Mitchell came as close as anyone to striking a balance

  5. Adrienne…and Chris….and… I did go totally abstract a few years ago (4 now) and I loved it but wasn’t totally I guess because I did my potato prints of circles and dots, or circles or dots. Always had a ‘theme’ in mind so still ‘representative’ in a very abstract manner. Meaning they weren’t non objective. I love those paintings! But, heck, I’m a representational painter at heart so when I paint a cup or a person that isn’t somewhat realistic, it sure is difficult. ha. Getting easier. I started my happy art career as a portrait painter (have an Elvis at Graceland, don’t ya know?).
    So, now I get to do (and DO) anything I want: circles/dots still important. Flowers beautifully done if I want. Simple kidlike drawings if I want. And now storytelling with paint and words when I want. We artists have it all at our mind-tips, don’t we? Think Picasso and do it ALL.

  6. Excellent counsel Nolan 😀 The path to the happy art career… love it. Yes all of it, including rabbits. Especially rabbits. I fell in love with a painting of Susan’s before I met her. It was very yellow and had a beautiful rabbit in it.

    No sin CC, and I do ‘pinch’ myself from time to time… every day…

  7. Your advice is great Nolan! I think that if we just follow our hearts we will be on the right path , even when we see great variety in our work. So often we stay stuck in a style of artwork that pleases gallery directors. This can inhibit our growth. It can take many years to grasp an understanding of why we made a certain series of works…much of what we do comes from the play instinct. I agree with Nolan…Think Picasso! cx

    PS I remember vividly, the first Hutton I saw approximately 25 years ago. It was of a man with an albatross buttoned inside his shirt. It gave me goosebumps!!

  8. By the way Adrienne….I think your Lichen Constellations work is fabulous!

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