For the past six years or so I have been trying to reconcile the tangible and intangible aspects of media and images. With these ink wash paintings on rice paper, I use a plastic backing instead of blotters in order to super-saturate the paper and preserve wrinkles when the paper dries. I work the images from both sides until I settle on the “front”. Although in the past I have used white tempera to reclaim lights, lately I have begun to use torn paper. I’ve also torn pre-painted sheets of rice paper in order to match or contrast existing tones. The physicality of the wrinkles and the torn paper provide a counterpoint to the otherwise intangible tendencies of the ink wash. The paintings above are still in progress. They are interpretations of the landscapes that I appreciated while in Italy, filtered through memory and adjusted as compositional experiments.
Thanks to everyone who came out for the gallery talk. There were some great questions and discussion about the work and the creative process. The exhibition closed on the 20th, and I received the work back on 24th. It was a pleasure working with Libby and Christina at the Schmidt Art Center. They are managing this beautiful space with unparalleled professionalism– if you haven’t yet been out for a visit, make it a point to get there.
On Tuesday, June 16th at 1:00 I will be giving an artist’s talk in the context of my current exhibition at the Schimdt Art Center in Belleville, IL. The twenty-one recent paintings and two “built works”– a table and a room divider– will be on display through June 20th. Because this is an informal talk in the presence of the work, it is a great opportunity to point to things and ask questions. For directions to the Schmidt Art Center please refer to their website, http://www.schmidtartcenter.com . This event is free and open to the public.
Last week I repaired and repainted the walls in our first floor sitting room. The main wall is lit with a raking southern light and this caused the sandy, grooved texture to leap out insistently. I ended up building a scraping tool to knock off the peaks, then skim coated and sanded the walls towards a relative smoothness. We chose a color of green that had a bit of life to it. It quiets down in the natural light, but maintains some intensity in artificial or reflected light. The photos above show both scenarios.
I suspect that most people think of walls as surfaces, but I like to treat them as spaces. Walls, like paintings, are best understood by their edges. The center is a more mysterious space with a disorienting habit of falling away– especially when color gets involved. I love that center, where a wall can act like a window.