Sunday, November 7, 2010

back home

This is our third day home from Spain, and jet lag and a nagging cold caught on the trip are giving me a sense of suspension in time and distance from daily routine.  I am in the midst of cleaning my studio, a ritual that I have used before, after an absence, to help get back into a productive mode.  Opening the door yesterday brought an interesting mixture of reactions as I re-engaged with current work.  I felt a strong desire to get rid of older pieces that are neither cold wax nor abstract.  My more recent pieces in cold wax just feel so right.  Not that I don't still have favorite past paintings -- and in a wide variety of styles! -- but those pieces hang in the house, while most of the old paintings in the studio are pieces that I never let out the door because I wasn't happy with them.  I'm still not, but rather than hang onto them to "fix" them, as has been my tendency in the past, I now just want them gone.  One exception, a piece for friends that is nearly done, a semi-abstract landscape of our valley.  I need to settle down to finishing that, and I've been avoiding it.  It pulls me into past methods and, to some extent, into past insecurities...the same reasons I am wanting to toss the old work.

I was somewhat surprised by feeling such a strong re-commitment to abstraction and to the cold wax process.  I wasn't aware that I was questioning it.  The reaction may have been strengthened by not getting into a statewide juried show to which I submitted an old piece, pre-cold wax and pre-abstract.  Creating that particular painting accomplished many things for me at the time, over two years ago now, but  as a finished piece it also never quite worked (and also has never sold).  I think that entering it into the show was partly to find out and decide its final worth.  Which is, that it was a great process piece, but wasn't my voice.  An image of "Three Sisters", 22"x24", is above.

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