And, action!

So no, I’m not planning to start action painting (although*…). I am excited that a new year is underway. Yes I understand the passage of time and human history aren’t impacted by the construct of a calendar that we pastiche on top of our lived experience, and marking the passage of time, as well as reflecting (see my favs from ’22 post if you haven’t) and looking forward can be meaningful. And there you have it- my ongoing interest in the idea that two ideas which seem to contradict can both be true continues.

I do have a couple of new things in the works. In part based on the last, small body of (small) work that I completed (which I found also influenced by the hard edge work I was making 2 decades ago), as well as having a go with shaped canvases or at least containers (most of which have actually been discarded), I’ve found myself moving towards even more graphic painting elements. In particular, there is a small green and pink and purple study I’ve wanted to revisit. The main shift in direction is and will be rooted in my recent reflection on a specific condition of painting- that an implied light source is important (critical?) to understand the illusion in (a) painting, even in the case of an unnatural, fictitious space or place. I like the contradiction/duality of making work also appear to be a source of light, much the same way the stacking of cubes that rely on and deny gravity can be arresting. In addition, there is a pleasing and engaging duality created by having more than one appearance or set of visual characteristics for a painting, given different lighting. Plus, the need to change the lighting to view a work (turning on a black light, or in the case of photo-phosphorescent work, turning off the light) requires participation by an audience which, I think, emphasizes the experiential element of seeing art. Additionally, there is the duality that black-light art is not typically “high art” and gives a gentle entry point for more audiences (I’m totally good with “that’s cool” from the non-art crowd).

I’ve also started a new, (what I will strive to make a) daily practice of drawing, based on Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies. The end goal of this part of my practice will be some source material for another body of work that will incorporate black light and fluorescent paint. *Right out of the gate though, it looks like trying to open up by responding to word prompts and also to be more “automatic” in my approach to mark-making is going to lead to some quite divergent forms…

Author: sterlingsart

abstract painter living in Raleigh, NC- follow my blog to help build my mailing list!

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