“I’m painting, I’m painting again.
I’m painting, I’m painting again.
I’m cleaning, I’m cleaning again.
I’m cleaning, I’m cleaning my brain….”
— Talking Heads, “Artists Only”
These paintings are not coming about by a linear process of laying out a design. If there is initially a loose schema (which most have not had), that schema is not directly colored in. Rather, the painting as a whole is worked, and worked again, and again… until a set of relationships become clear. They evolve in a non-linear fashion. Colors are built in layers, often through a process of trial and error. Ideas are tried out, often elaborated, edited, and ultimately simplified to find what is essential, as the painting organically becomes what it will become.
Perhaps one day I will know how to make these paintings. But then, no doubt, it would become boring, and I’d have to do something else. Just as when we may sit down to meditate, we hope to have a nice, clear, peaceful, spacious mind, but instead its a tumult of ideas and emotions, of hopes, desires, and fears, of discord seeking resolution, so do I find the process of painting to be.
Perhaps, they will become in themselves abstract icons, objects of meditation, in their own right, while also respecting the traditions of modern abstract painting.