Sunday, December 20, 2015

New Abstract Painting: Inner Fire

"Inner Fire", 9x9" mixed media on paper. Available. 

Somewhere along the line... and I think it was right around when I did the painting "In the Soul's Light"... my focus seemed to change. I'm still painting movement. I'm still working from drawings based on a living beings doing some kind of activity, lately humans dancing. But I've made a subtle shift... somehow I don't feel like I'm painting the exterior of these people anymore. I feel like what I'm digging for is inside. I watch and I draw, and then I try to take this intangible thing... that thing that draws me to certain people, certain movements, rather than others... and make it visible. Does that even make sense?

I like to watch people. It's a form of entertainment for me, as odd as that sounds. Even as a teenager... I would tag along with my friends to the mall, not because I had any interest in shopping whatsoever (still don't: hence, my wardrobe), but because there were always lots of people, and they were all interesting to me. I love watching how people interact. And while watching a group, I can usually figure out the dynamics within the group and how the social hierarchy is playing out. Work is an absolute treasure trove.... and it is about to get better as we move to a more open concept type of seating arrangement (any of my work friends who might happen to read this... just ignore me drawing away in the corner. I'm not doing anything interesting).

The thing for me lately, though, has been to take this interior tangle of feelings that has been dredged up by all the loss in my life recently, and attempt to overlay that onto this stranger dancing in the youtube video I just watched. In a lot of ways, this painting isn't of that ballet dancer,  it's me... my interior mapped on the moving form of that exterior. Or perhaps a combination of interiors, because I don't think I can obliterate their interior from their exterior... it always will show, because that's how people are. I'm painting the relative connection between myself and my subject. I know it seems like I'm babbling here... I'm still trying to sort out exactly what I am trying to do. I think this is going to turn into an actual body of work, which means I am going to have to write an actual artist statement, which means I really have to have clarity on what I am trying to do.

I have to keep going with this. I have other things on my list of things to accomplish in 2016, but this idea is nagging at me, so I will pursue it. That is, after all, what artists are supposed to do... right? Take that little quirky obsession, that one thing that captures you, and chase it down until you understand it. The final result may not be entirely wonderful (or sellable)... but in the end maybe I will have mended that break in my soul, and in some small way, managed to fix myself.

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