I am getting ready for my two person show at Page Bond Gallery that opens on May 5th in Richmond Virginia. I won’t be able to be at the opening so I thought I would write a few sentences about each of the ten paintings to help Page and Allison know more about each painting. While I don’t think it’s necessary to reveal every thought and intention, I do think it’s important to provide some additional insight.
The work spans an almost three year time period. The earliest painting is Backyard Block which I painted in 2007. Unbeknownst to me, this painting is the connector in my two main bodies of work, Roots and Branches and the Sewing series. This really was the first Sewing series painting long before I knew there would be a series. The painting also references my idea about land and the idea of place that is more typical of the Roots and Branches series. The painting has never been shown before, in fact I almost sent if off unsigned, gasp! I had never intended to show it because it felt like such a personal piece to me. I guess it’s evidence of my growing ability to let things go once I have processed through whatever was needed creatively. There are other paintings in the group that are strictly from one series or the other, but having never looked at them together I had missed some of the more subtle commonalities in the two bodies of work.
Reviewing, thinking and looking at a broader range of work created over a longer time span changes things a bit. I feel really good about the work, first off. Many of the paintings are stronger than I thought they were when I first finished them. Not that I felt that they weren’t successful, but something about them now feels more solid, genuine and authentic to me and what I am saying through my work. Keep in mind that many of these paintings have been out of the studio in a variety of galleries and shows so I haven’t seen them in person in a while. I’ve just spent the last week getting reacquainted so to speak, inspecting the frames, buffing their surfaces, fixing any small blemishes and just looking at them. I feel like I have gotten to know them all over again and now I am sending them off for a new audience to see.
Seeing what is effective in past paintings helps to develop and push the new work.
When I reviewed the paintings, it helped solidify what worked to get my ideas across best. I have a more clear idea of what I am trying to say now than I did two years ago, and I see where it worked well in older work and I want to push that even further. I want to emphasize those things and strip away the imagery and techniques that confused or weren’t completely authentic to me. It’s a great leaping off point for my studio work for the next several months, maybe longer. So I guess looking back really can help you go forward, at least in the studio. I’ve got some blank panels beckoning now, so stay tuned.