Unlike much of my previous work, many of the pieces in this show are non-representational. The unifying element is palette, which ranges from orange/rust/brown on the one hand through neutral warm gray to blue/blue-green/green on the other. My process has been to lay down a “first draft” quickly, in one sitting, restraining myself from any fussing or revising. (Inevitably, at the end of this session I feel that I have created a masterpiece.) I let this draft sit for a day or so. When I go back, I discover that my masterpiece is not as flawlessly marvelous as it first seemed. Then I begin the long process of revising. The challenge now is to clean up the problems without sacrificing the freshness of the original. Here is where “attention to detail” comes in.
I have been surprised to discover that I spend just as much time adjusting the details of non-representational as representational work. What’s different is the timing and the goal. When I am painting a flower or a face, I concern myself with details right from the start when I create the original drawing. In my more abstract work, I focus on major compositional issues at the beginning and deal with the details later. In the representational work, the goal of the details is to capture the appearance and the spirit of the thing I’m painting. In the non–representational work the goal is to create a piece that will be satisfying both to me and to the viewer, something that will please or stimulate or in some way enlighten.
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