Without knowing the outcome, the painting begins.
A general idea is helpful. In this case, I work from a drawing, an image too tall for a single piece of paper, so I used two. Greenery spirals upward amidst blocks of orange, blue gray, and what I’ve dubbed dirty white.
With permission, my brush skates around the arena of canvas, teasing the boundaries, leaving lines and shapes for further consideration. A dark intentional mess appears. Then the light come on.
The empty chair, perfectly content in the original drawing, feels lonely in it’s painted form. So I make something up, or rather someone, as if creating a character in a play or short story. A narrative develops. She looks towards the stairs at first, leaning her head upon her hand, but that’s too passive. I play with her, turn her around so she looks straight out at me. Better.
This sort of blatant storytelling was frowned upon in graduate school, the understanding being that the work needed to be either completely devoid of meaning, or so deep as to be incomprehensible by the common man. We learned all sorts of terminology helpful in not clearly explaining ourselves, except perhaps to others in the club, and often not even then. These grad school ghosts have my permission to withdraw.
Struggling with the building on the upper right, an alternative pops up, literally and figuratively out of the blue. Satellite dishes. Geometry in the sky, breaking up what might otherwise be an all too pleasant scene. The hair curlers show up soon after.
I hereby grant myself permission to be playful, funny, even foolish. I will shut out those voices in the art world using phrases such as “function outside of the epoch of making,” “polemical modes of argument,” “ineffable investigation,” and “simultaneous phenomena.” I went to grad school. I get it.
But we don’t need all that. It’s curlers. Enjoy.