Friday, April 17, 2009

New Painting: 'Parkside Bar'

'Parkside Bar' 2009, 8 X 12", acrylic on paper.

‘Parkside Bar’ is in New York’s suddenly not-very-scary lower east side. I took the photo for the painting while on a mammoth, early morning walk a day or two after my last opening in New York.

I’m always tempted to do a larger painting in the months after a show. In my case, a twice-than-normal-size ‘larger’ painting is a mere 8 X 12”.

‘Parkside Bar’ was begun as our first winter in Montreal descended upon us.

After nearly six months I’ve emerged, blinking at the brightness, to deal with my peculiar post painting anxieties.

Towards the end of a painting I begin to feel a vague unease which inevitably turns to general agitation. I’ve never tried to analyse this process because it goes away once I’ve started another painting.

My girlfriend Hayley implied the other day that I use the paintings as a refuge from the world. In the case of ‘Parkside Bar’, a six month removal from any concern other than painting.

After the brief, sullen silence that followed, I agreed that she was right. I deal with all the unpleasantness of life in the days following the completion of a painting, saving it all up for the week or two until I begin to trace the next image. Documenting, framing, shipping, the doctor, the dentist, the vet, taxes.

The dread becomes understandable in this context. Whether or not I can do anything about it is another matter.