Tuesday, December 15, 2009

100 Paintings

Occasionally the fog of the daily routine lifts and I take account of what I’ve been doing in the larger context of time.

Going through the lists I keep for completed paintings I noticed recently that I’d completed over a hundred paintings in the photorealist style. It seems almost unbelievable to me, given how slow my process is.

(music: Sitting Still Moving Still Staring Outlooking- His Name is Alive)

I can mark the beginning of my photorealist period accurately as I started doing them over the course of one weekend in 1993 after reaching the end of my patience with my former painting methods. It was a difficult decision making orphans of the paintings I’d spent the previous decade creating.

Projecting a photo, drawing it and painting it was the most fun I’d had in a long while and I loved the results. The process seemed miraculously transformative. I felt an objective detachment from the work for which I’d been unconsciously yearning.

The paintings in the video are presented in chronological order and without edits. Every painting I produced from 1993 to 2007 is represented. I find it interesting, in the video, that whenever I seem to be on an identifiable path I veer off into the woods unexpectedly for a painting or two.

I’d like to some day chronicle, year by year, the trials of my life as they related to the paintings I made, tying the two together in a psychologically informative way.

I still own almost a third of the paintings I produced in that period. Early sign paintings, the odd dud and the anomalies like ‘Manitoba Landscape’ and ‘Bride and Groom’. I jokingly refer to these as my ‘retirement fund’ but I’m not entirely convinced the assets will be worth anything when the day comes.

It’s taken a long time to figure out what and why I’m painting but I think I’m finally on to something.

Given that my paintings take longer to paint now than they did sixteen years ago I figure number two hundred should come around in about twenty years.

Stay tuned.