Oct 18, 2012
This is my friend Libby's shed that I drew while sitting around her backyard as she modeled a shell out of a ball of clay. Spending time with friends while making things is my favorite way of socializing, especially when we branch out and do different things than we normally do in our studio.
I’ve also been getting together with a writer friend but that's a bit different. We chat before and after, but when we actually start working there’s a lovely shared silence for about an hour. She works on her poems and I usually write in my journal, pen an old fashioned letter (I use to be an avid letter writer before the internet, but not so much anymore), or I’ll just read. Carving out this kind of time helps my studio life because each time I do it I pick up something, usually subconsciously, that I can carry in my pocket forever.
Sep 9, 2012
I'll start with this little shack in Minnesota that sits on a spring fed lake surrounded by pine and spruce trees. Here I swam, hiked, read, stared off into space, and then at night stared down into fires and out into stars. This trip marked the end of the summer of 2012, a time when I paced around the studio with a torch in hand trying to muster up the courage to burn the fallow fields.
In June I had my first exhibition at L Ross Gallery. The show was with Carl Moore, a Memphis painter I've admired a long time. We decided to title the show "I Can See Your House From the Highway" as a nod to the experience of two painters living in the same town and witnessing each other's evolution over time. It speaks to the experience of making art alone and making art within a community.
The paintings for this show came pouring out last winter and spring with such abundance that I assumed the momentum would sustain itself throughout the summer. Well, it didn't. Instead, I stopped dead in my tracks as everything came to a screeching halt. Even though I know that sometimes this is a necessary part of the life cycle of a studio practice, the whole thing just made me mad and uncomfortable. Since I didn't have much control over the stand still, I decided to relax a bit and let it happen. I slashed and burned by tearing things apart and putting them back together - sifting, sorting, cleaning, and lots of staring off into space in the middle of it all.
It feels good to look back on this work after a few months of going inward. This year marks ten years of painting abstraction and these pieces represent the culmination of that time and focus. When I set out to make them my intention was simply to stand on the shoulders of my own discoveries these past ten years and see what happens.
A closer look...
The Anchored, 34" x 38"
No Two Days Sound the Same, 60" x 36"
The Next Three Days, 38" x 34"
She Told Me Her Story, 24" x 24"
McLemore Avenue, 24" x 24"
The Pillow You Dream On, 18" x 18"
Our Morning Walk Around, 18" x 18"
The Unsayable, 18" x 18"
A shift is happening in my studio that's hard to put words around, so I won't even try. For now, I'll keep showing up, read, be engaged in my community and talk with other artists, stare off into space, play with materials, play in general, and soon something will sprout out from those burned up fields.