Since January of this year I have been working on a new body of work. The working title for this series is: Nothing To Say.
The work is challenging me in new ways. Instead of painting spontaneously and with great emotion, I am slowing down. Creating tons of drawings in my sketchbook leads to many more ideas than I could ever execute. Spending at least a half hour early every morning morning—before coffee, before the sun wakes up—writing in a notebook I sift out and capture what I wish to say visually.
I began the year thinking I had nothing to say. A day at a time my thinking has changed.
Below is a video of one of many full sketchbook of faces and character studies.
Each larger painting begins with a fully realized smaller study. Using collage, I cut up security envelopes and assemble them into abstract faces. This satisfies my fascination of how we use pattern to obliterate information.
After sizing up the study to fit the new format on a cradled wood panel of 14 x 11 inches, I begin to lay down the paint on the new larger size.
Seeing the work larger has me thinking of so many new ideas. I now have more visual problems to solve, based on what I want the painting to communicate.
I am finding that I do have something to say!
Somehow the idea of a zipped mouth came to me. Maybe during a brisk cold morning walk? Anyways, once the idea came I knew that the execution needed to be flawless. The paint I use and the message I want to communicate has no room for “do overs” or layering of paint to make it right. I want the work to BE just so and correct on my first try. This required drawing studies of zippers, over and over again.
When the pieces are fully complete, I include a great deal of detail on every piece. With that comes the need for just the right sized brush!
I add details over the flat surfaces of paint. I have skipped discussing my color choices in this blog post for brevity sake.
The final work made me feel really excited about this new direction. I have since completed 4 more pieces that I will unveil soon. And this morning I began a sixth in the series.
In Nothing To Say, I have combined faces or characters, household objects, and flat areas of color juxtaposed with painted patterns. The deliberate creation of detailed patterns represent repetitive labor that goes under-appreciated and often unpaid.
My inspiration came from the insides of security envelopes—a product made as protection for the contents within. However, in actuality they obliterate the message, and usually the contents are related to financial affairs.
The zipped mouth alludes to the unheard voices of the unnoticed many. And, once again, I am finding I do have something to say.