Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 76
Where Am I and Where Am I Going?
I am not afraid of storms
for I am learning how to
sail my ship.
Louisa May Alcott
I promised my friend Luis Villanueva, artist, gallerist and owner of Colo Colo Gallery in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the first few paintings that I made here in Portugal. These two aren’t chronologically the first. However, they are the first of a series of, what else, I’m in Portugal, exploration and discovery.
I’ve been struggling to move on. [click on images twice to enlarge] I want to break out of the tried and true. I’ve attempted that several times in the past with some success. I’ve also noticed a pattern of several themes I’ve developed or reverted to over the years. It’s sort of a duck – duck goose curse.
This first piece, LV #1-2016, is a mixture or a blend of a couple of these themes I’ve played with. The color or, the palette is vexing me. Why? Maybe it’s because I expected something different living here in Portugal. I know it’s just about two months but I somehow thought something very noticeable would happen by now.
There is something going on. I usually let my work tell me what to do or where it wants to go. I’m still confused. When it came to the second piece, LV #2-2016, I thought it was going to beat me. It was on the one hand, coming up fast.
But, on the other hand, it was coming out too furniture store or, safe. And, again, I wasn’t nuts about the palette. Then again, I’m running low on paint and, I’d prefer to work monchronmatically. Color is a challenge because it brings in so many other elements.
The next one is already on the easel and I’m just going to be totally loose – no usual regimentation. I am going to, well, just do it. I’m going to let go of my good sense because, as Picasso said, “The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense.”
It’s a hard thing to do – surrender – that is. Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.” The rest of the greats are also encouraging me to keep going:
“You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.”
– Georgia O’Keeffe
“If I knew what the picture was going to be like, I wouldn’t make it.”
– Cindy Sherman
“Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks.”
– Mark Rothko
“It isn’t until the painter has no idea what he’s doing that he makes good paintings.”
– Edgar Degas
All I want to do is to be authentic. To be truthful to myself. And, even when a patron or a gallerist requests something of me; to take up the challenge to the best of my ability – even though it may not be what I want, I will still maintain something of myself in the work.Posted on: 06/09/2016, by : Ron Fortier