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

LV #1 - Final 8-2016
LV #1-2016

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, LV #2 LGsafe. 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 :
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