Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 84


Our goals can only be reached through the vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

Pablo Picasso


FHV #2 – 2017

Jackson Pollock said, “Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.” I am an abstractionist. I don’t duplicate images from nature. 

My images are purely subjective. Mark Rothko said, “A painting is not a picture of an experience. It is an experience.”

My paintings are things, objects or icons. They represent nothing. There are no references from the external world in my work.

At the same time, there’s nothing internal in my work. It’s not about me being happy or sad or mad. I am not in any state of mind when I paint.

In fact, I am not mindful of what I paint. But, neither am I mindless. I am only aware of deciding what to do at any particular moment or stage in the painting.

I no longer approach the canvas with any intent or analytical or technical visual problem as I once did. The first mark sets the stage.

The second, the direction for the eventual outcome. That’s it! There isn’t anything interesting about me, my process or my inner vision. I don’t care about me being interesting, only the work that I do is important. It has to be solid and authentic.

FHV 3# – 2017

As for the so called artist’s “inner vision” – what is that? I’m not aware of any inner vision. I paint what I paint, perhaps because of who or what I am.

And yet, I don’t know who or what that is. All I know is that I am an abstract painter. When I paint I don’t think.

I guess it is about letting go and letting it be. At one time painting was about connecting to something or being a channel or medium – still not sure.

My route to success? My goal? It is as Picasso described. It’s simple. To make a living painting good paintings.

Sometimes a canvas will come up very fast. Other times, I paint myself into a technical corner. When that happens it’s because I’m confused because I’m in conflict with myself. 

My work is easy to understand because it’s not complex at all. Colors. Lines. Calligraphy. That’s it. There is no intended meaning. There is no message.

If viewers/beholders approach my work by trying to solve the ambiguity – what is it – objectively? – they will never “get” what it may represent for them alone. There is no consensus as to what it is.

It’s better when they allow their imagination to free associate. They need to allow themselves to enjoy the work as is for whatever purpose it serves them. If anything, it’s more about sensation versus perception.

My work contains only what the individual viewer sees or finds when they approach the work subjectively in order to match their emotional state, aesthetics (taste) or just their personal opinion. Or maybe, it’ll just match their drapes.

FHV #1 – 2017

Those who admire or buy my work talk about how tactile it is. Art Historian Bernard Berenson said, “The essential in the art of painting [is]… to stimulate our consciousness of tactile values.” In fact, he coined the term tactile values.

The term describes the qualities in painting that, he believed, stimulated the sense of touch. Perhaps that sense of touch also equals possession.

For those who still cannot understand my work or abstract painting in general, I refer to the thoughts of William James (1842-1910), an American philosopher.

He said, “The first thing the intellect does with an object is to class it along with something else. But any object that is infinitely important to us and awakens our devotion feels to us also as if it must be sui generis and unique. Probably a crab would be filled with a sense of personal outrage if it could hear us class it without ado or apology as a crustacean, and thus dispose of it. ‘I am no such thing,’ it would say; ‘I am MYSELF, MYSELF alone.”


My plan then is to believe and to act as myself. As Popeye said, I yams what I yams and that’s all that I yams.” 

Posted on: 15/01/2017, by :
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