Oh, dear! What about those starts? How do I justify this move into new when the old and unfinished awaits? I can't.
I said in two separate posts, recently, that I would mend my ways and go back to the old “starts” since I know now how to move on with them. This is not happening and I need to search my soul to understand why and to determine if it’s a good thing or not. A “good thing” would be that I am using my time well now and bringing to fruition new work superior to anything I’ve done before. That’s the whole point of this operation. Nothing like getting clear about how one is spending one’s life.
I wrote the words above last week as a beginning to this next post as I realized that I had changed course — again. I planned to title the post “About Betraying the Self”. Unbeknownst to me my mind went to work, and somewhere in its depths found the answer. The question is about why, when I am so disciplined about everything else in my life, is my studio process so devoid of order. The space is organized but the process is not. Other areas of my life run like clock-work: I exercise, brush my teeth, eat the vegetables, and make my bed with military constancy; I never forget to put the garbage out. I have missed writing this blog only once and that only after careful deliberation.
The difference lies in (this was the truth uncovered) curiosity. I am eager to get to work and totally delivered unto the operation when there is something I am looking for. Or something I want to test. Like: How about a sheer glaze of this red over that yellow? Or, suppose I paint on this wallpaper sample and let some of these silly little birds come through? Or, as I am doing now: Let’s see now if this dark grey with a black layer over it will give me the quality I want for the stripes. Oops, well, that didn’t work. But crayon might help. Or pencil. Okay, that’s more like it. Or “Wowie! Look at that!” And then I call my daughters and tell them that I must be some kind of genius. They don’t hear about the forays that look like I was trying to paint mud.
But the older starts are not the place to experiment. I have a planned vision for each and must move into them with confidence, not questions. Of course there will be hang-ups and mud along the way. But when I move ahead and test the new applications on new works (which will later become starts), then I can go back to the older unfinished work a little more prepared and better equipped to make the vision visible.
I have explained the disorder. I will keep it.
The images above are partial views of the studio as it stands now. The pieces tacked to boards, on lightweight paper, will be mounted in groups of four on canvas. Those on the wall (the older “starts”) will remain as works on (heavy) paper but are also meant to be hung as groups.