Adjacent Realities

August 26th, 2009

Long is the road from conception to completion.
You must submit to supreme suffering
in order to discover the completion of joy.
-John Calvin

I must admit I never thought I would be quoting John Calvin! But I can relate to this quote- "Normal" people don't understand the foolish obsession of the artist- to forgo social invitations, let the dishes pile up in the sink, neglect the niceties of life. (like cooking) Supreme suffering would, of course,  be an exaggeration.

It's been far too long since I allowed myself  time to blog. I have been on a long, intense journey this year, finally culminating in the show "Adjacent Realities" that now hangs in the Christine Price Gallery at Castleton State College. The final exhibition is very different than I had initially visualized it, but still I feel as if I met the goal.
It is a huge space,100' x 35' at least. I was worried about filling it with work that would be beautiful, compelling and intriguing, and of course technically adept. All I can say is that it's been a good challenge, and I'm still reeling from the intensity of meeting it. Especially while trying to maintain all the other parts of my life, including teaching some wonderful students this summer, and working on a new website
"Becalmed" was an particularly difficult challenge. To get the reflections to work on the imaginary ripples took so many hours that I am amazed that I persevered. Which synapse in the brain keeps reconnecting again and again, doggedly trying a different approach to the same problem? One day I stood at the easel for 13 hours getting it just right. Then I realized I had muted the color too much and lost the drama. The energy was gone. So I painted it out and started again.
A salvation in this process was in reading the book de Kooning by Stevens and Swan, the first book of Alyson Stanfield's Twitter-based art book club. Though I find his Women to be troubling images, his work ethic and commitment to art were epic.
During my grueling, obsessive work on "Becalmed" I allowed myself to find refuge in clay sketches. It's another

language entirely: much more spontaneous and intuitive. Both the medium of clay, and this image of the dancing girl reaching for the moon have been with me since childhood.
In the show there are 33 pieces, 23 of which were finished in 2008 or 9. Eight sculpture, 10 clay wall pieces, and the rest is acrylic on canvas.
Time to get back to work.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Leave a Reply