This is an ink painting I worked on this summer. For me it sums up our summer trip and I think it's title should be "Looking for the Waterfall". It looks like the global positioning unit we used in my car whenever we set out on one of our sightseeing trips. So does that keep this piece from being abstract because it so closely resembles a map?
I seem to be struggling with this concept of abstract versus abstraction in my work. Labels, genres, categories and such seem to be for art historians so I shouldn't concern myself with this while I'm working. That said, it's always good to ask questions, and know where you are heading like looking at a map once in a while. I feel the work should have something to say, whether everyone gets it is another question entirely. I always say that images were used to communicate before written language and have the potential to communicate more directly than words. My work comes from my heart and usually communicates what I'm going through so maybe that's exactly why the work is a struggle right now. It's caught between representation and non representation as I struggle with whether to paint for an audience or paint purely for myself with no regard as to whether it will make it into a prestigious gallery or sell for a nice price. Is validation from an outside source as important as I perceive it to be?
Then on top of that I add working with a new medium just for kicks.
Here are some encaustic paintings I worked on this week.
These were 2 that I kind of liked. Another one I fought with for days wasn't even worth photographing. I was ready to just throw in the towel even though I'm not a quitter. I was thinking to myself maybe I should just be concentrating on oil painting and give up on the encaustic while I'm ahead and then I eek out one or two little things that keep me intrigued. This week it was gouging out lines, then filling them with a color and then scraping the whole surface smooth so that the fill color only shows in the gouged areas. That is called learning and then comes applying that knowledge appropriately and with finesse. Stay tuned.