Friday, July 22, 2011
Beating the Heat: The Art of Carelessness
Nothing beats the heat like painting in my basement studio. The light leaves something to be desired, but the temperature is a comfortable seventy two. Cold air falls.
With nothing on the easel I care to get into, cleaning the studio was the chore I chose as the exercise of the day. My gorgeous sink was a splattered mess and screamed to be scrubbed. My paint table was a disorganized disaster, albeit colorful, and begged to be bleached. And then I realized what I was looking at: spills and prints and impressions of what went on before, artistic marks of paintings past. Instead of scrubbing them, I photographed them. I might have been procrastinating? But what the hell, there was a string of heat advisory days ahead, plenty of time to clean up my act.
"Enso" is what Bill Cook (Bill Cook's Fine Art), calls these happenstance marks and mars. The word is not in the dictionary, but it's as good a word as any for the careless imprints made from containers weeping their contents onto the surface like the ring left on a table from a sweating glass when we're too lazy to reach for a coaster. Having no coasters in my studio, there are quite a few rings and spots and spills around the place--remnants of what went down days, months, years past. Ensos aren't planned. Ensos are marks of carefree carelessness.
The ensos on the top of this post is are not but sort of. The paintings were made intentionally by imprinting on a 140 lb. watercolor block whatever palette colors I had left over from an easel painting. When the print was dry, I cut the sheet into four sections and used the decorative cards for stationery. Often I had to make adjustments to balance the mini compositions. This is not an enso in the true sense of the word; the paintings were manipulated, the lower one, more so than the top one. The following four ensos are environmental. They are portions of my studio--my poured cement flooring and portions of the laminate panels that are my makeshift paint table. They just happened, a collection of oops gone unnoticed while lost in the rapture of creation.
(NOTE: The blurriness of the photographs is not shaky hand. Two shots into the shoot and I, duh, noticed the batteries were nearly exhausted. Explains a lot about the rookery photos. those AAs have been discarded and new ones installed. Blurry or sharp, you get the pictures. Ensos are beautiful examples of the absence of control--they are also a good way to find your way back into painting).
HAVE A LOVELY SAFE WEEKEND WORLD AS I MOURN OUR SPACE PROGRAM--THE ONE THAT GAVE US ALL THE GROOVY TECHNOLOGIES WE'RE ENJOYING TODAY.