I’ve caused some confusion by calling these ‘small paintings that don’t matter‘. They are small, just 8½ by 5½ inches. But fear not, they do end up mattering, at least to me. This is a trick I play on myself — starting out thinking ‘it’s just a little piece of paper, it doesn’t matter’ is actually a very liberating thought that frees creativity. Thinking “it doesn’t matter”… then it doesn’t matter if I mess it up. It’s just a piece of paper, I can just throw it away. That removes a lot of hesitation and opens the creative flood gates. Really these are experimental for me. All that said, I’ve done 9 of these now and haven’t really messed one up yet. I should probably move back to canvas with this…
For this one I only used some of my favorite colors. Brilliant blue, bright aqua green, bright green, pyrrole red, and cadmium yellow light. And black to make them all jump out. And of course paper curls as the paint dries. “Other Faculties” here practically curled up into the fetal position with all this paint! Not shown — glue clamps and my thumb on all four corners holding it flat for the photo!
With this one I started experimenting with stencils and masking. The round dots were stenciled with the top of an old Tylenol bottle that I sawed off. Four rectangles were masked with masking tape. The whole thing started with a gray wash, glue clamps holding the four corners down to a piece of plywood so it wouldn’t curl too much. That worked! 🙂
So the masking tape preserved some of the wash and adds interest with negative shapes. Finished it off with some pyrrole red, and some dots. This one came out pretty well I think! Especially considering I had a cold when I painted it (still do – ’tis the season) and my head was in a fog. This one definitely matters. 🙂
As always, comments and especially interpretations are more than welcome, they’re hoped for! 🙂 Tell me what they look like to you or what you see. My belief is that the artists opinion of what he’s painting — especially with abstraction — is no more valid than any viewer’s opinion. This is especially the case with non-representational abstraction like these. This is what I think Duchamp was saying in one of my favorite quotes about art:
“The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.” -Marcel Duchamp
Further, I really had very little in mind other than experimentation and technique when I was painting these. So by all means tell me what you make of these, and everything I paint! 🙂