August 24, 2011
A New Painting: "Tied"
Each spring I go out to farms to gather images for my paintings, and each year my eye – how I see what is in front of me, and what I notice – is a little different. It often surprises me when I realize that an image that so excited me the year before is there in front of me: there's the machine, there are the elements of the painting now finished in my studio, but the thrill is gone. I don't think this is because I've already turned the image into a painting so have moved on; I believe it's that my thinking shifts slightly each year, with new ideas guiding my choice of subjects. Tied pictures a farm implement that I painted before, in a different way. This year I was excited by the two strong simple orange bars, slightly curved, surrounded by black forms.
What made the image extra special to me was the flat strap tied around one of the bars. It adds tension, and hints at some emotion or narrative.
Here is the earlier painting I did of this same farm implement. It's a painting I love, but as you can see, it is very different from the one I completed a couple of days ago, with more movement and energy in its curves and diagonals. For better or worse, I am moving towards greater simplicity.