Sunday, January 08, 2006

Chaos Never Died


chaos-never-died
Originally uploaded by suelu23.
I’ve been thinking about what Dan Jocz was getting at with his chaos/order assignment. I definitely tend to be in control of my work. I don’t try to do this- in fact, part of the reason I didn’t do sketches for paintings for years is that I was trying to achieve spontaneity, chaos. But my natural tendency is to be in charge of my art.
This is not to say that I don’t allow accidents to stay in a finished piece. In “War of Hearts and Minds,” notice the line of the bat. Its axis is broken by the hands, and where it comes out the other side, it doesn’t line up. I didn’t really plan that, but I like the way it worked with the other contours in the piece. So when it happened, I tried to leave it alone. But in this same work, I spent days and many layers of paint moving the outline of the rabbit until I felt it worked right with the edges and negative shapes.
The drawing, as yet untitled, of the liberator bear crushing Baghdad (note to self: possible title for drawing: “Liberator Bear Crushes Baghdad”) displays my most anal level of control over my composition and media application. This piece had more studies for it than any other in recent memory. And since I’m now painting a similar theme, I guess this itself was just a study. In the painting now, I’m still at a very early stage. How do I add that sense of unbridled naturalness? The fact that I want to “add” it is probably not a good place to start from! It helps that I’ve drawn this damn bear so many times now. And it helps to be using a medium which easily allows both for errors, and their concealment. But already I’ve let more paint get onto the edges than I’d envisioned. At the time I did it, it was because I felt it needed to be there. But I can’t undo that- can’t return to blank white canvas. I’ll somehow have to make it work. The image in my head will have to adapt to what the painting itself is doing.

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