Saturday, 28 April 2012

where is the edge?

A painting, at least if you're not going to work obviously or directly from the objects and life you see before your eyes, is an improvisation in its every tiny move. Actually, it's an improvisation even if you take a flower pot and put it on a table and start to try to represent what you see. And this is is what kills me and calls me in equal measure.

I don't know where to go, what mark to make, what colour to choose. I don't want anyone trying to 'help', giving me (their) ideas, to teach me. I don't want a predetermined structure, an object to copy, a set of rules. Sitting with the boundlessness of possibility, a place I have struggled to attain over a lifetime, I am largely overwhelmed.

I knew that this painting was 'finished' when I got to the stage above. And yet I also couldn't understand why what was supposed to just be an experiment with colour and the unfamiliarity of paint was constantly trying to make itself into 'a painting'. I questioned the sense of finished (in terms of satisfaction, it was actually finished at a very early stage when it was just ochre and white...) and wondered what I was missing out on by constantly defaulting to the idea of making a painting, of stopping, of not going on and 'making a mess' of whatever it was that I quite liked at this stage. How else are you ever to find your edge, to move away from your tentative little piece of ground?

Frustration made me brave. I started to mess it up.


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