Friday, January 6, 2017

Distillation process

Hello! Happy New Year!

First things first, thank you to everyone who read my year-end review blog last week. You deserve a medal but I think you get something better, you get art! As you may remember, I offered an incentive to folks who read and commented on last week's blog with a print giveaway! I shall now announce the winner!

I hope what I am about to write won't make winning any less fun for you. The four lovely folks who commented last week are ALL getting a copy of my most popular print, "Sailor's warning!" That's right, you are all winners here! So if I don't have it already, please send your postal address to my email, and I will get your print right out to you! Thanks so much for your supportive comments! I hope you will enjoy the art and have a lovely new year!

Now, back to the blog. The morning of January first, I went to the studio. I believe in starting the new year the way you mean to go on and working in my studio is the best way I could imagine starting and living in 2017. Once at the studio, rather than feeling inspired, I found myself not knowing what to do. I felt rusty and awkward even after working on a canvas with success just 2 days before. I suddenly felt like I was on very shaky ground. I picked up an old canvas and started adding a layer of color, but I could tell it was going nowhere fast. I decided I could keep going down this road or I could force a shift. Suddenly, I knew exactly what I needed to do.

In my heart, I knew I wanted to start again. I wanted to have a project with rules and parameters that I could explore within. I wanted a purpose, but I wanted the purpose to be very personal. I decided I didn't want to rely on the old knowledge and ways of working.

I taped a piece of newsprint to the wall. I gathered my materials. One clean cup of water. One brush. One tube of white paint. One tube of yellow ochre and my collection of charcoal. I would listen to music without words and I would draw and paint, applying the paint initially with my fingers before thinning it out with the brush and water. I wanted to feel my materials. I wanted to get messy. I wanted to draw and I wanted to feel like a painter, more than ever and again.

There was one painting and then another, and when it came to six, I knew I was done for the day. I decided after this, that six pieces will be completed each day as part of the project until the end of the month. If all goes according to plan, there will be 186 pieces.

These pieces are about movement, gesture, painting and drawing. These papers contain my language as it is being recorded, repeated and expanded. These papers are a lesson in commitment, structure, and intuition.

The papers are a bit prayerful, mournful and searching. Almost an act of prostration and pittance. Confessional and dark at times, yet also quick and bright, the papers will lead me down an unknown path. All I have to do is show up each day, make the marks, and listen.

I hope you will join me in this distillation process. Until next week, keep fighting. 


  1. What a great idea. So good for getting the intuition flowing. And using newsprint means you're less attached to the outcome so you can really be free! Look forward to the project progressing :) pS thank you SO much for the print! Thrilled to bits with it x

    1. Maz, Yay! I am so glad you got the print. I am very happy you have it. Thanks again for your comment last week and on this post as well. You are right, this process has been good for the intuition and for just moving forward. I like the action of it all. We will see where it takes me! Thanks for following along. Hope your work is off to a good start in the new year. x