Tuesday, January 5, 2016
At certain times my studio becomes out of control: piles of paper, piles of painted boards, folders, cut out pieces of things which include heads, legs and arms along with shapes that might become something, or might have if they had worked out. Piles of painted paper, transfers, scissors, glue, paint. The floor consists of hundreds of bits and pieces of paper along with dirt and dog hair, and rags that my dog has strewn from the rag bag. My camera and tripod are set up against one wall, boxes that store the lights are piled up against another. And this is just the out of order stuff, the regulars are cans of polymer medium, paper cutters, gesso, jars and jars of brushes, palette knives and boxes of paper, rolls of plastic, and boxes filled with shipping materials. The walls are lined with unfinished pieces, ready to go except for the odious task of gluing them to their supports. Since that's no fun, they keep piling up, and as soon as I think of starting to glue, my neck, jaw, and back begin to hurt. Better just to ignore them.
So, I start organizing and cleaning up. But what that really means is that I begin what I've come to know as my "clean up paintings". These clean up paintings happen because my creative self, easily bored, says, "Okay Okay! I'll give you some really good stuff if you will just stop this stupid behavior." We've come to an agreement, my creative self and I, and that is that I will allow it to lead me in making these paintings but there are certain rules that have to be followed--the main rule is that I can only use material that was being thrown away or discarded. The other rules are more fluid, but have to do with using what I was going to get rid of, put away, or cleanse the studio of. Normally, my creative self is never this helpful, and usually it's like pulling teeth to get started. However, give one's creative self an onerous task, and wonderful things can and do happen.