24" x 18"
oil pastel on paper
A red maple is bracketed by two slanting birches made of gray paper and white highlights. The dynamic, spontaneous brushwork of my large Abstract Expressionist paintings done ten years ago find new life in a different medium, scale, and subject. Working in the former manner gave me an awareness of the picture independent of the subject, the thing the viewer is going to see. Vigor can be deadened when the artist becomes enslaved by the subject, feeling a sense of loyalty to do it justice. The artist's feet become stuck in cement. Abstract painting can be lifeless too, shapes without soul. It doesn't have to do with how "finished", refined, or detailed a picture is; it is the vitality and passion, quiet or loud, that makes a picture go.
Chardin (1699-1779) a representational painter with a tender eye, quiet and sensitive to seeing, known especially for still life and scenes of daily life. Pollock literally poured his angst and energy into his pictures, qualities missing from wanna-be's. He was very focused, something that escapes people who dismiss the splatters as out of control. It is always sad to me when art is misunderstood. Maybe that is why I write about mine.