on painting as a process

My paintings start with images that have already been processed to a point. Increasingly I use a handy phone instead of my old SLR cameras and lenses, because I am gathering thoughts in pictures and not really creating artworks with a click- so the art-making photography equipment is not a necessity for my work. I take pictures from any screen or from life. If I’m searching for a group of people, I may find some in person at a concert or event, or I may find some on a televised soccer match, or a suspenseful movie with a pivotal scene that happens in a stadium. Either way, once the picture is captured, cropped, processed etc., it is it’s own baby in a newly imagined context.

For now, I return to televised images-snatching stills and fragments, and later making paintings that attempt to stay true to the color, edges, halation, blumes, and native distortions that arise from the video capture, editing and uploading of video media. Of course, my own personal methods make inevitable changes that I consider “processing” but others may see these differences between the paintings and the images they sprung from as “interpretation” or even, creative expression.

It would be hard to find a human who has not been exposed to and influenced by video, at least organically if not culturally. By paying attention to the look of video, and recording by hand what I see, I might actually shed some more light on human abilities to adapt to new normals.

Any painting is a “child of two parents”—the concept or original idea, and the process— with the end result often looking more like one parent than the other. My process (the other parent) offers nothing new— I use methods developed by many painters who came before me, hacking out the composition with an assembly of shapes using acrylics for spontaneity, and connecting the parts with a  more maleable oil palette for clarity. In our time, paintings are rarely removed from their stretchers and rolled up for storage, so I paint on wood panels, layered with canvas and gesso— a support that promises archival stability.

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