#1217 WIP

30×24 oil on canvas … almost finished with this.

I struggled with this painting… I didn’t like it, felt trapped by it as soon as I began with the oil. If it had been acrylic, I would have taken a roller and gessoed over it; it was either, save it, or lose the canvas. I was upset, because I wanted to do something figurative, something that felt like it belonged with the 6 or 7 I’ve done since December. But now it works. Not how I wanted. But it feels right. It belongs.

I went to the memorial for Consuewella Africa and rally for Mumia. There was a video. I see my face in the mirror, but I haven’t seen an image of the rest of what’s happened to me in a long time. There was this… person. Myself… in a stranger’s body. It feels connected.

Painting. And this other thing. When I’m at the easel, my back hurts. My leg and hip hurt–but it’s me there, painting. The space I occupy–that I still occupy… is shrinking. This is what I’ve been feeling, even before I saw that video. Now I understand … sort of… what it is. Making a piece of art, I still am there. Real. Anything else… anywhere else… I lose myself… in this strange body. The one I saw in that video. Every new piece of art… is a repository. Leaving myself behind. These are–what I’ve been moving toward. I don’t know whether these pieces are better or worse than any I’ve done before. But they’re from … who…what … I was. I look at them, and I see myself from within.

View more work at Saatchi Art, and on my web portfolio: ART BY WILLARD For photos on this blog, click MY ART on the right panel and scroll

#1206 “Yes, Sleep will Come…”

28×18, Oil on Canvas. This began as an image of ASL sign for ‘sleep.’
What I think about when I paint….
…if the brush makes two marks on the canvas, my eye looks for a third. When I see the third, I set out to see where it leads. If it leads to a fourth, and no further, I’m disappointed at the early end of the travels. So much depends on where that third mark will appear. This is how painting is like music.

View more work at Saatchi Art, and on my web portfolio: ART BY WILLARD For photos on this blog, click MY ART on the right panel and scroll down.