Recently I’ve tried to cement a few ideas into some semblance of creative expression, though nothing has come to fruition. Now at the tail end of my second solo show, I feel depleted. At first when the show went up, I had incredible ideas and energy: new compositions were still coming and I was working towards finishing several pieces I started while preparing for the show.
Now I spend hours in my studio into the late night, with half finished canvases staring at me in mockery. The mouths of half formed figures laugh at my impotence; fingers from disembodied hands point accusations of fraudulence. Is it over?
In times like this, I honestly feel like I may never finish another painting again. How can I have nothing left to do with so much to say?
While I recognize this has happened before, I cannot escape the finality of this feeling. I remember when it happened last and being on the phone with Tonka outside of the office building where I was working. He suggested meditation as a method of clearing/centering my mind. It helped a bit, but sometimes nothing seems to kick start the creative engine.
Contention breeds creativity, but this is ridiculous.
I continue to sketch during the day, working out possibilities over coffee, milkshakes, and sammiches. Some ideas have potential, yet they soon dissolve into ambivalence when I consider them mere minutes later. Now it seems as I am trying too hard, which never works…
What the fuck does that mean? Dark as compared to what? I wonder if Tim Burton got these responses before he was big (or still does).
I don’t really think of my work as dark, but I know that it makes some people uncomfortable. It is confrontational on purpose, and if someone thinks it is dark, chances are they see something inside themselves reflected back, possibly afraid to examine further. I have sabotaged meeting people by sending a link to my site first. I have ended conversations with my work. Once Tonka had to leave the room. Mind you, I’m not complaining, it’s a great filtering tool.
It is not art without a reaction. The answer to that timeless question, ‘is it art’?
So I have made a decision. I will embrace the darkness. And if you thought my work was ‘dark’ before…
So I got an email out of the blue about a week ago asking me if I want to show work…
I was ecstatic! The email was a reply from dropping off my business card months ago at Dada – an art bar in downtown San Francisco. It turns out it was just want I needed. I haven’t really painted anything since Open Studios (the Gears project I was working on has totally stalled – more on that another time) and shortly after I received this email, I started back in the studio. I have several ideas swirling around my head now that I’m getting dizzy, so we will see what happens (read: what work I can finish) before the show.
But, there’s a lesson here. Perseverance does pay off. I couldn’t be happier to be showing work, starting 2012 with a bang.
Tonka found these on the sidewalk awhile back and picked them up for me. They have been kicking around the studio for a bit and I finally pulled them out for an examination. I thought back to a conversation I had with a friend who was having some difficulties and my gears started turning. I realized that in accordance with my Transformation ideas (series) is the element of how these transformations take place; not the cause, but the actual process of transforming. It wasn’t long before the thought manifested: Gears are the mechanisms that drive our transformations.
I have a few ideas of where to go with this, though it is too early to be sure of exactly how they will translate to the canvas. In any event, these items will make up part of the finished piece.