Saturday, October 26, 2013

PAFA MFA 2 Fall Week 8: Back in the Saddle and Wabbits!

I seemed like it had been a month since I actually painted something in my studio--because it had been a  month since I painted in my studio. In that month "a lot o churn'n be happn'n in me noggin."
Even when I am not painting, rushing about I am always thinking about painting, always looking at the world and turning it into paintings as it swirls past my eyes and thinking about all of the things, scenes, people, places and events of light and shadow that would make good paintings. I see these paintings in my artist gaze every day, sometimes easily dozens and dozens. I call these imaginary paintings, mental canvases. The Famous Artist School had the saying, "See Observe and Remember". I guess since reading that phrase  30+ years ago I have employed that and taken it in to my daily process as an artist. There are many times I will be looking at some scene before me and imagine it as a series of brush strokes or blocks of colors, a face, a pose or gesture that I record in my memory bank. I do take plenty of pictures but sometimes you see some fleeting image that happens too fast to point and shoot--so the mind must capture it and sometime I do it thinking I might paint it later.
I snapped this driving to school, just one of the many painting ideas I see, some like this I take a pic of if I have the time, in this case the light was red so I had a few seconds.

Also in the last month since being in the studio painting I have had a few crits and as a result done a lot of thinking as my time as student winds down. Thankfully winds down.  I also think maybe this downtime was more active than mentally than if I had been painting, as I have resolved to basically ignore anything my critics tell me I really don't agree with for my final days and just paint what I want and FUCK everything else, to hell with the critics the ASE, everything.

After all, this is about me and I feel the weakening of my path by going down side paths, entertaining ideas and tangents/agendas of others must be put aside to finish where I want to finish. I can't finish on anyone elses agenda but mine. I suppose for me this is still part of the old ax I have to grind with much of modern art since my first time in college back 30+ years ago. Its funny and maybe sad how much hasn't change, how old some of these ideas and arguments are, yet are held up a fresh when traditional painting is often thought of as out of date. What isn't out of date? Painting with tweets?

This is about beyond school  for me and to be honest, mentally I am seeing myself almost  on a nice beach somewhere far far from PAFA already. This is not to say I hate the place or the people, don't enjoy the new friends I am making or the creativity, the opposite it true, but I really feel the time to be a student in this formal way and all of the shit that goes along with it, is done. I would not be the artist i am now without the school, but I'm packing my bags in a way.

                          A cool drawing my Joel in his studio of the Old Historic Building

One of the students took us into her studio and instillation where she was dressed as a rabbit and she talked about how important the rabbit is to her as an artist and a big theme in her work.

 However in my research seminar I am pretty winded or  tired of the art talk, the circular yak-yak of the seminars, as informative as they can be---ugh, I am honestly just done. In the painting seminar  something somebody spends a lot of time on something  gets 2 minutes of talk, something that somebody seems to have spent two minutes on gets 20+ minutes of talk. This has been tge case my whole time in art school and a joke amoinst my friends. I think so often weaker art is more open to interpritation and this allows the critic to insert their ego and personality more maybe the more a piece has a high degree of finish, craft, reality, the less you need a critic to explain it and many art students don't want to talk about good art or fellow students who are more skilled in traditional ways--which is doubly ironic at a place like PAFA. Maybe its jealousy, maybe not.  In some classes to be honest, this is just almost too much to bear. I know I am not the only one who feels this way...

I suppose every art student, especially masters student must feel that, and after almost 7 years of art school I just feel this way and cannot lie to myself about it.

I'll be signing up for my final round of classes and critics next week and I will pick even more carefully than before. I know on the surface having different viewpoints on your work is good,  supposed to be a good thing, opens avenues and ideas, challenges you, but that also sometimes just means you waste time and end up not being able to get anything solid out of your 3-4, 30 minute critic meetings.

 If its a new critic, the first meeting is basically a lost one as its a meet and greet. I think reflecting back on my last crit

with Noel and his admonition to me to paint  "only what is at stake for me and fuck everything else," gave me a final flag to go ahead with how I was feeling already.

So yesterday I just painted all day doing lots of little comps or studies exploring painting ideas, even doing a small landscape in acrylic, a medium I am coming to really enjoy. In years past I hated acrylics, seriously had real difficulty with them, but painting with them lately I have had a lot of fun with them and want to continue to paint with them---even trying plein air. In years past I was much more precious as a painter, afraid to plow over or alter precious parts of the I don't fear that so the speed of the acrylic to dry allows painting over into or altering in the sort of slash/cut/build/destroy method ---or open form painting. I'll have to try a more closed form painting to see how I like acrylics now. This day of painting, working on want I feel is important to me. at stake for me, declaring it in paint was invigorating!
 With all the Obamacare shit going on I thought about doing a painting addressing this idea and the fallout, but I don't know if I honestly want to go past this sketch, maybe I worked it out of my system here...

Next week I will have my final flight plan for the end of my time at PAFA and maybe I can start looking at booking tickets to new exotic and artistic locals.

And here are the inks. I just signed to re-up for the 5th year on the strip, which certainly makes this the longest series or project I have ever worked on.

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