As I look at the end of the year and the beginning of another I think about my paintings, drawings, and sculptures in light of my understanding and love of making art. I am filled with questions, ambition and clarification. I have been thinking about the concepts of substance and plasticity, creating art that is alive and breathes with authentic deep meaning. For me, this is a reflection of the daily twists and turns of life. These energies are both yin and yang, both full and empty, chaotic and balanced. The making of art is essential in my life. I have been finding a better understanding of plasticity and substance as I navigate these layers of energetic impulses to create my art.
In the art of painting, the concept of sprezzatura or simplifying complexity, can cut through the air with conviction and presence similar to that of a zen painter. I can find a parallel between the samurai warrior painting calligraphy and the works of great masters like Rembrandt and Cezanne all reaching a similar elevated consciousness. I am also inspired by the works of Joan Mitchell, Chaim Soutine, and Ted Egri. Again, I find these artists have simplified complexity into a beauty that is larger than the personal self and filled with life that is full and rich.
In the words of Robert Weatherford, we must paint through the ugliness for the beauty to come forth. Without one the other can not exist, so it is with the making of art. To keep the same depth and layers of life that is lived every day, painting must construct and deconstruct. As I step back into graduate school at the Academy of Art I must have the confidence to continue making art in this way, putting myself out there, raw and exposed. I need to reach deeply into that place as masterfully as possible where creativity, self, and the other mingle, intertwine, and coexist in authenticity. My inner voice can be a smile or a scream; I may whisper humbly and listen to the silence that is evident. As I look at this next year of 2015 I wish to embrace the making of art with abundant confidence and prowess. I know that I must be strong with spontaneous light and laughter in my paintings, in order to turn any burdens and challenges into wings to fly.