Although it may not appear to be true, I am in fact very hesitant and self-conscious when it comes to writing about art or my own artwork. sometimes it's artist statements and the daunting task of trying to put all the context that's on canvas now into words. other times i have this idea of how something should sound (articulate and fancy frou frou words) and trying to write that way while still attaching my style and dignity to the written piece. sometimes it's hard "fitting in into the art world" while people may seem non-conformist there are rules that all applicants should "try" and apply to. but i'd be just as happy to be upfront and narrative like i am on this blog......anyways i've been in this reminiscent mood lately (now in my 6 month post-grad morning period) and i came across a paper i did in painting II circa 2008. it was a reflective assignment on an abstract painting that was due the day of critique. and i decided to start painting/writing the night before (shocker). but in 5 years, it's one of those essays i enjoy reading every once and awhile. i wrote it alone at night outside the painting lab, sitting against a cold brick wall on the laminated applied arts floor. it was one of those moments where, there wasn't lapse of judgment, rather a constant surge of thoughts and words that fell into place. a paper that was natural and in return was i proud of. so i wanted to ctrl+c, ctrl+v into my blog in hopes that i start writing this way, the way i want and not what i believe others expect.
Well, right now I can say that my canvas isn’t very far ahead. In fact, to be honest (which you probably won’t be glad to hear or see tomorrow) it’s pretty blank. And I can’t say too much for my idea or plan for this assignment either. It’s as though I have hit a brick wall. A really big brick wall. We’re talking huge and it’s one that I can’t get over, up, around or under.
You say to just put paint on the canvas. Just jump right in and go for it. It sounds easy enough, but it’s probably the hardest thing for me. I’m used to a plan. An idea. Or my greatest and worst tool…painting from a picture. When I have that, and I like it, I have more confidence in the piece that I am about to create rather than having no direction at all. And I think that’s the hardest thing when it comes to abstraction. It’s important to paint what you see, and not what you know. Just how do you do that with abstraction? You don’t. It’s all in the head, basically. And my head lately feels like there’s more occupied storage than empty space. So what’s one to do? What am I supposed to do if I have no clue where I’m heading? Apparently, hire a detective…
So maybe through this abstraction assignment I will be able to see that not having a set plan is not such a dreadful thing. Yes, maybe at the beginning I will be eating those words. But, maybe once I progress to the middle and the completion of the painting things will come together. Or this project could fall apart. So really, while I fear abstraction, I think my biggest obstacle is just starting the painting process.
But when I think of abstraction, I think of bold solid colors with geometric shapes and overlapping. And I don’t know if that’s so much me. I love brushstrokes, thick paint, lots of different colors and movement. I don’t want to lose that. So another thing I hope to learn in this project is how to keep that style but use it to a different subject matter. I want to find ‘my own’ idea of abstraction. One that I am confident in. Something that still says, “that’s something Kiley wouldn’t normally do, but you can tell she did that.”
But maybe I’m jumping ahead. Just maybe this project will show me something I never expected to learn about my abilities. Until then though, I will not consider abstraction my friend, nor my enemy either. I’ll just call it an acquaintance for the time being.