Sunday, April 08, 2012

I'm amazed that there are writer-artists out there who write online of their daily experiences, research, studio projects, and with lengthy, generous, vulnerable (whole) paragraphs - it doesn't necessarily have to follow that I would endorse or agree with everything they write; I'm just intensely supportive of the entire practice of writing about things in full. There are ways in which a studio/writing blog can be a personal practice without having to spill all and give all the sticky details. Painter, writer, and teacher Chris Down has recently started such a blog. Here are just a few samples from the most recent posts:

"The meaning of a painting, as Kerry James Marshall says, depends on the question “What function does the painting perform in the context of other things that are like it?”

"Making art provides uncomfortably accurate feedback about the gap that inevitably exists between what you intended to do, and what you did. In fact, if artmaking did not tell you (the maker) so enormously much about yourself, then making art that matters to you would be impossible." (Bayles and Orland, Art and Fear, p. 5)

"What are my criteria? What do I value in my own work and in the work of others? What can be excised? What am I hiding from?"

"I am hiding from the fear of looking naive or unintelligent or sentimental or self-indulgent. My ambivalence stems, I think, from a fear of the work being mistaken for something unintended, something “not contemporary”...I have counters to these anxieties, but fears are insidious, often disguising themselves as emotional or mental toughness. However, these disguises are only the outward appearance of strength. In fact they may just be markers for points of weakness."

"Although I don’t necessarily agree with [Fairfield] Porter’s evaluations of the work he reviews, what I admire most is his commitment to an independent point of view, as well as his terse impatience for the critical platitudes of his time. Part of his impatience comes from a desire to encounter art, as the title states, in its own terms, as artistic experience, not through an extrinsic theoretical platform..."

"Painting has the capacity to function as a kind of hinge or threshold between the objective and the subjective. Paintings are objects in the world, that are produced through the labour of individual agents. They are often made in relation to external or objective stimuli or “subject matter”, but they are always mediated in some way through the body of the painter. This means that paintings are an amalgam of experience and internal responses to experience."

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