Yesterday my friend Brian came by and, noticing the new direction in my recent paintings, asked if I thought working on the big painting was responsible for the change in these works. I didn’t think so; in fact, my thought was the big painting is just like every other painting I’ve done recently and I’m not terribly happy with it for that reason.
He then told me when he was in art school and supporting himself with a job as a sign painter, he had to paint a sign for some place like Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was a huge sign and seemed like a pointless task. But his manager told him it would have an impact on everything he did on a smaller scale. He would no longer see things the same way. And he didn’t.
I think Brian was right. The movement in my new work is much more expansive, open, fresh. Possibly working on such a large abstract painting opened up something that was simmering under the surface for a while. Now it’s had some air and is burning brightly.
So now I have to go back to that big painting and upgrade it. Bring it to where my other paintings are going. It’s been exciting, the big change in my work. Sometimes I feel like an obsessed maniac: always wanting to get back to painting.