Thoughts on women in water

The women in water cycle

Painting is about seeing.  “Edibility… has more to do with seeing. The rest is manual, it’s no problem.  Anything can be painted.  It’s mroe difficult to see whether what one is doing is any good or not.  But that’s the only thing that counts.  As Duchamp showed, it has nothing to do with craftsmanship.  What counts isn’t being able to do a thing, it’s seeing what it is.  Seeing is the decisive act, and ultimately it places the maker and the viewer on the same level.”  Gerhard Richter

“Once I used to think I ought to paint like the “great masters” and of course I couldn’t.  I felt it to be a terrible lack in me, I though I basically wasn’t a painter at all but a fraud, just pretending to be one.  I twas a long time before I realized that what I do – the desparate experimentation, all the difficulties – is exactly whay they all do: that’s the normal nature of the job.  That’s painting.” – Gerhard Richter

“… it has a special function in the cycle, because you see it in relation to the others.  But all the fifteen pictures relate to each other.”  — Gerhard Richter

OK, so if I make a cycle exhibit, how to do it…

Chronological?  not relevant.

Filmatic sequence?  tempting but too constraining, and not relevant.  Painting is not film.

Related to core search for meaning in painting?  definitely.  Core search for identity?  Definitely.

Repression – repressing the emotion and then releasing into the light of day allows the emotion to enter the unconscious/group mind and be integrated by the universal memory, then when dredged up and released, has connected with other memories and resonances.  Am I painting the process of repression?  Are the paintings about repression?  All that underwater imagery certainly evokes the unconscious.  All those missing heads…

How to connect this with insights in the Tao of Equus and recent “borderland” voyages?  Somehow making art has to connect with these processes, or I’m not interested in making it.

Apparently making art IS connecting with these processes.  Clearly it involves a dialogue between the mind and the body, where what I “see” passes through my body in creating a piece of art, and the dialogue between what I paint and what I see makes me see more of what I paint and see more of the painting.

The “cycle” is just going to be the process of learning how to do that.  The “subject matter” doesn’t really matter, it just has to be sufficiently compelling to me to encourage me to continue talking about it…

Perhaps what the painting evokes is also the process of wandering in the borderlands.  This would help with the “this is finished” decision!  I have to be able to focus on the special “seeing” that I connect with.  I remember after starting aikido I suddenly “saw” my drawings in a completely different way and my drawing “style” took off.  Then the same thing happened when I was wrestling with a painting, suddenly I “saw” it differently.  Both were triggered by aikido.  Also happened with the fruit and flower paintings, when I could only paint them when it became “obvious” what I had to do next, and at some point everything clicked…

Onwards!

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