Slow and steady

Everyday Altar

After my last show at Oxford, I decided to tackle the most ambitious painting I’ve ever done. It’s another in the series of tabletops I’ve been doing for a long time–I did the first one, back in the 90s. Why I keep returning to the format isn’t entirely clear to me, other than to say I don’t feel I’ve exhausted the rewards this template, with its unusual downward-looking¬†perspective, a literally bird’s-eye view of a tabletop. What’s unusual, this time, is how long I expect to work on the painting. First, I’m going to spend more time on each part of this painting than I have before, developing the image as slowly as it requires, so that every element gets as much attention as all the rest. I’ve already put about six weeks into it and don’t expect to be done until the fall, partly because the summer always pulls me away from the easel for several weeks every year, but mostly because it’s a set of complex objects requiring gradual, painstaking development. While I’m doing it, I’m going to try to clarify to myself how and why I started doing this sort of image, why it allowed me to absorb certain influences and incorporate them into my own work, and what sort of meaning the images seem to have, even though I have been creating them simply as a way of addressing formal challenges, not conceptual ones. My blog output is likely going to lighten up since my energy goes first to this painting, and hopefully some small ones I’ll be able to do along the way as I finish this. That’s Poppy, the newest member of our clan, peeking out at you from inside my iPhone.

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