Four Stones--Studio View (click images to enlarge)
Oil on board, each panel 23" x 23"
Not for sale at this time
Here's an update on my ongoing series of stone paintings. I wrote about the genesis and motivations for this series on my April 21 post. Most of these paintings are designed to be seen in groups like this. One panel plays off another, resulting in a kind of visual narrative.
To those not familiar with the range of my painting, this must look like the work of another artist. Perhaps in a way, it is. The realist paintings grow out of a more controlled process, with a more or less pre-determined goal. These paintings are journeys; I begin with no idea at all where they will end up. The only given for this series is that each one retain some reference to the real stones, which do exist (they are boulders placed around the edge of a parking area.)
These two impulses, one realist and literal, the other tending more abstract and intuitive, have existed in my work for many years. It causes no end of trouble in terms of projecting a seamless "image" of myself and my work to the public. I've been told by experts in the field of marketing (gallery owners, etc.) that I should choose one style or another; that following these different directions confuses people and indicates inconsistency and lack of discipline on my part. Perhaps they are right, but I hope not. For me it has always seemed more complicated than just choosing a style. My experience of the creative process is that it is messy and chaotic and not easily managed. Many artists feel a relentless need to grow, to "re-invent" themselves all the time. In fact, exploring and pushing personal boundaries is almost a mandate of the profession.
I'd be interested in hearing from other artists who wrestle with reconciling competing impulses or directions in their work, while at the same time trying to project a credible public "persona." I think there are lots of you out there, right?