Thirty in Thirty. Day Twenty Six: Back to Basics…

If you have seen my work in person, then you are probably familiar with the home-built plywood panels I use as supports. Twice a year, I buy sheets of plywood and cut them into squares and rectangles of various sizes. When I need new supports, those plywood sheets are gessoed (I use an acrylic sealer in white or sometimes clear), have back frames attached, and are sealed again. Usually there are three layers of gesso on a panel. When the panel is dry, I then sand it lightly and use a tack-cloth to clean it.

The idea is to create a self-contained work —no frame necessary— which allows the painting to ‘float’ away from the wall with visible sides. I am not overly fond of frames on artwork, unless absolutely necessary (pastels are a good example of necessary).

Prepping panels always seems to go hand in hand with a little break and some outside inspiration. Today it was snowshoeing.

Fox tracks in the snow.

There was a lively debate today among artists in my circle, about the necessity of the dread ‘artist statement’. I have always disliked the “artist statement”, and find that I rarely read them, because they all sound the same. I just took mine off this site. I’ll write more about this in the coming days, but for now I will say that the discussion amongst my artistic colleagues reinforced my opinion that the “artist statement” is often forced and rarely enhances the viewer’s experience of the work (in fact, it sometimes detracts from it). If I need to explain my work, then I have failed. When did the “artist statement” start, and why has it become a requirement? To me, the statement seems like an extension of academia: a need to intellectualize, rationalize and categorize with language. I can’t imagine The Rolling Stones writing an artist’s statement —can you?— and if they did, they probably would have been stoned when they wrote it. They, and their music, are the statement. Trying to analyze and explain it is absurd. Visual art is a lot like music. Just listen to the music. It will give you everything you need.



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