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The Bliss of the Abandoned Painting

Between giving up on a painting but before throwing it in the fire, there’s a mental space of blissful and absolute freedom. You’ve reached a point that otherwise might take years of meditation and therapy. It’s at this point you’ve abandoned a painting but that abandonment has released all expectations. You truly do not care about the outcome. This is the perfect place to be creating anything. Because it’s not that you’ve abandoned all of your artistic principles on the side of the road. Instead, you’ve stopped taking yourself so damn seriously. You’ve disbanded the illusion that you’re meant for...

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Ah Yes: The Middle Stages

I knew this would be the hard part...and it sure is.  One of the challenges right now is figuring out what questions to ask when. And I guess it comes back to my intent. What am I trying to do? I’m trying to create an abstract painting that is optimistic and playful. I put down the pink gel scrapes and the Fluorescent Red feels WAY too strong. It obliterates all color beneath it. Completely. You can see some of the stamping and scribbling below but oof. I love that sense of layering. I want to have that in the finished...

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Different Types of Writing

I’m thinking through letters again today. One way I’m officially giving myself permission is how I start. I’ve known this before but these 7 are a way to officially formalize for myself what I do.  I begin with type. Two forms: hard edged and organic. The hard edged comes mainly from stamps. Hopefully some day I’ll get a paper cutter again and create stencils. But right now I’m limited to stamps for hard edges and my own scribbling writing for the organic shapes. These are two very very different shapes. That’s something I may have to sort of contend with...

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Defining the Project Scope

In order to give myself louder permission, I’m formalizing the project scope. This project has a scope. And it’s important for me to say them outloud because one of the challenges I have in abstraction is that I won’t answer the question nagging at me, I will just head in a new direction so that I don’t have to figure out what actually isn’t working. That instinct has a wonderful place in art. That’s great for pure experimentation. It can be great once you have a process established. It’s the way you can really play even though you’ve been doing...

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So much of art is a war between your own ears. I mean, some days it’s a dance party where everyone is invited and happy. And other days it’s just yelling.  And there are legitimate problems to overcome with composition and design and color, etc but a lot of it can also be folded under another umbrella called Permission. There’s this weird struggle when you’re learning any art form. You want to be unique but you can’t help but use what is already out there as a guide to what's real and valid art.    Painting doesn’t hold a monopoly...

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