Improvising imagery in a painting in 1973 (56
Simultaneous Songs) a word appeared ...THE... & I
enjoyed that immensely, the word taken out of context, standing alone, implying much,... a singularity. That's
what excited me - encountering a singularity is like
looking in a mirror and finding a sibling. But inventing
visual imagery, analogous to music, interested me more
at that time so it wan't until 1980 that I got around to focusing on the subject (tho I had ventured in that
direction, a few paintings interspersed among the more dominant theme).
Words as subject fit well with my then evolving interest
in impasto. The execution of ideas, say a tax form, or a letter from a friend... required or allowed a lot of mixing
as I filled in color around wet text. The text is difficult
but not impossible to read, pointing up the equal preoccupation with color & surface. A two dimensional representation of a two dimensional thing is an
intriquing object. I like to say that color/surface &
subject share 1/3 billing in any painting of mine. Of
course the emphasis can shift from work to work and
they cohere, they mesh... the subject is partially
suggested by the WAY I am currently painting. I always seek subject that resonates for me but this is true also of the WAY I paint, whether it is impasto or thinned down, whether there are glazes, what color register to favor...
For the first year and a half of this focus I was winding up
the Cyclorama Restoration project. Once that was done
we hung out a month or so then headed out, in August,
for a 3 month trip described in the painting, Truth Table,
that took us to Chicago, Northern Michigan,
New York and Europe. When we returned, pages from my travel journals became subject for some of these word paintings.
I reluctanly accepted an invitation to be on the board of the Atlanta Artworkers Coalition in 1981(AAWC), giving back since they had provided exhibition & social opportunities.
Being on the exhibition committee I called Elizabeth Lide to see if she wanted to exhibit in an open slot we had. She said, "Why don't you take that?" Umm, I thought, what an idea. Despite initial hesitation thinking was this a conflict
of interest? I commited to my first one-artist show which
got the attention of Peter Morrin, new curator of 20th C.
Art at the High Museum. Cathy Fox, reviewer for the
AJC, came & saw the show. I watched her walk through
as I sat typing at the reception desk. She didn't review
it but she remembered it. I took the show down just
before heading out on our trip.
We took two weeks also to re-roof the house, noticing that the previous 3 layers of shingles had probably been installed in 1950s, 1940 maybe & of course the 1920 original roof. We could sense that those workers must have joked around as we did.... as we put in new nails and new jokes.
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