I used to consider myself a schizophrenic painter, at once painting flat plains of colour and texture with a juxtaposition of elements that would bring an image to a conclusion, and then painting another piece with very detailed structural images. It seemed that I needed both to add balance to my practice.
After not painting for many years the two sides of my artistry have come together. Now I find that I have many paintings on the go at once which enables me to work on a piece as my mood dictates. I have pieces that are in the background/textural stage and pieces that are further along and are more at the juxtaposition stage, and then there are the paintings that are at the point of needing intricate detail. I need all of these things going on in order to create order in my studio.
This way of working makes it hard to answer when someone asks me how long it takes to paint an image. Sometimes it takes a year or two because I start a piece and then it gets set aside while I work on another image, and then eventually I will start work on the older painting again. Set aside but not forgotten as I look at my work everyday and formulate a plan for my next move.
Many times a piece will become boring to me, too pat, too expected and that’s when it may sit for a while until I decide on a drastic measure to change how I feel about it, sometimes whiting out a majority of the image and starting again. This very often gives my work the feeling of surrealism.
This is an example of the change that can happen to my work when I find it’s too boring. Below is a before and after of my piece “private patio”.
Which led to this as a final work.