Friday, July 27, 2007

making art

More grappling with divisions in my studio….After a couple of weeks of pinning and sewing and drawing my fabrics together, I seem to be back onto abstract painting on paper this week. Some of the things I have been seeing on my drives around town—big creeping masses of fuschia seeping over a graffitied freeway embankment wall, lovely violet jacaranda flowers floating amidst green leaves, painted-over graffiti in blocks of off-white and gray like a faded patchwork quilt—are sticking in my head and coming out my brush. I don’t know if these images are worth anything or mean anything or not. I am working quickly, like an old-skool action painter, using my whole arm to make the brush smoosh the paint around. But eventually, I step back and think to myself, “Huh, is that all?”

I remind myself of a person whose house I pass almost every day on my way to my studio. He's at the corner of, say, Avenue 20 and Mozart? Somewhere around there. He has a concrete block wall all around his house, painted two different colors. The side of the wall facing Avenue 20 often sports a few graffittied tags in beautiful colors: metallic gold, black, fluorescent pink. But by the next day, the home owner will have come out and painted over the graffitied in white or cream; he's very careful to paint the whole wall so that his place looks nice and neat. He is so careful, and the taggers so persistent. It is a relentless struggle that doesn't really mean much, after all. Just a little bit of paint on a clear surface.

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