The Explained Shape
14" x 12"
acrylic on 200 lb paper
©11/14 russ potak
A lot has happened with the way I see art now. Especially my art. I'm not sure when, but at some point I began feeling lethargic about painting. And I thought to myself, why? What is it exactly that is starting to tire me and cause me to lose interest. As usual, despite my questions, I just continued on painting, .. and starting to lose interest again.
It was at that point that I realized, .. "wait a minute,.. I've done this painting before,..I've been here. Done it, again and again, ...! " Yes, I did. I have painted for so long and for so much, that there is hardly anything I have not painted. And even if there was, I began to question the reason. Was this all there is? Just to keep on painting, and finding different subjects to paint? I One after another, after another, after another...Borrrrrring is the only word that comes to mind here. Just to paint, and paint, and paint, expressing subjects one after another. began to wear on my mind. I had to do something here, or I felt I would have hung up my brushes. The only time I felt enthused was when I was experimenting in using paint differently, or breaking my own rules that I felt necessary to paint the known world of subjects. But it was those self imposed rules that were dragging me to deeper and deeper depths, like an anchor snared around my legs. I felt helpless to break free.
Life is short enough, and hard enough, without one's art driving ones self to boredom. I needed to change gears. I knew it had to undergo some kind of variation if I were to stay interested. It wasn't about not liking painting, it was more about having the same experience, over and over, doing the same thing, with results that were very much of the same. How many landscapes, bowls of fruit, sports figures, local scenes, seascapes, etc, am I actually going to paint? I can't even count how many of all of those subjects I have done over and over, . yes, and over. I needed a new approach here. Something that makes me want to experience the act of painting again. Not just "getting it right" and having a nice representation for someone to ooh and ahh at about how well I painted the thing. I found I don't really care anymore about how well I paint a "thing".
I found my solution. Using painting as a means to explore new worlds in colors that I have not experienced. To paint places I have never seen, or may never see. Places in the mind, places of the compositions themselves. Lines, forming out of nothing, shapes being born on my canvas for the first time, and harmonies that started to make music in my head and on my palette. This I thought was like exploring new worlds. New lands. Infinite universes.
Since then I have been fired up. Excited. Finding a thrill in the process of painting. I have left the known world of subjects behind that were getting exceedingly tiring, boring, uneventful and all too familiar. I now look on painting as a journey. A trip. An adventure. Or as one very familiar, and famous Captain once said.... "To boldly go where no one has gone before."
Its always the journey anyway and not the destination. I shall play this out. Who knows how long it will last, or where it will lead me. And at least its not boring.