Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Untitled Writing

I wrote this about a year ago. Shelved it. Recently I rediscovered it and decided it wasn't too bad.
Can a painting be made out of something besides paint? What makes a painting, a painting? Who has the right to answer this question? Art schools, the market or painters themselves? There are no rules to painting, or to art. Only conventions and all conventions are free game to be questioned. They aren’t set in stone. Chaos won’t ensue if the conventions are not followed, will it? Some of these issues I’m concerned with were raised during the late 60’s and early 70’s. I don’t think the issues were ever resolved or could be resolved. And I certainly never agreed that they were. Every stage of my process is important. Every step from conception to sketch to preparation to execution to titling to display is considered and realized for itself. But it’s not systematic. Intricate but not formulaic. At each stage I’m open to intuition. In general, slightly off lines seem to have more character than perfectly drawn straight ones. I favor the wet to the dry, the soft to the hard, the bright to the dull. Complexity is arrived at through reading the work piece to piece to piece. When I was younger, I tried to pour everything I knew or was interested in, into one piece. Now I don’t. It’s honed, more singular and specific. I want the "viewer's" experience to be as such.


* said...

I like this-- glad you posted it.

I particularly like this qualification on your thought:
"I don’t think the issues were ever resolved or could be resolved."


dwayne said...

i have been making these digital paintings for a while now. i showed them for my thesis exhibition.

I also never understood why systematic or even formulaic was a problem. For me, the meticulous process is just part of the discipline.

happy holiday's

dwayne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
* said...

Hi Dwayne--

Who told you those things were a problem? Whoever that was, maybe you'll want to take this argument up with them...

My understanding is that John was being descriptive of his own position and process, not making a general prohibition on systems or formulas.


Stephanie said...

Of course a purist would say "No paint? Not a painting." Really, it shouldn't be an issue. You basically answered your own question, stating "There are no rules to painting, or to art."

I just found your blog and it satisfies my nearly-insatiable appetite for color in all forms. I am happy. I will be back.

John Tallman said...

Yes, I was speaking of my own non-formulas and non-strategies. And I certainly was not making any general prohibitions. For me formulas are counterproductive because they tend to result in conclusions I (or others) have already reached.