"Winter Record 26", Enamel on Glass and Ampersand Panel, 6"x6"
Paint like a man. The delicate traditions of Victorian ladies creating nature scenes from small brushes and even smaller rings of social experience, is not what I consider painting. Now, I’m not distinguishing between what is art and “not” art. That concept has been overly bastardized at both ends of the spectrum. I’m simply side-stepping the issue by asking if the artist can have that “aha” moment during the act of painting - the process-oriented action of discovery.
Just look at the early painted sketches of the accepted masters of art history. Their blocked-out color roughs have ten times the energy of the completed masterpieces that simply seem tired in comparison. Painting only works when you get caught-up in those innate Zen rhythms, something absent from the process of creating hundreds of glazes for a “realist” work. The machismo of the abstract Expressionists was an act of “throwing-down the gauntlet” to traditional painters. Jackson Pollock, like others of his time, grew-up in a house dominated by a small Victorian-minded mother. She painted dainty scenes and draped the family home in doilies, lace knitting and other “pretties” (a southern term I absconded from my mother-in-law). The excitement of acting upon reckless impulse is the motivating force that drives and sustains the artist’s ability to create literally thousands of paintings without limitation. - North