Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How place as a muse can be a bitch... for better or worse.

The new work from the past few weeks falls under my own self-described category of digital sketches. The title or label is somewhat misleading because I do not digitally manipulate any of the works… all I really do is scan them in and crop the rough edges; leaving the moles and scars for examination and a touch of contemplative reality. The works are small mixed-media pieces that are both collages and paintings… not unlike my traditional large-scale pieces from the past two years. I consider them digital, though, because they only survive online. I create them rather quickly, then post’em and forget’em.

These works came about at a time when I was considering what would happen if one of the numerous winter storms actually touched down on the roof of my studio. Now, this has not yet happened, but a few close calls have really got my mojo roaring and I’ve been thinking about the possibilities of a new wave of symbiotic archiving/creating from the standpoint of a traditional painter in an ever-increasing digital environment.

The subject of the work thus far is still along similar lines as before: Immersion Travel… staying in one place for a period of time (anywhere from a few months to a few years) and documenting the effect it has on both the society as well as the artist. The most interesting irony of the work, for me though, has been the evolution of a more abstract style in my art as I attempt to further demystify the motivations and philosophies of each place. These small sketches have allowed me to drop the last of my inhibitions and rethink my theories on the roles of artists and more specifically, painters. I suddenly have a better understanding of Picasso when he successfully walked away from Cubism. - North

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