Say Yes To How

This is one of my first test paintings for the yoga series. It's small, maybe 10inches square.

This is one of my first test paintings for the yoga series. It’s small, maybe 10inches square.

I’ve spent much of the past week shooting and cropping photos of my paintings. I’m cataloguing. I’m gearing up to show again.

I took an extended hiatus from showing when I went on my walk-about. Actually, in the few years prior to walking about, I stopped showing except for open studio nights and the few opportunities that found me. I continued to paint. I drew a comic strip. I wrote a book. There was lots and lots of energy output but very little energy to calling attention to my work.

The process of shooting the photographs has been a process of rediscovery: I painted paintings and stored them. More than once, now, I’ve unrolled a canvas and exclaimed, “Ah! I forgot all about you!” It’s a paradox: it’s as if I stumbled upon the work stash of some long ago artist; each roll holds a surprise. Each roll also holds a homecoming.

Early sample from the Yoga series. 18" x 24"

Early sample from the Yoga series. 18″ x 24″

Because I’ve been painting but not showing, I’ve inadvertently created an opportunity! I have an intact series: my yoga paintings. This series is a great gift because I can track my growth, I can trace the development of a technique and a visual stream of consciousness. I can see the seed. I can see the the seed cracking open, the green tendrils that grew from the seed. I can see the blossom. And, there is more to come that remains yet unknown.

When I started the series I had no idea that I was actually starting a series. At the time I was bored with my work. A friend, an acupuncturist, asked me to create some paintings for his office. Bodies in motion. I was messing around with different surfaces so I took the opportunity to play. I thought few people would see the paintings so there was no pressure to produce. I actually practiced what I preach: I played. I loved the mess. The point was the process and not the product. No single painting was an end in itself. There was no thought to being good or investing in any of the games that make art a labored mental exercise. It was fun. It was a discovery path.

The Yoga series all grown up. This piece is  4' x 4'

The Yoga series all grown up. This piece is
4′ x 4′

It continues to be fun. It continues to be a path of discovery. The pieces are becoming more complex; the figures at first were suspended in space. Now, they exist in environments. The pieces started small. Now, they are quite large (and getting bigger).

I’ve been writing these past few weeks about the question “How?” I realized yesterday, as I shot the latest painting in the series, that over the past few years I’ve often asked myself, “How am I going to paint that?” The answer has always been a rich and vital, “I don’t have the vaguest idea! Let’s find out.”

The latest in the series. This piece is almost 5ft x 5ft

The latest in the series. This piece is almost
5ft x 5ft

Peter Block wrote a great little book entitled, The Answer To How is Yes. As it turns out, these paintings are my visual record of how I said and continue to say Yes to How.

Go here for art prints of my yoga series. The newest pieces will be available soon!

 

 

 

title_pageGo here for my latest book

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