Anyone who has moved to an unfamiliar place can recall the tingling sensation of experiencing all of the little things and the freshness of a new environment. For me, this was doubled over from moving from such a tight-knit rural community to a booming city overwhelmed with culture, tourists, and plenty of art. As a recent graduate, it has been so strange not to be a part of the back-to-school routine for the first time.
I can feel my artwork shifting into a new direction. The path is still unclear, but as we start to head into cooler air and crunchy leaves, I sense the importance to document more and more of the subtle shifts happening in my artwork. This summer I spent the majority of my time sitting and experiencing places and observing my surroundings with a pencil and sketchbook. Still obsessed with the human figure, my work has been less about my own portrait and more about what I am experiencing. My sketching has become considerably more gestural, and has carried over into how I construct my paintings. My work has always been so much about touching and watching the forms come together on the canvas, and is something that still rings true in these new experiments.
Along with the quick sketches and smaller study paintings, a lot of reading and literature is influencing my work. My current obsession is “Where the Heart Beats” by Kay Larson, an amazing read on the influences of John Cage and the correlation to Zen Buddhism. I’ve also been collecting the post cards of other artists who have subtle influence on my work, with local exhibiting artists Peter W. Bucklin and Rhonda Pearle sticking with me for their choice of color layering and shape.
I think the most valuable thing I’ve carried with me since leaving school is my willingness to experiment, to embrace changes and mistakes in my artwork, and to keep making my work. Whether it’s a continuation in my painting or an experiment into other mediums, make sure to keep an eye on my “most recent work”.
And now, back to pencils, brushes, and cinnamon iced coffee.